Natures is an annual interdisciplinary humanities conference hosted on the campus of La Sierra University in Riverside, California.  Established in 2009 as a graduate student conference, the event broadened its invitation to include humanities scholars at all levels of their careers in 2013 in celebration of its fifth anniversary. 

The name for the Natures conference arose from two convictions: (1) that the various disciplines housed in the humanities each have their own respective natures, perspectives, and techniques, but that communication between them is vital and (2) that the environment is emerging as a critical part of that discussion between humanities scholars.

The conference icon, a tree with curling branches and lightening bolt roots in a field of grass, is the work of Tiffany Hutabarat, a former English graduate student at La Sierra University and an organizer for the inaugural conference, who went on to study for her PhD in Humanities.  The duality of the image, the variation in stroke styles, and the combination of the natural and textual reflect the aspirations of the graduate students who initiated the conference in 2009 as an event in which graduate scholars could go below the surface of their disciplines, find the connection between their lives as students and their futures as scholars, and express themselves as budding professionals.

The faculty of the English department, the History, Politics, and Society department, and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at La Sierra University were all early and eager supports of Natures

The faculty sponsor for Natures since 2009 has been Dr. Lora Geriguis, Associate Professor of English and chair of the Department of English at La Sierra University. Her research interest center on producing ecocritically inflected readings of texts from the long eighteenth century. Her book project is entitled Wit From Nature's Store: Reading Texts of/for Environmental Consciousness, 1650-1730.

Natures 2016: Environmental Humanities Habitats and Hazards

Our theme invites exploration of the habitats and hazards facing environmental humanities in the 21st century. We seek papers that explore the various spaces that comprise our expanding understanding of what constitutes the environments we inhabit and investigate. Papers may explore the conference theme as applied to the texts of humanities studies the challenges facing humanities studies in higher education today, and/or the various crises that threaten the material world now or in the past. Presenters are invited to (re)frame the terms of the theme in ways relevant to their projects.

Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Close readings of texts (written, physical, and/or visual), from any period
  • Domesticity, urbanity, public/private, setting
  • Safe spaces for or threats to humanities scholarship
  • Intersections between digital and environmental humanities

Dates and Schedule

Abstract Submission Deadline

Abstract deadline: October 12, 2015
You can submit your abstract below.
Notice to participants of decisions will be made by late December 2015.

Event Date

Conference convenes on February 12, 2016 at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast.


Regular registration ($60) is due by January 12, 2016.
Late registration ($75).
You can register for the conference below.
A draft program should be ready for review by January 28.

Abstract Submission Form Deadline: October 12, 2015

Natures Abstract Submission

Personal Information

Use this form for your initial paper or panel abstract submission. If your paper is accepted, the information provided will be used to generate our 2016 program.

Personal Information

Please specify the name of your institution or indicate that you are an independent scholar.

Indicate your field(s) of study (e.g. history, literature, American studies, environmental studies, etc.). Feel free tom list multiple or hybrid areas of scholarship.

Paper Proposal

Paper Proposal Information

If your paper submission is part of a larger pre-formed panel, indicate the title of your proposed panel below. Each member of the panel should use the same panel title but separate paper titles.

Audio-visual needs for proposed presentation*

Registration Form

Natures Registration Form

Personal Information

The Natures Conference registration fee provides participants with entrance to all panels, the plenary address with Dr. Rebecca Davis, as well as breakfast, lunch, snacks, hot drinks, and program materials. Early registration (prior to January 16, 2016) is $60. After that the late registration fee is $75. If you only plan on attending as a guest, the registration fee is $30.

Event Information

Attendant Type*