Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination

Beauty, Ideas, and Connections at the International Ecolinguistics Association Conference in Graz, Austria


Styria, Austria

©Yana Vermenich

I have followed the work the International Ecolinguistics Association through the past years. I hoped to attend their conference one day, but life was rich and full of much else that needed tending. This year as the request for proposals for the conference went out, I decided cast my fate to the winds and submit a proposal to present at the upcoming conference at the University of Graz, Austria.

I decided that if my proposal was accepted, I would figure out a way to attend. My proposal to present on “Ecolinguistics Through Wildness, Beauty, and Imagination—Transdisciplinary Research Through Scholarly Personal Narrative and Lilyology” was accepted.

The stars aligned and I followed.

The beauty of place, inspiration of ideas, spectrum of experiences, and connecting with others created a feast for all senses. One particular delight that surprised me was exploring the cobblestone streets of the city. I lived in Germany for a year and attended the University of Göttingen for one year while studying International Relations. I spent Christmas in Austria with dear friends. This was many years ago and I rarely have opportunities to speak German and have not been in Germany or Austria since. I didn’t anticipate the cascade of memories exploring the city would bring back and loved that feeling.









I arrived in Graz mid-afternoon on a gorgeous fall day and immediately headed out to explore. A landmark of Graz is the fortress with its iconic Clock Tower, first mentioned in the 13th century, perched on a hill overlooking the city. I headed in that general direction and happened upon the stone staircase zig-zagging up the cliff. Up, up, and up the staircase climbs. A runner passed me as he headed up the steps. And me without my running clothes! As I ascended the stone steps the cityscape unfolded and expanded, until at last I reached the top. I stood and drank in all.















@Yana Vermenich















One of the elements that I savored about the conference was how multigenerational and multinational the attendance and presentations—from prominent leading scholars of several decades, to those of us around my generation, to a whole younger band of emergent ecolinguists bringing new perspectives and lenses to these ideas. The generational span exchanging experiences and ideas created a vibrant, rich environment! The conference program is included at the end of this piece for you to explore.

Francesca Grasso, Lorenzo Buonvivere, Arianna Del Gaudio, Martina Russo, Me, Yana Vermenich

Arran Stibbe, Sune Steffensen, Me, Yana Vermenich, Allan Baggs, Linnea Hannell









©Martina Russo

Graz, Town Hall

















In addition to the ideas shared through presentations and conversations, our time included meeting with a representative within beautiful interior of the Town Hall.















We took an excursion to the mountains of the local wine region of Syria, where we looked out toward Slovenia.













Conversations and connections flowed throughout all. I pulled out my journal as I waited to board the plane home—so very much to write about.

Conference Program



Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores language, landscape, wildness, beauty, and imagination.

8 thoughts on “Beauty, Ideas, and Connections at the International Ecolinguistics Association Conference in Graz, Austria

  1. Gorgeous…both images , colors and poetic description!

    Begin forwarded message: >

  2. Pingback: Happy New Year 2023 and Deep Gratitude! | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  3. Dearest Dawn, You are full of surprises, living in Germany for a year. What an interesting life you live. I’ve never seen photos from Austria and other parts of eastern Europe. You have again opened my eyes with the beautiful photos. Much love, Dan

  4. Oh Dawn, congratulations on your presentation! Your family must be bursting at the seams because of your accomplishments! You should be as well. What incredible blessings through so very, very much hard work.
    I loved seeing this part of the world through your eyes and delighted you were amongst this august body of presenters. I wish I could have heard you!

  5. Loved reading about your trip/conference… and remembering our Christmas time together in Austria, oh, so many years ago! Back home in Tucson, noon yesterday and still a bit jet lagged🥱 after 3 weeks in NZ and Australia. 🤗for all. Mary Ann

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. So proud of you, Dawn! Amazing and inspiring~!! ________________________________

  7. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience! So proud of you and all your accomplishments. We head to Prague tomorrow, then a float down the Danube for a week. Can’t wait to see that beautiful, historic countryside. Hugs Charlotte

  8. Wow, dear Dawn, how wonderful that you got to go to Graz and attend this amazing conference! Can’t wait to see you in a few days at your next conference. See you soon in OK City! XOXOXO

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