The disruptive agency of non-humans compels scholars to re-think human/non-human relationships and re-conceptualize western concepts of modernity. This conference seeks to address the ways in which literature can bring non-human agency to the fore. We want to analyze the ways in which literature establishes the non-human environment as a dynamic configuration that not only surrounds humans, but which is constituted by and dependent on non-human actors. Proceeding from the assumption that humans only exist in their relation to non-human agencies interacting with them, this conference addresses the following questions: How can a thinking beyond the primacy of the human propel the acknowledgement of new forms of relationality? What are the ethical implications of decentering the human as the predominant unit of reference (Braidotti 2013)? How can literature avoid anthropomorphizing non-human agents?

Taking our cue from these questions among others, we will critically re-evaluate the ethical responsibility of literature and its potential to re-negotiate the relationship between the human and the nonhuman.

If you are interested in contributing, please send an abstract (300 words) for a 20-minute presentation including a short biographical note (50 words) and the topic of your current project to us no later than March 30, 2018. The conference language is .

Contact Information:

Bettina Burger (
Yvonne Kappel (
Judith Rahn (

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