Monday, February 13, 2012

ASLE Proposal Abstracts

Having read the abstracts for the symposium, address any of the following questions that help you think about designing the program.  You don’t have to answer all of them, nor do you have to answer them individually.  The questions are meant to help you identify some themes and prepare to design the program.

·      Are there particular papers or presenters that might go well together on a panel? 
·      Are there particular papers or presenters that should not be scheduled at the same time?
·      What do you think about mixing or keeping separate readings (i.e. creative work) and scholarly papers?  Rarely are these two genres put on panels together, but what do you think?
·      What kinds of themes/questions do you see emerging, which might shape how you organize panels?
·      Given the symposium theme, what panel topics/themes do you think we absolutely must include in the schedule?
·      What questions do you have?


  1. Kristie Livingston

    Reading these ASLE abstracts definitely elucidates the enormous amount of theories, views, and paradigms in which to view these similar topics. It also reveals the dominant ideas of today. That is, that the human/nature dichotomy has got to go in order to reestablish the cultural imaginary of our relationship with the world. It will be interesting, and quite difficult, to group these presenters in the best possible way, especially since these abstracts share the same piece of paper with others, so you can’t lay them out in front of you side by side. At least this is the case for me because of the way my mind organizes these kinds of things.

    I definitely think some of these panels should be grouped unconventionally, but only when it makes sense to do so. There are a couple topics that can be grouped well with seemingly opposing backgrounds that I have noted on those abstracts. I believe one of the ones I am thinking of has a scholarly abstract, creative abstract, and another that is both, which I think would make a fantastic panel together.

    There were a few abstracts I was not sure how they fit exactly, but these were also typically on topics I am not very familiar with, such as the food movement and cyborgs. Also, Khadija Belfarhi’s “Post-Colonialism and Encultured literature: Forms and Variations of Nativity” had a note that said “no, off topic,” which seemed quite off topic, so I am assuming was included by mistake. Overall I think this conference will be very successful and I look forward to hearing about the highlights and hiccups along the way.

  2. It was fairly easy to pair up papers based on the abstracts; I saw a lot of common themes that kept popping up, like our relationship with animals, counterenvironmentalism, environmental justice, and sense of place. It was actually difficult for me to keep the creative and the scholarly works separate, since they were often so closely related, so I just went with what worked. This conference is all about the interdisciplinary, so I think it's a good thing to have unconventional panels if ASLE and ISLE want to live up to their name-sakes.

    There were two abstracts that I had problems fitting in anywhere. The first was by Khadija Belfarhi, which I wasn't even sure I was supposed to include. The second was the one on Native obesity, which is an interesting dilemma but doesn't seem to fit with any of the other themes of the conference.

    I also had a difficult time keeping to strictly three people in a panel, as there were often one or two extras who really should have gone with the original three, or panels with only two people who were very closely related. It will be good to see how everyone else organized the panels to see if we can fit them together better than I have.

    It was great reading all of these abstracts as I feel like I have a much better grasp of what this conference is all about. It will be much easier to plan for in the future, now that we more intimately know the attendees' interests and issues.

  3. Reading all of the abstracts was a very interesting way to see what will be discussed during the conference. I had a hard time trying to fit the abstracts into panels of only three people, simply because there were many papers that seemed to have a similar theme. The themes I noticed popping up most frequently were ones involving northern indigenous cultural issues, human/animal interactions and abstracts addressing the issue of a sense of place with and in nature.
    I think that mixing scholarly, literary and creative pieces together in panels would be a good way to get a mixed understanding of how northern environments and issues are being addressed, such as through the piece “Ice on the Stove; How Poetry Responds to the Northern Imagination”. Combined with Michael Burger’s law, literature and Ecocriticism piece on the opening of the Arctic regions for oil exploration and shipping lanes for example, we would be able to get a well rounded and interdisciplinary view of these issues.
    It still isn’t clear to me how we are going to organize these abstracts into well organized panels that will not overlap. Obviously I haven’t done this before, and there must be a way, but with so many similar topics it will be tricky. Some of the papers don’t refer to northern people or areas and I am not sure why they are included, like the paper discussing Mary Austin’s The Land of Little Rain, which discusses indigenous people and the landscape in southern California. Fitting papers like that into the list of panelists will be difficult but I’m interested to see how they’ll fit and contribute to the conversation.

  4. Liz Hendrix

    I think that most of these abstracts go together since most of the topics share similar themes. The most common theme that I found in the abstracts was of having a sense of place, and how this can shape how nature, policies and cultural paradigms are viewed. (Side note: I found that interesting because this theme is something that occurs often in the classes I have taken or am taking now. It made me feel more confident in my own work because it re-affirmed that I am on the same “brainwave” as other people in the field. )

    Most of the panels that I put together were done more conventionally-I made entire panels of poetry/art, that’s just how my brain organizes things. I think that if we chose to we could put panels together unconventionally, just as long as it wouldn’t ruin the integrity of the work.

