We invite you to join us for the first Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) graduate student symposium at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor from October 21st – 22nd, 2016. Leading up to ASLE’s 2017 biennial in Detroit, the symposiumToxic Borders and Bondages: Intersecting Ecology with Capitalism, Racism, Heteropatriarchy and (Dis)possessionwill offer graduate students the opportunity to explore the following questions:

How does the discourse and lived reality of “toxicity” redefine the borders of mind, body, and community? And indeed, what becomes coded as “toxic” and what does not? Through a provocation to erect borders and a simultaneous admonition that they will fail, the notion of toxicity urges critical inquiry into how barriers of aversion are both configured and undermined. At this symposium, we aim to collaborate across discourses and develop a space for dialogue about how toxicity broadly writ has become discursively bonded to certain natural, human, and national bodies in order to uphold systems of colonization and imperialism, racism and white supremacy, capitalist accumulation and dispossession, patriarchy and compulsory heterosexuality, and other regimes of hierarchical oppression.

Keynote addresses will be given by environmental justice scholars Julie Sze from the University of California, Davis and John Gamber from Columbia University. In order to participate, please send a paper abstract of up to 300 words to aslegrad2016@gmail.com byMay 25th, 2016. Please visit https://aslegrad2016.wordpress.com for more information.