Grad Student Conference


Connections in the (Post-)Anthropocene


Conference Date: TBA in 2026
Where: Hybrid Conference - Online and in-person 
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2024 

In the Anthropocene era, the pace of human development outpaces that of natural evolution, disrupting ecological balance and transforming humans into a potent geological force. Frequently, humans reduce the complexity of other life forms or natural entities on the planet, treating them as mere kinds of resources or energy used by humans without adequate consideration for the future. This perceived human superiority creates a dichotomy between humans and non-humans, further influencing knowledge production dynamics. However, the boundaries between nature and culture have been blurred because of the advancement in science and technology, and nature is not something out there, as a negligible externality.

Consequently, scholars across humanities and social sciences disciplines are re-examining the intricate interplay between humans and nature. Literary Studies, Applied Linguistics, Translation Studies, and Cultural Studies are engaging in nuanced discussions on topics ranging from amplifying the voices of non- humans to redefining the human-nature relationship and grappling with the impacts of technology on human identity as well as nature.

In this year's conference, our aim is to delve into the ever-changing dynamic between humans and non-humans, encompassing the natural environment, animals, technologies, and even potential extraterrestrial life. Our focus will be on comprehending the diverse array of emerging properties and challenges inherent in this relationship between humans and non-humans. Why is it important for us to understand the post-Anthropocene? Where do humans stand in the post-Anthropocene in relation to non-humans? How can humanities and social science contribute to addressing the current crisis concerning the long-term survival of both humans and non-humans? What approaches can be employed to tackle the post-anthropocentric perspectives?

The 2024 Modern Languages and Cultural Studies Graduate Student Conference invite proposals for conference papers from a variety of fields, such as Literary Studies, Linguistics, Translation Studies, Cultural Studies and Media Studies, and perspectives that engage with subtopics including, but not limited to:

  • Ecological translation
  • Biosemiotics and translation
  • Eco-linguistics
  • Ecocriticism
  • Methodologies, concepts and case studies in digital humanities
  • The identity of humans
  • Indigenous peoples and nature
  • Eco-philosophy and literature
  • Eco-tourism; ecological travelogue
  • Posthumanism
  • Darwinism
  • Animal, nature, and ecology in literature and media
  • Affections of animals in literature and media
  • Technology and humans
  • Technology and environment
  • Ethics in the post-Anthropocene
  • Politics and nature

We also invite artistic contributions include:

  • Poetry reading
  • Performance art
  • Comics
  • Storytelling
  • Visual Arts
  • Multimedia
  • Singer/Songwriting

The conference will be held in hybrid form, both in person and online in 2026 (TBA). In- person sessions will be held at the University of Alberta. We will be accepting academic and creative contributions that explore, from a new and critical perspective, connections in the (post-)Anthropocene found in communities, cultures, languages, artistic works; The goal of the conference is to question, challenge, and interpret their significance. We await submissions from various disciplines across the Social Sciences and Humanities, including but not limited to fields such as Literary Studies, Applied Linguistics, Translation, and Cultural Studies.

Submission Guidelines:
Those interested are invited to submit an abstract of 250 words maximum and a biography of 100 words by December 31, 2024, at 23:59 (Mountain Time), to Acceptance will be based on content quality, originality, and academic significance

Submissions should include the title of the paper and the author’s name, affiliations, and contact information.

Academic presentations will be 15 minutes in length, followed by a 5-minute Q&A session. Artistic contributions can be submitted individually or in addition to academic papers, and will be showcased during our Creative Night.

If you have any questions, please contact the organizer, Hongyang Ji,