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Call for papers for the UCL English Annual Conference “A Symposium on Clouds“.


UCL (London), 22 May 2020.


We invite participants across the humanities to consider the interstitial nature of the cloud in culture, both as natural object and artificial media ecology. How do the clean lonely clouds pootling through Wordsworth’s Romantic poetry relate to the “asbestos-y texture” of Tan Lin’s millennial urban skyscapes? Do the toxic textures of the Anthropocene influence contemporary ecocritical ideas like “solastalgia”? Might “cyberspace”, which, as Joanna Walsh puts it, “is an old-fashioned word for the Net, which has evaporated into the Cloud”, relate to Virginia Woolf’s view that in modernity even “the air seemed to become fibrous”?

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

information flow in the digital age, cloud technologies and media ecologies; clouds in the visual arts; cloud imagery in early modern and religious texts; ecocritical takes on clouds and weather; Word Clouds: the utility or limitations of corpus stylistics; cloud as metaphor; unstructured feelings and/or affect.


Abstracts of 250 words should be emailed to by 5pm, 28 February 2020. Please include a brief biographical note.

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