[UPDATE] Eco-Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Health and Environmental Anxieties in Media and Culture

deadline for submissions: 
December 9, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Lorna Piatti-Farnell, Auckland University of Technology
contact email: 

Eco-environmental criticism has now become a staple presence in the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary landscape. Considerations focused on the environment, health, and the human impact on matters such as climate change, have been prominent in critical discussions, from the humanities to the social sciences, from economics to geo-politics, from medical humanities to environmental management. As distinct aspect of these conversations has been the growing focus on the fear of ecological destruction for the planet, with all the inevitable consequences that this entails. The idea of ‘eco-horror’, as a term encompassing different aspects of 'bio-horror', has been evolving as a concept entangled with both representation and scientific evidence, capturing the multifaceted anxieties that accompany our actions and their consequences in the Anthropocene. From film to television series, from comics to animation, from documentaries to digital narratives, social media, and activism campaigns, the broader context of media and culture has been central to our preoccupation with the environment, and has reflected multifaceted responses to our growing insecurities over habitat destruction, biological annihilation, and the ‘end of the world’.

In answer to the recurrent presence of environmental topics in media and culture, this volume seeks to address the concept of ‘bio-horror’ as an evolving, multi-pronged category, capturing interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transnational perspectives. The book hopes to engage directly with knowledge and collective responses related to our biological, cultural, sociological, and economic relationship with the planet. The project will critically assess that part played by media and entertainment narratives in rendering our insecurities about nature, health, and the environment. The notion of ‘horror’ is taken here not solely in terms of genre, but as a cultural materialization of that which is regarded as most frightening and most abhorrent; indeed, the volume seeks to address bio-ecological horrors across genres, platforms, and practices. Focused on the social, cultural, historical, and technological shifts that are at the heart of representation and discourse, this project aims to give voice to multiple interpretations of ‘eco-horrors’ as a critical space that is constantly aware of the human, the non-human, and the ‘more-than-human’ in eco-environmental contexts, while evaluating its prognostic and cautionary value for our futures.

The volume is intended for the ‘Routledge Advances in Popular Culture Studies’ book series.

Topics for this edited volume may include, but are not limited to: 

-       Media and cultural forms focused specifically on eco-horror representation and commentary (including films, television, video games, web series, comics, graphic novels, manga, anime, documentaries, podcasts, social/online media, and beyond)

-       Interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transnational perspectives on the human, the non-human, and the ‘more-than-human’

-       Approaches to eco-horror within health studies and environmental criticism (including Environmental Humanities, Environmental Sociology, Ecofeminism, Critical Animal Studies, Eco-materialism, Health Humanities, Medical Humanities, Anthropocene Studies, and beyond)

-       Conceptual understandings of ‘fear’ and ‘anxiety’ in relation to the environment

-       Critical perspectives on climate change, as expressed in media and culture

-       Socio-cultural evaluations of the natural environment in context

-       Posthumanism and transhumanism

-       Bio-ethics, bio-technologies, and health/medical humanities

-       Disability Studies

-       Indigenous perspectives on ecology, health, and the environment

-       Artificial Intelligence, bio-resistance, and the fear of human extinction

-       Notions and representations of the wasteland

-       Geo-politics, biophilia, and green/urban spaces

-       Food, sustainability, and disappearing/mismanaged resources

-       Health, diseases, and pandemics

-       Responses to climate denial and skepticism

-       Environmental activism, and notions of ‘eco-justice’

-       Regenerative practices and ‘eco-hope’

Please send abstracts of approximately 300 words (plus 100-word bio) for consideration to the editor of the volume, Professor Lorna Piatti-Farnell: lpfarnell@gmail.com

Full chapters for the collection will be expected to be 5-6000 words in length.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 9 December 2023.