Avenging Nature: A Survey of the Role of Nature in Modern and Contemporary Art and Literature
An edited volume
Deadline for chapter proposals: 1 July 2018
Editors: Eduardo Valls Oyarzun, Rebeca Gualberto Valverde, Noelia Malla García, María Colom Jiménez y Rebeca Cordero Sánchez.
At the dawn of ‘ecocriticism’ as a discipline of study within the Humanities, Glotfelty and Fromm (1996), in the first general reader in the matter, defined it as the critical practice that examines the relationship between literary and cultural studies and the natural world. In general terms, during the past two decades, ecocriticism has denounced the anthropocentric and instrumental appropriation of nature that has for so long legitimized human exploitation of the nonhuman world. Exposing the logic of domination that articulates the power relationships that both connect and separate human culture and natural life, recent trends in ecocriticism have raised awareness of the ‘otherisation’ of nature (Huggan and Tiffin, 2015), pointing out the need of assessing insurgent discourses that—converging with counter-discourses of race, gender or class—realize the empowerment of nature from its subaltern position.
But such empowerment of nature requires first that the sundering of the human and nonhuman realms is overcome because, as Kate Rigby explains, only by regaining “a sense of the inextricability of nature and culture, physis and techne, earth and artificat—consumption and destruction—would be to move beyond (…) the arrogance of humanism” (2002, p. 152). Yet, recognizing such inextricable relationship between human and natural entails the ecocritical admission that all works of culture are exploitative of nature. Rigby explains it clearly when she explains that “culture constructs the prism through which we know nature” (p. 154). We comprehend nature when we apprehend the world through language and representation, but nature precedes and exceeds words, it is “real” (1992, p. 32) and separated by an abyss from the symbolic networks of culture that write it, master it, assign a meaning to it and attempt to set it in order.
From this perspective, culture is not exactly the end of nature as much as it is an appropriation and colonization of nature. Culture masters, dominates and instrumentalizes the natural world. But in a time when the “end of nature” that Bill McKibben prophesized in the 1988 has been certified, when we know for a fact that it is indeed a different Earth we are living in because by changing the climate there is not a corner of the planet that has not been affected by our actions, the evidence of global ecological endangerment compels the ecocritical debate to install environmental ethics and concerns at the crux of humanistic research. The critical enterprise is far from easy though. The argument that cultural representations of nature establish a relationship of domination and exploitation of human discourse over nonhuman reality is extendible to the critical task. As humanist critics, our regard of nature in literary and artistic representation is instrumental and anthropocentric. But the time has come to avenge nature—or, at least, to critically probe into nature’s ongoing revenge against the exploitation of culture.
Nature—a different, humanly modified nature—will remain after the climate change doomsday. Nature precedes our understanding and conceptualization of it, but, despite the unimaginable damage done, it will also survive us when the Earth becomes inhabitable for humans. There will be nature after culture as there is now a rebellious nature that resists in spite of culture. And thus we call for articles that explore insubordinate representations of nature in modern and contemporary literature and art. We press for the need to reassess how nature is already and has been for a while striking back against human domination. We call for scholars from the fields of literary studies, postcolonial studies, art, history, gender and women’s studies, film and media studies, ethics and philosophy, cultural studies, ethnology and anthropology, and other related disciplines to join us in this interdisciplinary volume that will re-examine the intersections of culture and nature in literary and artistic representations and will point out the insurgence of nature within and outside of culture.
Contributors may wish to explore, among others, the following topics:
- Ecofeminism and gender studies: domination and empowerment
- Postcolonial and transnational representations of nature as (dis)empowered ‘other’
- Econarratives of subversion and rebellion
- Naturalisation of others and otherisation of nature in literature and art
- Literary and artistic representations of ecocides and ecological crisis
- Post-pastoral literature and the redefinition of the poetics of domination
- Social epistemology and ecology
- Environmental ethics applied to cultural studies
- Globalisation and global ecological imperilment
- Eco-social art and literature
- Post-humanism and ecology
- Ecotopias in literature, film and television
- Insurgent nature and the future of humanity
- Gothic nature and eco-horror in dystopic narratives
Please submit article proposals for the volume tentatively titled Avenging Nature, a Survey of the Role of Nature in Modern Contemporary Art and Literature by July 1st, 2018. Article proposals should include a title, a 500-word summary, author’s name, institutional affiliation, emails address and short biographical note.
