“America Gone Wild”


April 29-30, 2022

“America Gone Wild” seeks to explore the interpretative scope of American wildness and wilderness to its fullest extent. Big environmental concerns, climate change and rewilding will be prominent in discussions, but so will be the phenomenal capacity for Americans to run amok, whether taking to the streets or chasing Bigfoot. We will think about wilderness as a sacred space, wilderness as a shrinking space, an imagined wilderness, simulated wilderness, a fracked wilderness, the political wilderness, and all manner of Americas and Americans gone wild.



“America Gone Wild”

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“Wildness and Indigenous American Futures”

“In wildness is the preservation of the world” said Henry David Thoreau, but was he right? Does the idea of the wild instead enshrine outdated thinking that works to prevent the West from addressing the wicked problems of a warming world? Is wildness better dispensed with? This lecture addresses these questions as the globe grapples with a series of profound and indeterminate risks created by humans themselves – war, unprecedented inequality and the extinction of the earth’s vital natural producers- the birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles and fish that have declined 68% since 1970. It considers the role for wildness in the coming era of synthetic biology where nature will routinely be altered by humans at the genetic level and it explores the role that conservationists anticipate “wild” Indigenous peoples will play in helping to restore the biodiversity without which our species cannot survive.

Professor Joy Porter is PI of the Treatied Spaces Research Group and of the  Brightening the Covenant Chain AHRC Standard Research Grant. Joy is a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow, a Lead Editor of the Cambridge University Press Series : Elements in Indigenous Environmental Research and author of Trauma, Primitivism and the First World War (Bloomsbury, 2021) and Native American Environmentalism (University of Nebraska Press, 2014).

Professor Joy Porter

University of Hull

Check out her latest collaborative exhibition here.

Joy is also is PI Host 2020-24 for British Academy Global Professor Gregory Smithers’ project “Native Ecologies: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Climate Change”.

Watch Professor Porter’s Keynote

The School of English at Dublin City University is hosting the online conference of The Irish Association for American Studies on 29-30 April 2022. Enquiries about the conference should be directed by email to Dr. Michael Hinds of the Conference Committee: michael.hinds@dcu.ie

PLEASE NOTE: Registration is free, but ALL registered attendees must be fully paid members of the IAAS at the time of registration.

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