[UPDATE] Toward an Ecosomatic Paradigm: Disability and the Environment in American Literature; August 1, 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew J.C. Cella, PhD [Edited Collection]
contact email: 

I seek contributors to an edited collection focused on the intersection between disability studies and literary ecology, particularly as it plays out in American literature and culture. More specifically, the collection will investigate the role that literary ecology plays in upholding what might be called the ecosomatic paradigm. As a theoretical framework, the ecosomatic paradigm underscores the dynamic and inter-relational (and thereby ecological) process wherein human mind-bodies interface with the places, both built and wild, they inhabit. That is, the ecosomatic paradigm proceeds from the assumption that nature and culture interact in an ongoing, dialectical relationship that has implications for both the human subject and the natural world. Because eco-literature—the stories we tell to give shape to the world and our place in it—has the potential to shape the contours of our interaction with and state-of-being in the natural world, it is profoundly implicated in the fostering or negating of the ecosomatic paradigm. By drawing on points of confluence between disability studies and ecological criticism, an ecosomatic approach to American literature challenges normative (even ableist) constructions of the body-environment dyad by complicating and expanding our understanding of this relationship.

With this framework in mind, _Toward an Ecosomatic Paradigm_ seeks proposals for chapters that investigate the interplay between disability and the environment in American literature and culture. Topics and approaches include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

• Broad theoretical considerations of the intersection between disability studies and literary ecology/ecological criticism
• Ecocritical/environmental themes in poetry, memoirs, and fiction by people with disabilities
• Representations of disability in environmental literature.
• The intersection between disability and environmental justice
• Literary explorations of the relationship between embodiment and emplacement
• Disability and regional identity or disability and place studies
• Disability and the environment within or across genres and subgenres
• Intersections of disability, ethnicity, and the environment

A major press has already expressed interest in this project. Please send a 500-word proposal, a brief biographical note outlining your credentials (250 words), and a copy of you CV to Matthew Cella at mjcella@ship.edu by August 1, 2014. I will notify you by no later than August 15th if your abstract is accepted. A proposal with the accepted abstracts will then be submitted to the publisher; if the proposal is approved, contributors will be given a due date for their completed chapters. Finished manuscripts should be in the 4000-6000 word range. Please send any queries to the email listed above.