Special Issue “World Mythology and Ecocriticism: Remembering Nature as a Sacred Teacher”

deadline for submissions: 
December 10, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Rachel McCoppin - Humanities Journal
contact email: 

Special Issue “World Mythology and Ecocriticism: Remembering Nature as a Sacred Teacher”

A special issue of Humanities.

This Special Issue focuses specifically on the role that nature plays within world mythology. The environment undoubtedly played a crucial role in developing the mythological narratives of many cultures throughout the globe. Many cultures regarded nature as sacred, envisioning aspects of the environment, being directly related to divine beings, sacred forces, teachers, etc. Often, cultures imagined that the representatives of nature needed to be appeased in order to gain harmony with their environments. Many cultures also used their mythology to connect nature to the lives of human beings—connecting the cycle of the seasons to the life cycle of humans for instance. Identifying humans as inextricably connected with the natural world allowed a myriad of cultures to find meaning in their own lives, as nature in myth was often portrayed as a teacher, guide, source of inspiration, etc., for the characters within the myth, as well as the audiences of the myth. As civilizations grew and developed, often the mythological references to the importance of nature as something sacred diminished, but some mythic texts still imparted messages that strove to maintain reverence for the environment. Given the contemporary environmental crisis, it is important to look back on the texts that were once sacred to a people, in order to remember the great value of finding our own reverence in the natural world.

This Special Issue is particularly interested in receiving articles that discuss global mythological texts from an ecocritical lens. Articles that examine myths that connect natural occurrences to the lives of humans—looking at age from the standpoint of seasonal change, accepting death as a natural occurrence, etc., are especially desirable. Additionally, texts that present nature as a divine being, sacred embodiment, source of inspiration, source of contention, etc., are welcomed. Articles that focus on global creation myths, myths that present nature as divine, myths of humans contending with nature, either through marriage to a natural element, battling with a natural representative, or even becoming a natural element, are all highly desirable. Additionally, myths that mark a time of transition of values in the portrayal of the environment, such as the progression from hunter/gatherer methods to agricultural methods, or the destruction of the environment as technology advanced, are desired. Finally, myths that focus upon the heroic journey, casting the protagonist as a personification of nature, or showing the protagonist as failing or succeeding upon his or her quest because of nature, are especially sought after. This Special Issue is interested in mythic texts from around the world, from any era.


Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions. 


  • World Mythology
  • Ecocriticism
  • Mythic Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Hero’s Journey/Quest

This special issue is now open for submission.