    There are about 2 or 3 papers that I thought were off topic so I didn’t know where to put them. It could be that I just didn’t understand them or couldn’t see how they fit into the “big picture” of the conference. Overall, these papers hit at valid points and current issues and I look forward to hearing/seeing the presentations.

  5. Kahle Ess

    As I read the abstracts for the conference, I highlighted main ideas and concepts that represented possible panels. Like Kristie, I had a hard time actually placing papers on panels because they were double sided. Other than that, I think that creating a mix of creative and scholarly papers would go well together. I especially think that works based on film would go well with scholarly articles, so show the different ways of viewing and thinking about the issues. The poetry I feel may be good to have separate, but I am still not quite sure. Like the comments above, there were papers that I was not sure where to place them. The abstracts that talked about changing culture in southern regions I feel were possibly relevant, but only if placed perfectly among other speakers.

    There were definitely ideas that were fairly constant throughout. Major themes were the human and non-human dichotomy, and how the line is sometimes blurred. Environmental and social injustice to indigenous peoples was another theme that came out of the abstracts. Also, the ways in which people are interacting and thinking about nature, of course, is a prevalent theme.

    Like those above, I was glad to see what the panels will be including. Placing papers together on panels will be difficult, but I think with the class working together with ideas it will turn out great.

  6. Jen Smith
    While reading through the abstracts for the symposium, I kept thinking that there are some really smart ideas here from brilliant people all over the world and the ideas presented run in theme with the issues we found in our own readings of ISLE. I found the inclusion of global environmental issues appropriate as a reminder that the changing North is not changing in and of itself. Like my classmates have posted above, there are several papers that would be great to be read in succession. There are papers that support opposing ideas that might be fun to put together in a triplet as well.
    I have a few different ideas about putting together panels. I think a really interesting panel composition would be 3 different forms of media representations that have been analyzed, (eg. radio, film, poetry). I think that placing scholarly presentations along with creative nonfiction, poetry readings and visual presentations would imply the importance of all fields and encourage the involvement of many disciplines.
    Some papers are related more tangentially and would need to be placed more carefully. Yet, at the same time, there is a small part of me that thinks if you randomly chose panel placements for all of these papers, they would somehow make sense of one another. Not saying we should do that, but all of these topics seem so interrelated.
    Yet, I have never been to a symposium before, and I feel like I need to know more about how panel presentations are usually organized before I start suggesting panel particulars.

  7. Reading these abstracts made me wish I could be around for the symposium. There are a lot of really creative ideas in the papers. Many of the abstracts had some overlap that would allow them to sit nicely in a panel, while a few were a little more particular.
    I noticed a lot of overlap of "indigenous knowledge" and its crucial part in a better understanding of the environment. This in addition to papers addressing indigenous rights, and Lance potentially having a panel made me think there may need to be a few panels pertaining specifically to Alaska Native's, and others that address indigenous knowledge's importance.
    I think creative works would stand well on their own, especially works like poetry as there is a bit of a drastic shift from scholarly papers to poems.
    Media analyses would also be a good panel to separate out. There were a handful of movie, book, and news article analyses that might sit well together. In addition to media, papers relating to animals could potentially be isolated. There were a wide variety of papers addressing this topic and this may need more than one panel. It would also be interesting to have Amy Gullick go in succession with an animal panel.
    There are a lot of directions we could potentially go with panel separation. Agreeing on some blatant themes within the class would be a good start as i'm sure a lot of people analyzed a paper differently than i may have. Once we agree on these themes we can start spreading things out.

  8. There are so many interesting topics to be presented throughout the conference. It will be easy to put many of them together but there are a few that do not seem to fit easily with any others. Many of the poetry-based papers should be grouped together but there are a few of these that would fit with other genres as well. It may be stimulating to create panels that bridge the gaps between disciplines. There are also papers dealing with cinema that might do well to be grouped together. Some papers are more scientific and those authors might appreciate being in a science-based panel. (They might be discouraged if they were placed on a panel with the Borg paper’s author.)

  9. Sammy Becker

    Reading the abstracts has definitely helped me better understand the way in which these conferences come together to showcase a broad range of ideas. Reading the abstracts was fun and it was interesting to see all of the different ways that people from all over interpreted the call for papers. There were definitely some constant themes throughout the abstracts such as, indigenous views and interaction with the environment, globalization and it’s effects on the environment, human and non human animal interaction and relationships.

    It was pretty easy for me to group people together, or at least to recognize certain themes throughout many of the abstracts which I think will be easy for the creation of panels in our groups today. I think that we should most definitely include both scholarly and creative pieces together; I mean as we have spoken in class this is supposed to be an interdisciplinary studies field. I think that many of the creative and scholarly pieces share strong theme that will share a common idea, but it will be good to have it presented in a different way.

