Scholars Explore the Relationship Between Nature and Narrative
The Department of English hosted the interdisciplinary conference, “Nature and Narrative,”
bringing together scholars from across the globe to discuss the interconnectivity
of story and environment.
Organized by SLU-Madrid professor Ryan Day, Ph.D., the all-day event was characterized
by a ground-breaking, respectful and profoundly multifarious focus. With participants
hailing from Italy, Spain, the U.S., Germany, Czech Republic, Morocco, the U.K and
even India, the diversified atmosphere echoed the very identity of SLU’s Madrid Campus.
Dr. Day, whose fields of research and expertise align with the topics handled at the
conference, commented, “With discussions ranging from ecocriticism, ecofeminism, ethnobotanist,
biosemiotics, biopoetics, animal studies and umwelt building, it was a day in which
the attendees sought to create bridges through the anthropocene and explored pedagogical
methods to bring students closer to the world they occupy through writing.”
During the the Ecological Humanities panel, an audience member posed the following
question to the board: Is conservation still relevant? Imana Pal, Ph.D ventured a
thought-provoking response, “Yes, but it is more of a learning experience than an
The day continued to invite conversation about topics that are difficult, such as
the future of the environment, psychology and human-nature relationships; Tiara Roxanne’s
utterance of “dehisence” as an alternative solution to healing through splitting was
evocative, while Dr. Kevin Moore delved into the complexity of the overused and oftentimes
overlooked literary term of stream of consciousness, tracing it back to William James
and his proposition of a stream of thoughts flowing freely along images that are steeped
into our mind.
Both the English department and the conference organizers extend their thanks to the
participants who contributed to making this conference a success.