Environmental Narratives: History, Memory, Trauma

21 – 22th April 2023
Calonia, University of Turku

Environmental Narratives: History, Memory, Trauma is a two-day symposium of presentations and discussions on experiencing, narrating, and remembering places in natural environments. The symposium’s theme is closely related to the interdisciplinary research conducted in SELMA, which explores the interrelations between storytelling, experientiality, and cultural memory. We are especially interested in contributions examining traumatic histories of natural sites, people’s ways of experiencing and narrating specific places in nature, memories of water, forests and other natural environments, water and forests as poetic spaces of mind and memory, and representations of nature and the environment in literature and other media, and of the environmental change in the age of the Anthropocene. The concepts we are interested in exploring range from Simon Schama’s “landscape and memory” to Timothy Morton’s “ecological trauma”.

Environmental Narratives: History, Memory, Trauma

21–22 April 2023, University of Turku, Finland
Friday, 21 April (Calonia Building, Lecture Room Cal2)

Registration for the event is open!


Friday, 21 April (Calonia Building, Lecture Room Cal2)

10:15–11:45 Opening of the Symposium and Keynote (Chair: Markku Lehtimäki)

Helena Duffy (University of Wrocław): We Are Not out of the Woods Yet: The Forest as a                     Site of Polish Holocaust Memory in Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida


12:00 Lunch break


13:00–14:30 Session I (Chair: Helena Duffy)

Hanna Meretoja (University of Turku): Narrative and Water in Jeanette Winterson’s          Lighthousekeeping

Beata Nessel-Łukasik (The Maria Grzegorzewska University): Parallel Stories

Faeze Rezaii (University of Turku): Lifeless Spaces and the Ecological Trauma in “The                      Martian Way”


14:30 Coffee


15:00–16:30 Session II (Chair: Hanna Meretoja)

Niina Hanhinen (University of Turku): Representation and Presence of Landscape in Krug’s      Heimat and Moisseinen’s The Isthmus

Inna Sukhenko (University of Helsinki): Narrating Tierratrauma in Nuclear Fictional                Writings: From Eco-trauma to Permaculture Ethics

Per Mendoza (The University of Iceland): Or(d) er død(e): Apocalypse, Decreation, and                   Poiesis in Rakel Haslund-Gjerrild’s Alle himlens fugle


Saturday, 22 April (Calonia Building, Lecture Room Cal2)


10:15–11:45 Session III (Chair: Markku Lehtimäki)

Joseph Ngoaketsi (University of South Africa): Dlomo dam-leeuwkuilpan: A Revered Site                 of the 21 March 1960 Sharpeville Massacre

Ananya Roy (University of Delhi): Hell on the Hills: An Anatomical Study of the All-                 pervasive Wound of Kashmiri Women

Kanchan Panday (Jawaharlal Nehru University): Social Media and Collective Trauma:             Conceptualising the Role of Twitter in the #MeToo Movement


12:00 Lunch break


13:00–15:00 Session IV (Chair: Karoliina Lummaa)

Lotta Luhtala (University of Turku): Non-human Trauma and the Anthropocene

Mateusz Kucab (Jagiellonian University): More Than Human? Biomemory and Biofantasy                     in Polish and American Female Poetry

Sara Helin-Long (University College Cork): The Water Body: A Layered Reading of The     Pearl Button


15:00 Coffee


15:30–17:00 Session V (Chair: Helena Duffy)

Eeva Kuikka (Tampere University): Narrating the Nexus of Non-human Environment and    Collective Memory in Yeremei Aipin’s Khanty, or the Star of the Dawn

Tsira Kilanava (Ilia State University) & Irakli Khvedelidze (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi           State University): Representation of the Black Sea and Displacement in Post-Soviet                  Georgian Literature (Based on Texts Depicted the War of Abkhazia)

Gustavo Gutierrez Hernandez (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt): Back and         Forth with the Tides: The Sea in La Mucama Ominculé


17:00 Conclusion