Call for papers :“No meaning without a frame”

April 22-26, 2014, “Framing Nature: Signs, Stories, and Ecologies of Meaning”

Deadline for sending abstracts : 01 October 2013

This conference is organized by the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and the Environment (EASLCE) biennial conference and hosted by the Department of Semiotics at the University of Tartu in cooperation with the Department of Literature and Theatre Research at the University of Tartu, Estonian Semiotics Association and the Centre for Environmental History (KAJAK).The conference is supported by European Union European Regional Development Fund (CECT, EU/Estonia), Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics at the University of Tartu and Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.

The conference will  explore the figure of the frame as an ecological concept which draws attention to the way in which meanings are embedded in and sustained by environments that are at once material and semiotic. At the same time, it invites a closer examination of the strategies of framing and contextualization that are constitutive of ecocritical research, as well as a comparison of ecocritical methodologies with those of neighbouring disciplines in the environmental humanities. In turning their attention to the way in which natural environments and human cultures have mutually shaped each other, ecocriticism and environmental history can be said to have subverted the traditional hierarchy which subordinates the frame to that which it frames, in a manner reminiscent of Derrida’s logic of the supplement. The issue of framing immediately opens up a host of profound theoretical questions for the environmental humanities.

In framing nature, human collectives also frame themselves: throughout modern history, particular landscapes were idealized as stages for the drama of national self-identification – often by eliding the material processes which had shaped them. Conflicts between different peoples or social groups over the use of natural resources are always also conflicts between different ways of framing nature, which can be told as stories of material and semiotic exclusion. In this context, the translation and transformation of nature representations across linguistic and cultural boundaries, as well as across different genres and media, gains particular salience.

For more information about the conference :

By Marion Wolfer

Marion Wolfer is a French Master student in cultural policy and management at the European Institute of Paris 8 University. She is working on cultural networks. She did an internship at Cutura21 for three months. Marion Wolfer est une étudiante de master I en politiques et gestion de la culture à l´Institut d´études européennes de l´Université de Paris 8. Elle travaille sur les réseaux culturels et a effectué un stage de trois mois au sein de Cultura21.