112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

Biocentrism and Nonhuman Ethics

Session Chair: 
Melissa Brotton, La Sierra University
Session 1: Friday 9:00-10:30am
RCC Meeting Room 5


  1. Julie Gafney, CUNY Graduate Center
    This paper will investigate the uncomfortable coexistence and mutual influence of the human realm and the Otherworld, focusing on Orfeo and Launfal, but drawing also on the French Arthurian tradition. Ultimately, I will demonstrate that the traumatic and cathartic power of the Otherworld cannot indicate an interaction with something foreign and wild, but rather stems from the Otherworld’s status as imaginary origin, and as such, as something all too human.  
  2. Cassia Gammill, Portland State University
    Using Marian Engel's 1976 novel, Bear, as primary text, this paper considers ethical problems of attempts to read and interpret nonhuman subjects in terms produced by anthropocentric and heterosexist discourses, while examining the relationships between these. Approaches and explores ethical human/nonhuman relationality, eroticism, and forms of touch from a queer ecological perspective guided by prior work on erotogenic ethics, abjection, and queer sociability.
  3. Ruoji Tang, Cornell University
    This paper argues that the current failure to cultivate a more ecologically sustainable politics reflects the fundamental difficulty in distinguishing between political power and the effects of power. Through readings of Shelley’s Queen Mab and The Mask of Anarchy, I make a case for poetry’s ability to reflect the limits and paradoxes of power to provide an alternative understanding of a nonanthropocentric environmentalism.
Session Cancelled: