[CFP] Rhetoric of Ecology in Visual Culture - Res Rhetorica journal Vol. 8 (2) 2021

deadline for submissions: 
December 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Katarzyna Paszkiewicz / Res Rhetorica journal (Scopus)

RES RHETORICA (https://resrhetorica.com/index.php/RR/about)

Rhetoric of Ecology in Visual Culture

CFP Vol. 8 No 2 (2021)

“There is no PLANet B,” reads the inscription on a cardboard poster held by the organizers of the 3rd Kraków Green Film Festival (https://www.greenfestival.pl/) to be held on August 13-23, 2020. The great popularity of this international festival proves the importance of the issues raised by the filmmakers who are "focused at improving the culture of life in accordance with the «green» values." The films presented at the festival (available also online at https://vod.greenfestival.pl/) might be one of many widely available inspirations for the analysis of the visual rhetoric encompassing the textuality of ecology. The trio of the key terms which bind the topic together are: VISUALITY/ECOLOGY/RHETORIC.

The aim of the issue of Res Rhetorica on Rhetoric of Ecology in Visual Culture is to provide different critical perspectives on the persuasive power of images in environmental and ecological rhetoric. As Heather Dawkins observes in Ecosee: Image, Rhetoric, Nature (2009, 91), the complex scripto-visual strategies can be used “to construct affective resonance, […] to demonstrate ideas, to define the good, to persuade and to propose action” and, as such, the images – whether they are still images (photographs, paintings and posters) or motion pictures (films and other related media) – have “taken their place as intrinsic rhetorical structures in environmental rhetoric” (Dawkins 2009, 91).

One of our main concerns is with understanding how “eco” images work on their viewers: What does a given image or film and its aesthetics do to the audience, how does it orient, disorient or reorient us, what does it make us feel? How does it reflect or challenge our complex relatedness to “the more-than-human, other-than-human, inhuman, and human-as-humus” (Haraway 2017)? How does it inspire our care and concern? What different relationships of visual identification or embodiment does it create? If, as Aristotle argued, we can be persuaded by evidence (logos), by the authority of the speaker (ethos) and by the emotional appeal (pathos) – the rhetorical principle of movere – then the question is how exactly images and films can move the audience, that is, how they can take us on mental and affective journeys that reshape our understanding of life and death “on a damaged planet” (Tsing et al. 2017).

We welcome contributions from film, literary and cultural studies, philosophy, education, anthropology and other fields of environmental humanities. Articles can be written in English or Polish and may address, but are not limited to, topics such as:


  • affective ecologies (Weik von Mossner 2010; 2017): emotional appeal and persuasive power of environmental images and films
  • “eco” images and different modes of spectatorship: identification with the more-than-human, other-than-human, inhuman (semiotic, phenomenological, materialist, cognitive and affect theory approaches)
  • ecology and the terministic screen of rhetoric (Burke 1966; Blakesley 2003; Perez 2019): how images rely upon framing to shape viewer perceptions and feelings
  • the scripto-visual strategies of environmental messages and central tropes of rhetoric: metaphor, metonymy, allegory, synecdoche
  • the role of images in promoting/obstructing the “ecospeak” (Killingsworth and Palmer 1992)
  • ways of seeing, ways of feeling: from an anthropocentric to an earthcentred perspective
  • rhetoric of ecocinema (Willoquet-Maricondi, 2010): the persuasive strategies that shift our perception and question the binary oppositions underpinning the discourse on the Anthropocene, such as human/non-human or nature/culture
  • ecocinema and popular appeal: science fiction, westerns, road movies, horror, cli-fi blockbusters and eco-disaster films
  • ecocinema and risk perceptions: how different tropes and narratives shape our understanding of risk



Works cited:

Blakesley, David. 2003. The Terministic Screen: Rhetorical Perspectives on Film. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Burke, Kenneth. 1966. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Dawkins, Heather. 2009. “Ecology, Images and Scripto-Visual Rhetoric”. In Ecosee: Image, Rhetoric, Nature,ed. Sidney I. Dobrin and Sean Morey, 79-94. New York: State University of New York Press.

Haraway, Donna J. 2016. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke University Press.

Killingsworth, M. Jimmie, and Jacqueline S. Palmer. 1992. Ecospeak: Rhetoric and Environmental Politics in America. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Perez, Gilberto. 2019. The Eloquent Screen: A Rhetoric of Film. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Tsing, Anna L., Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, and Nils Bubandt. 2017. Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Weik Von Mossner, Alexa. 2012. “The Human Face of Global Warming: Varieties of Eco-Cosmopolitanism in Climate Change Documentaries.” Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 64: 145–59.

Weik von Mossner, Alexa. 2017. Affective Ecologies: Empathy, Emotion, and Environmental Narrative. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press.

Willoquet-Maricondi, Paula. 2010. Framing the World: Explorations in Ecocriticism and Film. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.


Issue editors:


  • submission deadline: December 31, 2020
  • target publication date: June 2021.


If you are interested in contributing an article on Rhetoric of Ecology in Visual Culture for the June 2021 issue of Res Rhetorica journal (Scopus, Web of Science), please send an abstract of approx. 300 words + 5 keywords to katarzyna.paszkiewicz@uib.es by Monday, August 31, 2020. The deadline for full-length submissions (max. 40,000 characters with spaces) is December 31, 2020.