Donnerstag 29. September 2022 - Sonntag 02. Oktober 2022

Romantic Ecologies

Konferenz an der Universität Augsburg

A ‘proto-ecological’ movement, Romanticism’s critical explorations of the complex (inter)dependencies between humankind, nature, the environment and aesthetics seem to be relevant as never before. Over the last decades, pressing environmental issues aggravated to the point that scholars from various disciplines diagnosed that we are living in a new geological (human made) epoch, the so-called “Anthropocene”. Scrutinizing Romanticism’s strong affinity towards environmental issues allows for an insight into the fragile and precarious interrelations between various ecosystems, human agency and (post-)industrial society.

This conference aims to go beyond traditional (eco)critical paradigms and to reconsider the relation between humankind, nature / the environment / ecology and aesthetics in (and through) Romanticism both in (meta-)theory and practice. With our focus on “Romantic Ecologies”, understood as a wide and plural concept, we invite a multicity of theoretical approaches and readings. This broad, metaphorical conception of ecology may thus encompass political and socio-historical issues, such as the impact of ecology / the environment / biosystems in the contexts of (post)colonialism and (trans)atlantic dialogues alongside societal ideas in the light of a re-evaluation of the relationship between humankind, the environment, sustainability and capitalism. Further focus areas comprise the role of various biosystems together with their (inter)dependencies and symbioses as well as aspects of non-human agency and materiality. Not least, we aim at revaluating the formal-aesthetic level, which has been largely neglected by classical ecocritical approaches to Romanticism, by encouraging readings and theories that center around the idea of sustainability and regeneration in / as art. This may include questions of autopoiesis, art as renewal (e.g. productive melancholia), sustainability / regeneration of genre(s), or aesthetic sustainability as manifested for example in structures of repetition and difference.

The conference will take place at the conference hotel Haus St. Ulrich from the 29th of September to the 2nd of October 2022.

The conference fee is 50 Euro. Please register via the following link. Registration ends on May 22nd.