Transcendentalist Geographies (Sponsored by the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society)

(Panel / In-Person)


Special Session
American / Theory and Science

Yves Gardes (Université de Rouen Normandie)
yves@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society invites proposals for a panel on Transcendentalist ways of thinking and writing place and space. Contributions may address how figures such as Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller (among many others) conceptualized imaginary and concrete landscapes, interrogated the nature–culture divide, or explored new notions of dwelling. Papers on aesthetic, political, social, theological, or philosophical dimensions of the topic are all welcome.

This panel, sponsored by the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, seeks to showcase research in nineteenth-century literature and culture that speaks to the PAMLA conference theme “Geographies of the Fantastic and the Quotidian.” The Transcendentalists pioneered new ways of thinking and writing place and space, redefining what we mean by domesticity, nature, and environment. We are interested in contributions that look at how figures such as Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller (among many others) conceptualized imaginary and concrete landscapes, interrogated the nature–culture divide, or explored new notions of dwelling. Papers may want to approach the theme from a variety of angles: aesthetic (e.g. nature-writing and ecopoetics), political (e.g. the Transcendentalists’ “abolitionist geographies” [Martha Schoolman]), social (e.g. the demographics of city vs. country), theological (e.g. pantheism and the location of the divine), or philosophical (e.g. nature and being). Proposals that address the post-Transcendentalist afterlives of such nineteenth-century themes are also welcome.