Special Issue: Environmental Education in the Arts and Humanities

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning

Call for Papers
Special Issue of the Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning:

Encountering the Natural World: Environmental Education in the Arts and Humanities 

“‘Encountering’ means really meeting something that goes beyond one’s intellectual processing—not through ideas but through poetry.  ‘Encounter’ is when that conceptual structure vanishes and you meet the being as the being coming forth from itself as itself revealing itself to you in a way that is beyond your intellect in a way that is much more deeply intuitive and much harder to express.  In fact, scientific language is inappropriate for this kind of encounter.  It’s poetry that does it.  It’s a poetic encounter.”
—Stephen Harding, Resident Ecologist at Schumacher College

In his concept of poetic encounter, Stephen Harding outlines an inter-positional paradigm for human contact with nonhuman life (i.e., the world of nature) that militates against a hierarchical and objectifying relationship. In connecting this paradigm to poetry, he implicitly suggests a particular role that the arts and humanities might play in reorienting our ecological perspectives to complicate the human exceptionalism that has been foundational to Western epistemology.  Although the sciences clearly must help us address the ongoing and deepening environmental crises of the anthropocene, the arts and humanities also play significant roles, perhaps particularly in shifting human standpoints towards an ethos of sustainability and a notion of “humanities” that resists oppressive and exploitive aspects of “the human.”

Arguably much of the pedagogical terrain covered by JAEPL authors and readers has always been about the kind of “encountering” that Harding describes: meeting “the being as the being coming forth.”  But the dire current cultural moment—one in which environmentalism and ethics of care are often derided in favor of exploitation and egoism—requires continued, enhanced, and explicit theories and practices promoting awareness of the natural world and its effects on all of our relationships and undertakings.  The forthcoming special issue seeks to understand the relevance of the arts and humanities in this endeavor, and to explore how we as educators can rise to meet the challenge of the crises we face through our pedagogies and our life choices.

Submissions might address such issues as:

  • The paradox of a humanities not dominated by human exceptionalism
  • Limits or potential of romantic concepts of nature and art/literature/writing in promoting sustainability
  • Environmentalism in the digital age
  • Failures/successes of academic environmentalism
  • Ecology/environmentalism and mindfulness practices
  • Connection and disconnection between social justice movements and environmentalism
  • Institutional politics of teaching or administering eco-literacy in humanities classrooms
  • Limits and potential of deep ecology rhetorics
  • Reflections and revisions on the ecocomposition movement of the turn of the 21st century
  • Intersectionality of environmentalism and race, class, gender (and so forth) in practice
  • Nature writing and creative nonfiction in fostering environmental awareness
  • Environmentalism and sustainability in the urban university landscape
  • Soundscapes and environmentalism; ecologies of sound and noise
  • Interdisciplinary undertakings in the environmental humanities movement

Articles of 6,000-8,000 words should be adequately grounded in existing and especially recent scholarship of their respective subject area(s), and should account for readers’ interest in practical applications.  Submissions must closely follow all rules and guidelines designated on the JAEPL website: http://trace.tennessee.edu/jaepl/.

Deadline for submission of complete essays: May 15, 2018
Queries and/or submissions should be sent to both co-editors:
Wendy Ryden, Wendy.Ryden@liu.edu and Peter Khost, Peter.Khost@stonybrook.edu