Roundtable: Altered Ecologies, Evolving Literary Forms

Please join us for a roundtable discussion on “Altered Ecologies, Evolving Literary Forms,” to be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 (Directors Row 5).


This roundtable takes as its object of study the dynamic relationship between literary form and environmental transformation in early America. Participants’ position papers address a range of genres, geographies, and methodologies to establish a series of organizing questions:

  • How do particular methods or texts shed light on the relationship between changing landscapes and literary forms?
  • How are standard narratives in early American literary history altered through an attention to environmental transformation?
  • What relationships do specific literary forms associated with the Americas (jeremiads, sermons, slave narratives, and captivity narratives) draw between human subjects and the physical environment?
  • How do marginalized populations encounter, resist, or participate in environmental transformations?

To provide a venue for conversation and interaction between participants and audience members, roundtable participants have prepared short position papers available at


Molly Ball, Eureka College, “Worms in The Sugar Cane

Joshua Bartlett, University at Albany, State University of New York, “Samson Occom’s Hymnodic Ecology”

John Easterbrook, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Chair)

Lucas Hardy, Youngstown State University, “‘And Cull Them Out of the Fire’: Scorched Earth in the Pequot War”

Rob McLoone, Lansing Community College, “Genres of the Plantation Economy”

Matt Suazo, Kenyon College, “The Mire of Garcilaso’s Florida: Early American Race and Landscape in Translation”


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