British Romantic Writing and Environmental Catastrophe

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About the Conference

Mediating Climate Change is an international, multidisciplinary conference taking place at Leeds University, 4th-6th July 2017.

Use the tabs above to see our Call for Papers and Programme, and for details about registration, accommodation, and travelling to Leeds.

For any enquiries, email Tess at


Call for Papers

Click here to read the Call for Papers as a PDF

Second Call for Papers: Mediating Climate Change

University of Leeds

Tuesday 4th – Thursday 6th July 2017

Confirmed speakers: Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin (Leeds); Professor Nigel Clark (Lancaster); Professor Alexandra Harris (Liverpool); Professor Mike Hulme (King’s College London); Dr Adeline Johns-Putra (Surrey); Professor Toby Miller (Loughborough); Professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood (Illinois)

Our experience of climate change is always mediated. Its effects are encountered through changing weather patterns, including the storms, floods, and droughts that afflict communities across the world. They are also encountered through different forms of representation: a novel imagining a desiccated future Earth; a television documentary about coral bleaching; a graph of rising global temperatures. Researchers increasingly understand climate change as a cultural and political issue, and are concerned with the ways in which it is mediated in different contexts, and to different audiences.

This major environmental humanities conference will cross disciplines and periods to analyse the ways in which human beings have tried to make sense of climate change. What difficulties are there in representing climate change? How has it been debated in the past? What new ways of exploring and mediating climate change are emerging as we face an uncertain future?

We welcome proposals of around 250 words for twenty-minute papers suitable for an interdisciplinary audience. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of climate change in literature, film, the media, and the arts
  • Climate change and cultural theory (e.g. posthumanism, new materialism)
  • Historical constructions of climate change
  • Climate change and the Anthropocene
  • The mediation of climate science
  • Scales of mediation/climate modelling
  • Climate change as a culturally mediated and contingent concept
  • The construction of climate change within academic discourse
  • Climate change and consumerism (e.g. greenwash)
  • The psychology of climate change (e.g. disavowal, denial, scepticism, affirmation, optimism)
  • Climate change in political discourse
  • Climate change and the ethics of representation
  • Mediation and climate change activism

We also welcome proposals for complete panels and for presentations/panels using non-standard formats. The deadline for proposals is 15 January 2017. Please use the conference email address for all correspondence and proposals:

Conference organisers: David Higgins and Tess Somervell

Conference advisory team: Jeremy Davies, Dehlia Hannah, Graham Huggan, Sebastien Nobert, Chris Paterson, Lucy Rowland, Stefan Skrimshire, Kerri Woods

This conference is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through a Leadership Fellowship awarded to Dr Higgins.



The final conference programme is now available:

Click here to read the conference programme as a PDF





Registration for Mediating Climate Change is now closed.




Mediating Climate Change will be held in University of Leeds School of Music, 4 Cavendish Road, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.

The University is located close to Leeds city centre, just a short bus or taxi journey (or a 20-minute walk) from the Leeds train station. Directions to the University can be found here. The School of Music is on the East side of the campus (see map).

Getting to Leeds

By Air:
Leeds is served by two main airports: Leeds Bradford and Manchester. Regular flights are available from a large number of European cities, as well as cities further afield. Leeds Bradford airport is approximately 7 miles away from the University, so easily commutable by taxi. There are bus services between the airport and Leeds city centre (details here). There are direct (and indirect) rail services between Manchester airport and Leeds (1hr 15min), as well as between London Kings Cross and Leeds (2hr 30min). Doncaster Sheffield airport is also accessible from Leeds via train and shuttle bus (1hr 3min) (changing at Doncaster).

By Train:
Leeds is well-connected by rail, with a fast connection to London via the East Coast line. Details of train information and timetables can be found at National Rail Enquiries.

By Road:
Leeds is linked to the M1 and M62. If you are using satellite navigation our address details for the main entrance to our site (close to the School of English) are as follows:

University of Leeds
Woodhouse Lane
(NB: The street listing can appear as Cavendish Road in some navigation systems)

Parking on campus is unlikely to be available except for disabled ‘blue badge’ holders. If you are a blue badge holder you are advised to enter the campus via the main barrier on Woodhouse Lane to show your badge. You can then be directed to the nearest available disabled parking bay to the area you are visiting. Blue badge holders do not need to pay to park on campus.

There are various council- and privately owned car parks close to the university, as well as on-street metered bays. Free on-street parking is not available in the centre of Leeds. In general, we would advise delegates to use public transport if at all possible.

Carbon offsetting

Climate change researchers are faced with the peculiar ethical conundrum that the work that we do, however positive its impacts, inevitably produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and therefore contributes to the phenomenon that we are trying to address. We therefore must face up to an intensified version of the problem faced by all relatively wealthy environmentally-conscious people of how to live and work as ethically as possible in a carbon-intensive economy.

Academic conferences are a considerable source of carbon emissions, particularly through the flights taken by delegates. For some people, carbon offsetting is valuable as one of a variety of measures to tackle climate change; for others (including many environmental organisations), it feeds the myth that we can carry on business as usual.

It is not for us as conference organisers to advise delegates on the impossible moral calculations of the Anthropocene! But we would encourage you to at least consider offsetting your travel emissions using an accredited provider.

Staying in Leeds

Due to several large conferences and events taking place in Leeds in July, local hotels and B&Bs will be under considerable pressure. We therefore encourage you to book your accommodation as soon as possible. Please let us know if you have any difficulties in arranging travel or accommodation.

Leeds has many options for accommodation, many of which are in the city centre and a 20-minute walk from the university. Here are some suggestions:

Premier Inn Leeds City Centre Arena – Very close to the University, with rooms from £29 per night.

Ibis Leeds Centre – Close to the University campus, with rooms from £40 per night if booked in advance.

Travelodge Leeds Centre – Further from the University than the Ibis, but well-located for exploring the city centre and not far from Leeds train station. Rooms from £19 per night.

Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre – Fairly close to both the University campus and the city centre, with rooms from around £70 per night.

The Queens – Four-star hotel in a great city centre location, next door to the train station. Prices are variable, from £60 per night if booked in advance.

Park Plaza – A four-star hotel opposite the train station and overlooking city square, with rooms from around £70 if booked well in advance.

Quebecs – Boutique hotel in the city centre, very close to the train station. Prices here start at £85 per night if booked well in advance.

The Met – Four-star, grade II listed hotel close to the train station. Rooms from £66 per night if booked well in advance.

There are also several hotels and B&Bs in the Headingley and Hyde Park areas close to the University. These are variable in quality, but often very reasonably priced. You can find a list of some of these here.




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