CFP: Literary Ecology, Ecocriticism, Place Studies 6/30/10 / 9/30/10

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Karen Waldron, College of the Atlantic, USA Dr. Rob Friedman, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA

Call for Papers: Literary Ecology, Ecocriticism, Place Studies

Title: Toward a Literary Ecology of Place: Studies in American Literature

Dr. Karen Waldron, College of the Atlantic, USA
Dr. Rob Friedman, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA

Call for Chapters: 

Proposals Submission Deadline: June 30, 2010

Full Chapters Due: September 30, 2010

Objectives of the Book
Scholarship of literature and the environment demonstrates myriad understandings of nature, environment, and culture, suggesting that the "eco" in "ecocriticism" remains a signal without a clear reference, let alone a clear means of articulation. Ecocriticism, as Dana Phillips rightly points out in The Truth of Ecology, has had little coherent connection with the science of ecology and its pressing ontological questions. One of the premises of this anthology is that the term "ecology" does not belong exclusively to science. However, ecology's scientific origins and intent, and its specifically biological implications, form a significant and coherent part of what the editors are calling the methods of literary ecology. Our second premise is that place, both natural and manufactured, is integral to literary ecology. Yet, as Edward S. Casey summarizes in The Fate of Place, place is such a fundamental concept, it has evaded theorizing because of its immanence and omnipresence. In recognizing place in literature specifically, literary ecology seeks to reintegrate appreciation for "nature," however conceived, with human dwelling. In short, literary ecology aims to find ways to philosophically and practically articulate place, so that it can be discerned in works of literature.

We invite authors to reach beyond the simply literary toward an interdisciplinary set of analytic tools, utilizing geography, cultural studies, philosophy, biology, history, and of course ecology, in their attempt to delineate a literary ecology of texts, responsive to these and other areas of inquiry:

• Human geography
• Marxist, feminist and postmodern theories of space and place
• The nature and methods of interdisciplinary inquiry
• Political and social activism
• Environmental justice
• Sustainability
• The corporatization of the "green"

Prospective authors are urged to consider such questions as:

1) In what sense do we use the term "ecology"? Where are the challenges and insights of ongoing ecological science?
2) How can we better theorize the ecocritical effort? What are the methodological tools we are using?
3) Where does human geography intersect with literary ecology? To what degree can place/space studies assist us?
4) How does studying literature of the urban illuminate the nature-culture relation, the ecological, and ideas of nature? How may literary ecology best acknowledge and move beyond the urban/rural dichotomy?
5) What can specifically literary and linguistic analysis add that is valuable in an ecological sense? That provides methodologies for articulating complex relationships in complex environments and places?
6) Is literary ecology a theory of literary analysis, a practice of authors, a practice of critics, or all of the above? To what extent is literary ecology specifically nation- or culture-bound?
7) How may literary ecology best acknowledge the strengths and limitations of the human perspective for describing a world both human and non-human?
8) Where and how does literary ecology acknowledge history, memory, or the human and non-human past and its relation to present and future? Do texts predominantly look either backward or forward and what does the weight of this attention contribute to the revelations of literary ecology?
9) What is the theoretical role non-human and human otherness in our work?
10) Is literary ecology necessarily activist? Hopeful? Value–based? What is the relationship of texts to social change and what does ecocriticism presume?

Target Audience
This book is intended for students of literature, ecology, place and space, and material culture, from upper-division college and graduate students to scholars of these and related fields.

Submission Procedures
Prospective authors are invited to submit chapter proposals of 1000 words on or before June 30, 2010. Proposal should clearly include the following:
An overview and outline of the general topic area to be address in the proposed chapter
• A draft thesis statement summarizing the objective, focus, and purpose of the chapter
An explanation of the underlying research supporting the chapter

• An explanation of how the proposed chapter relates to the overall focus of this book and

• A brief professional biographical statement showing how the author's work relates to his / her writing

The book proposal will be reviewed by The University Press of New England, The Center for American Places and the University of Alabama Press.

Important Dates:
Proposal Submission Deadline: June 30, 2010

Author Notification: July 31, 2010

Full Chapter Submission: September 30, 2010

Editor's Review Results Returned: January 1, 2011
Final Chapter Submission: July 31, 2011

Chapter Guidelines
• MLA format for text and works cited, using end notes
• Chapters of 7500-10000 words
• Authors will provide their own index terms with submission