Reassessing Resource Narratives: Ecocritical Perspectives on the Illusion of Surplus


World Literatures (non-European Languages) / Interdisciplinary Humanities

Smita Jha (Indian Institute of Technology)

Sheetal Yadav (Indian Institute of Technology)

In today's world, the prevailing assumption of surplus natural resources has led to the relentless exploitation of the environment. This conference seeks to delve into the intersection of Ecocriticism and the concept of surplus, critically examining the profound implications of our mistaken belief in endless abundance. By examining the ways in which humanity perceives and utilizes natural resources, this conference aims to foster a deeper understanding of the ecological consequences resulting from our unsustainable practices.

The conference invites papers from researchers, scholars, and practitioners from various disciplines to explore the multifaceted dimensions of surplus within the context of Ecocriticism. Drawing upon insights from literary theorists such as Timothy Morton, Ursula K. Le Guin, Rob Nixon, and Donna Haraway, who have examined the human-nature relationship, this conference seeks to illuminate the critical perspectives on surplus. These theorists challenge conventional notions of nature and advocate for a more interconnected view of humanity and the environment. Their works explore themes of ecology, sustainability, the delicate balance between humans and their natural surroundings, and the hidden costs of resource exploitation.

By bringing together diverse perspectives from these literary theorists and others, this conference aims to foster dialogue, exchange ideas, and develop critical insights into the concept of surplus and its ecological implications. We encourage submissions that engage with the theoretical frameworks provided by these literary theorists, as well as other relevant thinkers, to enrich our understanding of the topic.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts of up to 250 words that clearly outline their research objectives, methodology, and anticipated findings.

Topics of Interest include but are not limited to:

· Conceptualizing surplus: Analyzing the historical, cultural, and philosophical roots of the perception of surplus within human-nature relationships.

· Ecocritical perspectives on resource exploitation: Investigating the literary, artistic, and cultural representations that reflect or challenge the assumption of surplus natural resources.

Environmental justice and surplus: Examining how the notion of surplus exacerbates social and environmental inequalities, particularly among marginalized communities. The impact of surplus on ecosystems: Assessing the ecological consequences resulting from the overexploitation of resources and the subsequent disruption of fragile ecosystems. Alternative paradigms: Exploring innovative models, practices, and ideologies that challenge the surplus narrative and offer sustainable approaches to resource management. Narratives of scarcity and resilience: Investigating how narratives of scarcity and ecological crisis can shape public perception, policymaking, and community resilience efforts.

Join us at this NEMLA conference to collectively challenge the assumption of surplus, unravel the complexities of human-nature relationships, and pave the way for a more sustainable future that respects the finite nature of our planet's resources.

The panel invites papers from researchers, scholars, and practitioners from various disciplines to explore the multifaceted dimensions of surplus within the context of Ecocriticism.