    I agree with others on the separation of the different types of media into their own panels. I am excited to see how others in class chose to separate the abstracts and too see the final proposed panels in class tonight.

  10. Brittney Seavey

    Reading the abstracts was a really great way to get a feel of what direction the conference is going. Like most of the class, I feel like most of the abstracts were dealing with Indigenous cultures and their adaptations due to climate change, sense of self and place in nature relating to humans and also animals.

    Although mixing creative and scholarly papers is not traditional, I think it could be a great way of keeping interest throughout the conference. But this should only take place if we can get really great combinations on each panel. I am excited to get with the rest of the class and see their ideas about who should go with who.

  11. The first question to ask when devising the panels of the ASLE 2012 convention should be in what spirit do we wish to conduct this meeting. Should we form a dialectic wherein authors and experts of opposing or at least contrasting views are included in the same panel or do we wish to present similar ideas together with the intent that they may build off each other.
    While the dialectic mode can be extremely helpful in approaching problems that are not essentially rational, it is difficult enough for one author to employ let alone a multitude. So the best option is to place supporting ideals together on the same panel and see if they can benefit from one another.
    If we expand our panel topics wide enough we should be able to incorporate all of our applicants into appropriate panels. Topics include; indigenous rights, indigenous relations to nature/animals, western/settler relations to nature/animals, western and indigenous cooperation/similarities in the changing arctic, ecofeminism, language’s effect on relation and connection to nature/home, travel writing, challenges in relation between indigenous and western ideals and the effect of climate change on settlers and first nations. \
    For instance Adamson, Monani and Corina Cook all discuss indigenous rights, both the applicable and the theoretical. Anson, Carroll and Corso’s works all concern themselves with the roles of women within cultures and how this, in turn, colors their relation to the natural world. Athens, Banting and Boykin all speak of the effects of language on self-identity and, specifically, animal identity. Authors such as Paepe and Capek are prime examples of travel writing though both possess a self-awareness and cultural awareness that many travel writers seem incapable of grasping.
    It is important to recognize the implications of holding this event in a land that was and currently is colonized. In acknowledging this we must place the views of the indigenous peoples in high regard. In understanding our locality we must recognize the importance of history, we must not let forgetfulness become a virtue here. Obviously this is a contentious issue and must be discussed in greater depth at a better time.
    The theme of this year’s ASLE convention deals with the transnational identity of the Arctic region. As such special import should be placed on the rapid changes occurring in this region. Boschman’s essay concerning 30 Days of Night and the arctic as “hellish” should prove thoroughly interesting in this regard. DeGeorge’s work on the nomadic tendencies of Arctic peoples, Braden’s search for a northern Geist and Banting’s animal topographies are all instrumental in illustrating a boundless, transnational north. Again it is important to recognize the colonial implications in these actions and not merely embrace travel and indigenous writing as similar.

    1. I published this at 12:38, not 1:38. May have a problem with one of my HOST files causing the site to believe my computer is in the Pacific time zone.

    2. From Terye Stephens

      I would like to group presentations in categories: Alaskan issues, Literary Work, Politics and Justice, Science and Practicality, Climate Change, and Global/International Issues in Local Environments.

      I'd particularly like to see Robert Boschman, Johanna Feier, Eric Hayne, Kyndra Turner and Robin Walz on a panel.

  12. LaTia Jackson

    Wow. I enjoyed reading these abstracts because the themes that I read frequently dealt with northern indigenous cultural issues and issues of a sense of place with nature. The other themes included: globalization, changing environment, and animal relations to nature. Right up my alley! I was confused and I am not quite sure how these papers should be placed in the panels because a few of them were intertwined with each other. So, the non- clear cut themes are the ones I had trouble with. I have never helped set up a conference like this but I think that scholarly articles should be placed together with more artistic film/poem of the same theme.

    The more consistent we are with the themes, the smoother the symposium will go. I have thought about just randomly placing papers, poems and films together. The plus side to that would be people really know what coming so, the interest will be there. Overall, in the big picture, all of the material relates to the major theme. I was wondering, is there a standard way of organizing a symposium?

  13. I think we should categorize these papers very clearly and put panels of similar topics together or close to each other so that participants can find one that they want to read easily, and they also can compare papers or posters which have similar topics.

    I categorized into Indigenous people and culture, Environmental Literature (response to environmental literature, poem), Scientific Topics (natural resources, ecology, Sustainability), and Recreation (sports, eco-tourism, outdoor activities).

    In addition, UAS professors and local presenters should place in different panel, because they have more knowledge about Juneau area, and I think participants want to read them together.