An Anthology of Southeast Asian Eco-Writing

deadline for submissions: 
November 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Rina Garcia Chua, Esther Vincent Xueming, Ann Ang
contact email: 

An Anthology of Southeast Asian Eco-Writing

Call for Submissions

Editors Rina Garcia Chua, Esther Vincent Xueming, and Ann Ang are currently accepting submissions for an anthology of diverse eco-writing from Southeast Asian writers that explore interrelationships with geographies and spaces in the region.

Deadline for submission is November 30, 2022.

Southeast Asia (SEA) is a region characterised by rich biodiversity as well as biocultural urgencies, where the natural world is frequently understood through an extractivist and technocapitalist lens (Ryan 2017, 7). Under colonial rule, the preservationist and conservationist discourse taking place in America and Europe in the late nineteenth century were not seen as applicable to the natural environs of SEA. In the twentieth century, the consolidation of modern nation-states alongside a strongly developmentalist agenda resulted in the further marginalisation of environmentalism in the region. Historically and culturally, many popular ecological imaginaries, especially relating to tropicality and the wilderness in this region, are conceptually negative. By contrast, Indigenous and grassroots approaches to the natural world remain undocumented and untranslated.

As the discourse of environmentalism shifts to foreground transnational and translocal perspectives, writers who have roots in SEA have begun to explore their own relationships to and notions of the environment(s) in their respective countries. In this anthology, the editors encourage writers to engage with the geographies, cultures, environments, and histories of SEA through creative expressions—poetry, fiction, essays (creative non-fiction)—to speculate, re-imagine, and reflect on the ecologies of the region. 

We are interested in eco-writings that are responsive to SEA spaces/ environments/ ecologies and which engage with systems and structures that are ruinations of colonial legacies, extractivist neoliberalism, and biopower concerns. Further, we are also interested in the cultural pluralisms and myriad of perspectives that are unique to SEA cultures in relation to the environment and what is conceived as “nature.” 

Submissions may explore (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • The translocal;

  • Interrelationships between the human and more-than-human;

  • Oceanic and maritime concerns; islands (geographical);

  • The highlands (mountains, hills, jungle hinterlands); 

  • Entanglements between ecology, spirituality, organicity (non-linearity of time);

  • Petrocultures;

  • Food ecosystems and monocrop agricultures;

  • Indigeneity and shamanism;

  • Ecofeminism, kinship and care;

  • Queer ecologies and locating gender/queerness in the ecology;

  • Possibilities for different types of communities and ways of being;

  • The SEA diaspora.

We are especially encouraging submissions from Indigenous and Persons of Colour writers for this anthology. Aside from that, we are also interested in experimental and/ or hybrid works that may not exactly fit in one of the three literary genres stated above. We welcome writing in any language, though submissions must be accompanied by a translation into English.

Please take note of the following before submission:

  1. You can submit:

    1. Up to 5 poems (poetry);

    2. Up to a maximum of 3000 words (prose).

  2. Hybrid work can be 3-5 photography or visual art pieces. 

    1. Must be sent in .jpg format;

    2. Photos must be at least 640 pixels on the shorter side, and no more than 2000 pixels on the longer side.

    3. Images should be no larger than 2 MB. 

    4. Must include a written accompaniment of no more than 1000 words that contextualises and reflects on the visual pieces submitted. 

  3. Please send your short bio-note (maximum of 100 words) along with your submission in the email body;

  4. Send all queries and submissions to SEAecowriting@gmail.com

    1. For queries, please use “QUERY [genre]” as your subject;

    2. For submissions, please use “SUBMISSION [genre], [last name]” as your subject. 

e.g. QUERY poetry or SUBMISSION poetry Chua

 

Successful submissions will be contacted by March 2023. Updates regarding the press for publication will be provided once information is available.

 

 

Rina Garcia Chua is an incoming Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow in the Humanities at Simon Fraser University and she completed her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She is the editor of the first anthology of Philippine ecopoetry, Sustaining the Archipelago, which was published with the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in 2018 and is co-editor of Empire and Environment: Ecological Ruin in the Transpacific, forthcoming with the University of Michigan Press in October 2022. Rina is also the co-diversity officer for the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE), and poetry editor of The Tiger Moth Review in Singapore and The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada.

Esther Vincent Xueming is the editor-in-chief and founder of The Tiger Moth Review, an independent eco journal of art and literature based in Singapore. She is the author of the poetry collection Red Earth (2021), co-editor of Making Kin: Ecofeminist Essays from Singapore (2021), Poetry Moves (2020), Little Things (2013), and guest regional editor (Asia) for a special eco-themed issue of The Global South (University of Mississippi). Her essays have been published in The Trumpeter, EcoTheo Review, Sinking City Review and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. A literature educator by profession, she is passionate about the entanglements in art, science, literature, spirituality and ecology. Esther is a lightworker and certified usui reiki master.

Ann Ang is a lecturer in English literature at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She recently completed her DPhil on postcolonial and world literature at the University of Oxford and researches contemporary Anglophone writing from South Asia and Southeast Asia. As a writer, Ann is best known for Bang My Car (2012), a Singlish-English collection of short stories and her first collection of poetry, Burning Walls for Paper Spirits (2021) has just been published. Ann has also co-edited two literary anthologies, Poetry Moves (2020) and Food Republic (2020), and is the Coordinating Editor of the Journal of Practice, Research & Tangential Activities (PR&TA), a journal of creative praxis in Southeast Asia.