ALECC 2020

Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada


July 8-22, 2020
University of Saskatchewan

We acknowledge our presence as guests on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. Treaty 6 also encompasses the traditional territories of numerous First Nations, including Cree, Dene, Nakota, Saulteaux, and Ojibwe. We are dedicated to ensuring that the spirit of Reconciliation and Treaty 6 is honoured and respected. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

A Welcome and Land Acknowledgement from Joseph Naytowhow

*In order to view live events, registered conference-goers must log in at Eventbrite and view the links available under “View My Order.”


Watershed, lit., fig.

1.a. The line separating the waters flowing into different rivers or river basins; a narrow elevated tract of ground between two drainage areas; a water-parting. 1.b. figurative. A turning point (in history, affairs, a person's life, etc.); a crucial time or occurrence.

3. North American. The gathering ground of a river system; a catchment area or drainage basin.

- Oxford English Dictionary

“Watershed, lit., fig.,” is the theme of the 2020 Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC) biennial conference, an interdisciplinary conference of environmental humanities and literary scholars, creative writers, artists, and environmental activists who will discuss watersheds in a literal and figurative sense. As watersheds refer to crucial periods or turning points, as well as to drainage basins for water and the land situated immediately between rivers, “Watershed, lit., fig.” provides a compelling opportunity to discuss physical watersheds in terms of the crucial period we are living through, marked by climate, extinction, and migration emergencies, new political formations, and shifting forms of writing, media, mediation, and data.

Initially planned for June 2020, the full, on-site conference is being postponed until 2022. We are pleased to be going ahead with an online conference for July 8-22nd, 2020. The conference will showcase research, scholarly, artistic, and community-engaged work by presenters from across the country and internationally, approximately 25 per cent of whom are creative writers and artists. Inspired by prairie river valleys, and in particular our host site in the Meewasin Valley in the South Saskatchewan River Basin, the conference program features thoughtful responses to movements between the literal and figurative, the personal and historical, and to critical times and turning points in watershed and other ecologies, Indigenous thought and practice, ecopoetics, new materialisms, fictional and nonfictional narrative, life writing, film, ecomedia studies, environmental histories, cultural geography, environmental philosophy, cultural studies, and related areas of environmental studies.

All presenters must be ALECC members by the date of the conference. Please visit to renew or pay for your membership.

In order to view live events, registered conference-goers must log in at Eventbrite and view the links available under “View My Order.”


ALECC 2020 Organizing Committee

Joanne Leow, University of Saskatchewan
Sheri Benning, University of Saskatchewan
Jenna Hunnef, University of Saskatchewan
Cheryl Lousley, Lakehead University Orillia
Richard Pickard, University of Victoria
Kaitlin Blanchard, McMaster University
Rachel Jekanowski, Memorial University
Emily McGiffin, University of British Columbia, Okanagan  
Molly Wallace, Queen’s University
Glenn Willmott, Queen’s University
Brett Buchanan, Laurentian University


Student Assistants

Gregory McGrath-Goudie, Lakehead University Orillia
Samantha Leclair, Lakehead University Orillia
Megan Solberg, University of Saskatchewan
Shane Farris, University of Saskatchewan
Tea Gerbeza, University of Saskatchewan
Sarah Ens, University of Saskatchewan

Webmaster (College of Arts and Science, University of Saskatchewan)

Allain Esquivel


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