Articles will be selected following a blind peer-review process and authors will be notified by October 1st, 2018. Full articles will be expected by March 1st, 2019. The final book proposal will be submitted for final approval to a top-tier publishing house which has already shown interest in an international launch of our volume.
Please send your submission and queries to email@example.com
(posted 16 March 2018)
Cultures and/of Migration
The third issue of VTU Review
Deadline for complete manuscripts: 1 August 2018
The history of migration begins with the origins of the human species. Over many centuries, the movements of people(s) have affected economies, cultures and political structures in a wide variety of significant ways.
We invite contributions from scholars in the humanities and social scientists with an interest in the cultural aspects of migration. We welcome articles from both established professionals and advanced PhD students.
Topics may include, but are not restricted to:
- cultural patterns of migration;
- forced vs voluntary migration;
- migration and cultural identity;
- migration and gender;
- cultures of departure and cultures of arrival;
- migration and diaspora;
- migration and memory;
- migration and language;
- writing migration;
- images of migrants in literature, film and the mass media;
- education and management of the cultural impact of migration.
Inquiries and complete manuscripts are to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 August 2018.
VTU Review is a newly established peer-reviewed journal, published in English by St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. The journal comes out twice a year and is published both in print form and electronically as an open access publication.
VTU Review is dedicated to publishing and disseminating pioneering research in the humanities and social sciences for an international audience.
The journal’s inaugural issue is available at http://journals.uni-vt.bg/vtureview/eng/. Its second issue, which focuses on travel and mobility but also includes a Varia section with articles on other topics, is due in May 2018.
(posted 14 March 2018)
Language, Power, and Ideology in Political Writing
Call for Chapters
Submission date deadline: 30 August 2018
Editor: Önder Çakırtaş, PhD, Bingol University
Full chapters due: January 30, 2019
This project tries to produce an outline for the diversification of literature and political writings. The book covers many disciplines ranging from political literature, gender politics, identity politics, minority politics, to ideologized writing, censorship, rhetoric and aestheticism of politics, and gendered literature.
Few critics, however, have investigated the intersections of politics and literature in literary texts. George Orwell has famously claimed that “[…] there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues.” And Jacques ranciere expresses that all literature is political. Then, can we talk about a literature out of politics? Do writers use politics, or are they unaware of outer world? How do the authors make advantage of writing political? What are the disadvantages of political or highly ideological writings? Our study aims to find some explanatory answers to these questions.
Tentative Table of Contents/Topic Coverage include but not limited to the following titles:
- Political Language
- Politics and Writing
- Ideological Narration
- Literature, Ideology and Politics
- The Literature Today and Censorship
- World Literature (Including Different Literatures) and Politics
- Ideology and Writing
- Minority Literature and the Politics of Identity
- Gender Politics and Gendered Literature
- Ideologized Art and Samples
- Political Writers and Contributions
- War Politics and War Writings
- Politics and Prose
- Politics, Drama and Poetry
Submission Procedure: Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before August 30, 2018, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by September 30, 2018 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters (each comprising at least 8,000 words) are expected to be submitted by January 30, 2019, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions athttp://www.igi-global.com/publish/contributor-resources/before-you-write// prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.
Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Trust in Knowledge Management and Systems in Organizations. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.
All proposals should be submitted through the E-Editorial DiscoveryTM online submission manager.
Visit the following link to propose your chapter:
Important Dates: August 30, 2018: Proposal Submission Deadline
September 30, 2018: Notification of Acceptance
January 30, 2019: Full Chapter Submission
February 30, 2019: Review Results Returned
March 15, 2019: Final Acceptance Notification
April 15, 2019: Final Chapter Submission
Inquiries: Editor’s Name: Önder Çakırtaş
Editor’s Affiliation: PhD, Assistant Professor, Bingol University (Turkey), Department of English Language and Literature
Old and New Avenues in Paul Auster’s Work
Revue LISA /LISA e-journal
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2018
François Hugonnier (U of Angers) and I. B. Siegumfeldt (U of Copenhagen), eds.
