Opening the Ecological Text

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Anne McConnell, West Virginia State University; Kent Shaw, Wheaton College
contact email: 

Please consider submitting a manuscript for our special issue, Opening the Ecological Text, in the peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Humanities.  Here is the call for papers and the link where you can submit:

Timothy Morton describes “the ecological thought” as a “vast sprawling mesh of interconnection without a definite center or edge.”  He argues for a form of ecocriticism that refuses to limit itself to works of literature and art that are about something explicitly ecological:  the climate crisis, pollution, environmental toxins.  As Morton suggests, our tendency to see the environment as something “out there,” specific to a limited set of concerns, informs a type of ecocriticism that fails to see the ecological implications of any text, both thematic and formal.  We are interested in papers that explore a diverse array of ecologies and demonstrate an agile understanding of ecocriticism.  We understand the environmental crises of our contemporary world reach far into the intricacies and intimacy of daily life.  How can ecological writing influence not only subject matter, but also the practice of writing?  We would especially encourage papers that consider primary texts which display a kind of radical, indefinable openness—regarding textuality as an interrelated system of parts that constantly shift and evolve.  Lastly, we invite papers on texts that grapple with defining a literary genre of ecocritical or ecopoetic writing.  We imagine a volume that contains papers on contemporary fiction and poetry from a variety of cultural and linguistic traditions.  Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about the topic or would like to run an idea by us before submitting a manuscript. 


Guest Editors of the Special Issue:

Anne McConnell, West Virginia State University:  Professor of English and author of Approaching Disappearance (2013, Dalkey Archive Press) and the forthcoming, Stepping Off the Edge (2020, Dalkey Archive Press)

Kent Shaw, Wheaton Collge:  Assistant Professor of English and author of Too Numerous (2019, U of Massachusetts Press) and Calenture (University of Tampa Press, 2008)