7th September 2006




The response of the literary world to environmental issues is the subject of a three-day conference taking place at the University of Lincoln this weekend.


The UK branch of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE UK) is to hold its biennial conference at the Brayford Pool campus from Friday until Sunday.


ASLE is a worldwide association of scholars and academics interested in and engaged in the interdisciplinary study of literature and the environment.


Over 40 speakers from all over the world will present papers on subjects from Canadian literature and contemporary British fiction to the representation of animals in literature and the media, responses to climate change and environmental degradation and education for sustainable development.


“Eco-criticism, or the study of the relationship between culture and the environment, is a relatively new and growing area of literary study as well as a pressing area of concern more generally,” said Rupert Hildyard, course leader for English at the University of Lincoln, who is organising the event.


“ASLE members are interested in all aspects of the relationship between human culture and the environment and we are expecting a stimulating academic conference.”


Speakers and delegates from Taiwan, Cyprus, Canada, Australia, the United States, Germany and Sweden as well as from the UK will discuss a range of topics dealing with human cultural responses to the environment, from ‘Dr Who’ to a fourth-century Chinese poet and from the 1960s ecological classic ‘Silent Spring’ to last year’s Booker-nominated novel ‘Never Let Me Go’.


“It is clear that environmental issues are as much to do with culture as with technology and that the main obstacles to dealing with the human impact on the biosphere are not technical but cultural,” says Dr Hildyard.


“We are hoping to make a useful contribution to the most pressing issue to face humanity – our right relation to the planet and to the beings with which we share it.”


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042             07843 658943             jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk