UWTSD invites submissions to public lecture competition at Hay Festival


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, UK & Ireland (ASLE-UK) invite entrants to submit texts for their annual public lecture competition: The 2020 ASLE/INSPIRE Lecture on Literature and Sustainability, to be delivered at The Hay Festival on May 28.

The lecture is organised in association with ASLE-UKI and will be followed by a public discussion between the competition winner and Dr Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE and former Welsh Government Minister for Sustainability, and Professor Brycchan Carey, Vice-President of ASLE-UKI.

The closing date for entries is Friday, February 28, 2020.

Professor Carey said: “Sustainability is a matter of culture as much as it is about politics or environmental science. The stories we tell, the poems we compose, the dramas we enact—all provide spaces for inspiration, imagination, and debate over what it means to live sustainably. This competition invites submissions that explore how literature, in any of its forms, responds to the past, present, or future environment or to environmental concerns, be it through engagements with nature, place, and landscape, with the life sciences, ecology, or environmental science, or in the context of debates around sustainability, energy use, or climate change.”

Dr Jane Davidson said: “Since the competition was launched, our winners have addressed how re-reading Shakespeare through a sustainability lens can unearth fascinating insights into the way we used to live and inform our ideas for the future; they have explored how Nature Writing has adapted to our new environmental concerns and ecological perspectives in our post-colonial globalized economy and looked at the importance of inter-related ecosystems remaining in balance. The competition has demonstrated unequivocally that stories for change can play a crucially important in re-interpreting our world for the benefit of future generations. I’m looking forward hugely to this year’s entries on how literature, in any of its forms, responds to and is shaped by our capacity to know the natural world in the context of debates around sustainability.”

INSPIRE (Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is directed by Dr Jane Davidson. INSPIRE is a key component in the University’s mission to embed sustainability into its own practices and to provide its students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will equip them for their future contribution to the economy, community and environment. INSPIRE @ UWTSD won the 2013 Guardian award for the most effective sustainability initiative in higher education in the UK, the 2014 Soil Association Gold Award for its support for local producers and in 2015, UWTSD rose up from 113th in the People and Planet University League to 8th in the UK and 1st in Wales.


The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK & Ireland (ASLE-UKI) was founded in 1998. Its aim is to represent and support scholars and writers, in the Atlantic archipelago and beyond, who are interested in the environment and its expression in the cultural imagination.

Entry to the competition in free. Only one entry per person is permitted. Please submit the text of your lecture, any accompanying power point presentation and include a brief (50 words) biography as well as your contact details.

Entries should be submitted by email to the Competition chair and Vice-President of ASLE-UKI, Professor Brycchan Carey: brycchan.carey@northumbria.ac.uk 

Further Information

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Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk