The Body (Eco-)Politic

25thCarolina Conference for Romance Studies

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

March 26-28, 2020

Submission Deadline: November 30, 2019

Keynote Speakers: Ari Blatt, Lina Meruane & Elena Past


Recent environmental disasters call attention to the timeliness of understanding the impact of human activities on the bio-geo-chemical cycles of the planet. A specific role in this discussion has been played by ecocriticism and, more broadly, the burgeoning field of the environmental humanities. Placing the human as a component of the natural-cultural realm, the environmental humanities’ discourse seeks to transcend traditional Western epistemologies, contesting anthropocentric understandings of the world. This requires embracing a perspective in which nature and culture, human and nonhuman, rather than being the oppositional poles of a dichotomy are indeed elements of a complexity. In fact, the term “environment” has implications beyond the natural sphere. Stemming from the French word “environ,” this term speaks generally to that which surrounds us, opening larger conversations about how humans interact with, and are shaped by, the many different natural, discursive, spatial, and political environments within our societies.

Contemporary debates, including the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, Women’s rights movements such as Me Too or Ni una menos, and the fight for equality and visibility within the LGBTQI+ communities, all call attention to how our environments control, morph, and (de-)value the body. Such events evidence the need to rethink our relationships to concepts such as borders, gender construction, and human rights. Although conceived through present-day happenings, similar biopolitical questions can be traced back to the Medieval and Early Modern Eras. In Romance Studies today, how can our explorations of literature, film, performance, and language nuance the role of humans as an element of these different environments?

The 25thannual Carolina Conference for Romance Studies aims to unpack how we, as a species, interact with different types of environments, and how these environments shape us. We invite professors, graduate students, scholars, and artists to share papers and presentations which decenter thehuman as master of the world, allowing us to analyze how we are products of the different politics, discourses, and events that have marked us from the dawn of the Anthropocene to the global era.

  • Animal Studies
  • Disability Studies
  • Medical Humanities
  • The Anthropocene
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Atmospheric Studies
  • Post-Colonial and De-Colonial Studies
  • Film Theory
  • Post-Humanism
  • Biopolitics
  • Gender Studies
  • Racism and Xenophobia
  • Cultural Studies
  • Linguistic Studies
  • Urban Studies
  • Digital Humanities
  • Migration and Borders
  • Visual and Media Studies

Please submit abstracts of 300 words to by November 30, 2019. Presentations may be conducted in English, Spanish, French, Italian, or Portuguese. In certain cases, submissions in English will be preferred, in order to facilitate the creation of panels based on common subject areas rather than language concentration.Panel proposals and roundtables are welcomed and should include the information below from each participant. We also welcome creative writing submissions in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese. (PDF)

Please submit a single-page Word document.


Email Address:


Classification: (Professor, Ph.D. Student, M.A. Student, Post-doc, independent researcher, etc.)

Presentation Title:

Abstract (300 words, single-spaced):

Relevant Time Period(s) and Country(-ies):

Keywords (up to six):