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CFP: L.M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature (updated)

L.M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature
9th International Conference
University of Prince Edward Island
23-27 June 2010

At the ninth biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute (University of Prince Edward Island), we invite you to consider L.M. Montgomery and the matter of nature. In recent years, the matter of nature has been the subject of much contested debate and theoretical innovation across disciplines. While multiple romanticisms have informed L.M. Montgomery’s passionate views of the natural world, her complex descriptions show her writing both of and for nature. This complexity extends as well to the depiction of cultural and gendered mores (domesticity, friendship, faith, community, biological determinism) as both natural and cultural. In all its forms, nature situates binary relationships that are often represented as hierarchical and oppositional: nature and culture; child and adult; animal and human; female and male; emotion and reason; body and mind; traditional and modern; raw and cooked; wild and domestic; rural and urban.

We invite the submission of abstracts that consider these issues in relation to Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, life writing, photographs, and scrapbooks, as well as the range of adapted texts in the areas of film, television, theatre, tourism, and online communities. Possible questions include:

  • What are the effects of the representations and images of nature that are crafted and circulated in Montgomery’s work?
  • How do Montgomery’s narrations of nature shape children and adults within and across cultures?
  • How do particular constructions of nature work in fiction, across such differences as gender, race, culture, and class?
  • What are the cultural and historical contingencies surrounding nature in Montgomery’s work?
  • What does it mean to consider Montgomery as a “green” writer (Doody) or as a proto-ecofeminist (Holmes)?
  • What do Montgomery’s provocative readings of nature offer us at a time of environmental crises and ecological preoccupations?
  • How does the notion of “nature” impact some of the most central preoccupations in Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, and life writing (the nature of war, of mental illness, of cultural inheritance, of conflict, of same-sex friendships and of heterosexual marriage, of cultural memory, of national ideologies)?

Abstracts should clearly articulate the paper’s argument and demonstrate familiarity with current scholarship in the field (please see for an updated bibliography). For more information, please contact the conference co-chairs directly: Dr. Benjamin Lefebvre ( and Dr. Jean Mitchell ( All proposals will be vetted blind and should therefore contain no identifying information.

Please submit one-page abstracts and short biographical sketches by 15 September 2009 to the L.M. Montgomery Institute’s OCS page (

If you’ve already submitted an abstract for the 2010 Conference, please verify that it has been received by e-mailing the director at All those who were registered through the 2008 OCS page have been made authors and should go to to submit their abstract. If you were registered but have forgotten your password, please use the Reset Password link located here: If this is your first time using OCS for the L.M. Montgomery Conference, then please register yourself as an author here: (make sure to select the “Create account as Author: Able to submit items to the conference” option at the bottom of the registration form).

The 2010 Conference planning is well underway so please be on the lookout for future emails with details concerning accommodations and other events. And as always, if you have any problems, do not hesitate to contact us at

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