Véronique Bragard: The Smell of Written Waste

Date: November 8
Place and time: 13:00-17:00, University of Leiden, Leiden: Lipsiusgebouw, zaal 308.
Contact: i.hoven@hum.leidenuniv.nl

To everyone interested in the environmental humanities in the Benelux and the Benelux Association for the Study of Art, Culture and the Environment (BASCE)

Dear Friends of BASCE,

Although it’s been a while since we last met, a steering committee has been planning BASCE’s next step and it’s high time we met again as a group!

A rapidly expanding field

As you know, BASCE was launched in June 2012 by few scholars who are passionate about the expanding the environmental humanities in the Benelux. A lot has happened since then and our field is rapidly expanding. The number of people in our region who are working on ecocritical and related topics is steadily increasing. This year, for example, Ja Natuurlijk in The Hague hosted an international event with Timothy Morton as the keynote speaker. Graduate events and seminars with ecocritical themes and panels are also being organized throughout the Benelux, such as the Natureculture theme at the NOISE-Summer School at Utrecht University, the Cultural Politics of Catastrophe workshop at Leiden University, and the panel on ecological time at Time and Temporality MDRM conference at KU Leuven. (Learn more about these developments in the Benelux on the BASCE website at www.hum.leiden.edu/lucas/basce)

A more structured approach for BASCE

Over the summer, the BASCE-steering committee decided that we should have a more structured program for BASCE. We therefore intend to apply for a grant from the NWO to fund three annual BASCE events (2014-2016 or 2015-2017). These BASCE conferences will help us more effectively realize avenues for research in the environmental humanities in the Benelux. Our new approach will also entail producing one or two publications. Over the longer term, we hope to build on the findings of the three conferences by creating a local community to support a more ambitious international research proposal, which may result in several PhD and postdoctoral positions.

An open debate on November 8, 2013

We will dedicate our next meeting, on Friday, November 8, at 13h at Leiden University, to an open debate of the contents of our first NWO-application. We would very much like to hear your views and suggestions. We are organizing a second meeting in January 2014, at which the revised application will be discussed. The application needs to be submitted before March 1, 2014.

Everyone who wants to help build the future of the environmental humanities in the Benelux is welcome to join the debate. Please just let us know if you plan to attend the meeting on Friday, November 8, or if you wish to share your views over email or Skype. We will send you the draft proposal upon request.

Building the BASCE community by sharing our work

The November 8 meeting is also meant to build the BASCE community through discussions of our own work as well as sharing news and developments. Véronique Bragard (Université de Louvain) will therefore open the meeting with a lecture on her current research in the issue of waste. You may have seen in the latest issue of ISLE that Véronique was guest-editor of an excellent and thought-provoking “cluster” of essays on waste and garbage. You are very welcome to listen to her talk, even if you cannot stay for the debate on the application afterwards. We suggest some extra reading materials for the discussion.

You will find the complete program for the upcoming BASCE meeting below. We look forward to seeing you on November 8!

Best regards,

Isabel Hoving

Program Friday November 8, 2013. 13-17h

Faculty of the Humanities, Leiden University

(Room to be announced)

13.00 Welcome, coffee, tea

13.15 Véronique Bragard. “The smell of written waste: the agency, uncanny threat and aesthetics of waste in contemporary graphic novels”

Reading materials

Boxall, Peter. “There is no Lack of Void: Waste and Abundance in Beckett and DeLillo.”  SubStance 116, 37.2 (2008): 56-70.

Iovino, Serenella & Opperman, Serpil. “Theorizing Material Ecocriticism: a Diptych.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment 19.3 (Summer 2012): 448-75.

Scanlan, John. On Garbage. London: Reaktion books, 2005 (Selection; optional)

(We will send you digital versions as soon as you let us know you will attend the meeting)


14.30 Break

15.00 News, events, developments: everyone is invited to share their projects and plans

15.30 Presentation of BASCE’s plans for the next three years followed by an open discussion of the draft of the NWO-application

16.45 Agreements and action points

17.00 Drinks