Edited Collection: Close Reading in the Anthropocene

deadline for submissions: 
August 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Close Reading in the Anthropocene
contact email: 

I am looking for one or two more essays to round out a volume on close reading in the anthropocene. Routledge has expressed strong interest in the publishing this volume. 



In these apocalyptic times, such seemingly refined or rarified literary concerns may appear unnecessary or worse: the proverbial fiddling before the flames, the production of more printed tinder in a literally burning world. But the term “Anthropocene” itself suggests that the careful examination of the form of thought may be more important than ever. We need to pay more, not less, attention to language and its many contexts of meaning. In an increasingly polarized country and planet, from the torrents of partisan acrimony and hate speech to the ever-widening trench between the rich and the poor, close reading becomes much more than just another tool in the kit of critical practice. It is, despite its old New Critical use, the insistence that texts are always in context, that words have complex, entangled meanings which matter, that meaning itself is always embodied, even when printed on a page or digitized on a screen.

When facts themselves are routinely ignored or denied, when human and other animal life is systematically devalued or destroyed, close reading may be that which stands between ideologies and their endless reproduction. This volume will consider these and other valences of what it means to close read in the Anthropocene, for ourselves and the planet. It brings together and builds on work in ecocriticism, the materialist-turn in theory, science and cultural studies to reconsider the nature, meaning, and value of close reading.


Please submit a 300-word abstract and one-page cv to Dr. Helena Feder at federh@ecu.edu by August 31, 2019.