EVENT Mar 07
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Toxic Ecologies of the Global South: Panel, NeMLA 2024 (Panel)

Boston, MA
Organization: The 55th Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association
Event: Panel
Categories: Postcolonial, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Genre & Form, Popular Culture, Literary Theory, World Literatures, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2024-03-07 to 2024-03-10 Abstract Due: 2023-09-30

Toxic Ecologies of the Global South: Panel, NeMLA 2024

Boston, MA, March 7-10, 2024, https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention.html

Shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs (less developed countries)? … I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that… I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted. (Lawrence Summers, chief economic advisor to the IMF, 1991).


This panel hopes to critically engage with what Sourit Bhattacharya theorized as “the toxic ecologies of the Global South” that reflects “the disposable nature of life and living in this part of the world” as well as the “socio-economic and physio-ecological conditions characteristics of the Global South” (222, 225). Given the saturation of Global South ecologies with wastes, toxins, and pollutants; I invite contributors to examine the implications of unprecedented exposure to toxic contamination and pollution from various sources, such as industrial pollution, chemical and electronic waste, fossil fuel extractions, and climate change in the Global South.

The central questions for potential contributors are: How have Anglophone and postcolonial literary writers, artists, and thinkers theorized the implications of toxicity and environmental violence in the Global South? What are the social, health, and environmental consequences of environmental pollution and toxicity to human and non-human beings in the ecosystem? In what ways can we make legible the invisible violence of toxicity and environmental violence? How can literary and creative forms help us to imagine forms of living ethically and sustainably in a toxic saturated world? 

I also invite contributors to investigate the intersection between toxicity and environmental degradation in the Global South to show the uneven experiences of climate change and environmental degradation. By examining the ways in which various writers, artists, and activists engage with the (bio)politics of toxicity and its relations to ecology; I invite panelists to interrogate the complex relationship between colonialism, environmental (in)justice, capitalism, race, and gender.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words and a short bio by September 30, 2023, and should be submitted through NeMLA's submission portal: https://cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/20500

Outstanding proposals will be invited to contribute to a planned special issue of The Global South on “Toxic Ecologies and Energy Conflict in the Global South.”

Please send questions to Chijioke Onah at cko34@cornell.edu




Chijioke K Onah