The World We Have Imagined Conference

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The World We Have Imagined: Literature, Nature, and the Environment

International Conference

April 4-6, 2013

Southwestern College – Winfield, KS

  • Register Now! (Registration for Presenters only. Reduced rate by March 8, 2013)

Kansas has always been at the center of environmental issues in the United States. From the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the constant threat of tornado damage in the spring and summer, to the importance of the Ogallala Aquifer to Kansas’s agriculture and the state’s potential to harness wind power, Kansas is situated at the nexus of the powerful natural, environmental, and economic forces, making it the ideal location to host The World We Have Imagined: Literature, Nature, and the Environment conference.

The World We Have Imagined Conference provides an opportunity for US and international scholars to exchange ideas on the relationship between Literature, Nature, and the Environment. The conference papers will focus on the idea of the environmental imagination, imaginary worlds, and imagined futures.

Some of the areas that are going to be explored include:

  • Ecocritical approaches to literature
  • Nature Writing and other representation of the Environment
  • The Picturesque
  • Animals and Wildlife
  • The Environment Reimagined
  • Utopias and Dystopias
  • Urban Landscapes and the Environment
  • Climate and Weather
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental issues in the Mid-West
  • Local environmental narratives

Elizabeth Dodd

Keynote Lecture - Friday, April 5 at 8.30 am. (Mossman 101 - Southwestern College)

Elizabeth Dodd (Kansas State University – Manhattan, KS)
"Getting to the Point: Reading Deep Time in Inhabited Land"

Elizabeth Dodd, Professor of creative writing and literature at Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS), is the author of Horizon’s Lens and In the Mind’s Eye: Essays Across the Animate World, which won the Best Creative Book Award from the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment in 2009. She is also the author of Prospect: Journeys & Landscapes, which won the William Rockhill Nelson Best Nonfiction Book Award in 2003, and of two collections of poetry, Like Memory, Caverns, which won the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award in 1992, and Archetypal Light. Elizabeth has also written a critical book, The Veiled Mirror and the Woman Poet: H.D., Louise Bogan, Elizabeth Bishop, and Louise Gluck, and regularly publishes in the field of ecocriticism, with essays on Scott Russell Sanders, James Wright, Terry Tempest Williams, Michael S. Harper, as well as other topics. She is on the editorial board of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment and A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments, for which she is a regular columnist. Elizabeth is a KSU Distinguished Professor, has twice won the Stamey Award for outstanding teaching from KSU's College of Arts and Sciences, and has twice won the Kansas Arts Council's Fellowship in Poetry.

(Photo by David Rintoul)

Conference Program - All events take place in Mossman Hall, Room 101

WWHI April 4-6, 2013 - Schedule

Photography Competition - Deadline for entries March 25, 2013

The World We Have Imagined Conference is hosting a photography competition open to students, alumni, and the Southwestern College community. The photographer who best captures and communicates sustainability will be awarded a cash price of $75. Photographs will be displayed in the President's Gallery from April 1st until April 21st.

Entry Form - Photography Competition

Registration Fee (for paper presenters only)

Conference Fee: $85 USD
Reduced Conference Fee: $50 USD (Graduate students)

The cost of The World We Have Imagined conference is $85 for paper presenters. The registration fee covers the dining hall lunch tickets and coffee breaks. The registration price does not include housing. The conference dinner on Friday night costs an additional $15.

All the events on campus are free and open to the public.


There is limited housing available on campus. The cost for on-campus housing is $35 for each night with linens. If you mark interest in campus housing on the registration form you will be contacted by the Director of Camps & Conferences for availability and details.

For other housing options in Winfield, click here.


For More Information

The Call for Papers is now closed. For more information about the conference contact

Southwestern College is a member of AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education), ACUPCC (American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment), KACEE (Kansas Association for Conservation & Environmental Education), and the Kansas Green Schools Network.



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