4 3 2 1 (2017) marks a new direction in Paul Auster’s work. This coming-of-age novel relates the formative years of Archie Ferguson through four parallel destinies. Delighting in story-telling, it embodies Auster’s notion of the “spectrum of a human being”: four characters, identical in name, body and heredity, four versions of the same weaving an anatomy of ontological plurality. The first page tells the tale of migrant arrival at Ellis Island to where the protagonist’s grandfather, Reznikoff, has travelled after leaving Minsk on foot. His name, which no doubt pays homage to one of Auster’s most influential precursors, deemed insufficiently American, he is advised to call himself Rockefeller, but forgets and is mistakenly transformed into Ichabod Ferguson (from the Yiddish “I have forgotten”). Consequently, the tycoon is dismissed in favor of the literary fathers and the rewriting of founding myths.
Between pastiche and homage, memory and oblivion (the “archive” surfaces in Archie), at the crossroads between the picaresque and the metafictional playfulness of Auster’s early novels, not to mention the darker concerns of his post-9/11 work, where history is obliquely yet systematically inscribed, 4 3 2 1 (released on the eve of Paul Auster’s seventieth birthday) takes on the misleading appearance of a testamentary piece. After writing short poems, essays, novels, autobiographical pieces and movie scripts, Auster now expands the body of his narrative prose with a titan novel that turns on parallelism and counterfactual realities––thus adding a new mode of representation to the literary scene.
Although this exponential narrative unfolds in part along thirty to forty-line run-on sentences, it is paradoxically composed of very short fragments––blank pages, embedded short stories and poems, historical narratives immune to the distortion of fiction. It explores the typically Austerian themes of enclosure, doubles and the process of writing. In this new book, the characters from Auster’s previous novels who attended Columbia in the 60s resurface. Paul Auster’s New York and Paris are mapped out again and again. His early enquiries recur, be they poetic or philosophical, into notions of solitude, loss, love, ambiguity, chance and failure; he probes the boundary between the world and the word, the necessary distancing between the writer and his pen, or else the interiority of literary experience. And so, given that several key elements in Paul Auster’s work are present in 4 3 2 1, it offers the opportunity to look back on his overall achievements.
After a seven-year gap in fiction, Paul Auster has now returned with a tour de force—a family saga, a Bildungsroman quadrupled, an odyssey radically different from his previous work (Ferguson 3 in fact reads Homer’s Odyssey). Meanwhile, Auster has also published two autobiographical books (2012-13) and two outstanding books of conversations, respectively with J. M. Coetzee (2013) and I. B. Siegumfeldt (2017), which focus on the autobiographical and fictional breakthroughs of his multi-faceted oeuvre.
The critical and popular success of 4 3 2 1 calls for a renewed effort to develop Auster studies. Various international projects undertaken since Beyond the Red Notebook (1995) demonstrate that academic interest in his work remains as strong as ever: among the monographs are Aliki Varvogli’s The World that is the Book (2001) and Mark Brown’s Paul Auster (2007). While S. Ciocia and J. A. Gonzáles edited The Invention of Illusions: International Perspectives on Paul Auster (2011), and Arkadiusz Misztal published Time, Narrative and Imagination: Essays on Paul Auster (2015), I. B. Siegumfeldt has been seeking to establish the Center for Paul Auster Studies in collaboration with Paul Auster.
In order to strengthen these advances, we are inviting specialists to contribute to this issue on Paul Auster’s old and new avenues. Abstracts in English or French may address the following aspects, among others:
- The American canon
- The French and European heritage
- Fiction, poetry, essays, autobiographical writings and filmography
- Jewish-American writing
- Paul Auster and postmodernism
- Bildung, filiation, initiation and the picaresque
- Embedded narratives, scripts, pictures, artworks, poems, short stories, articles and archives
- Story-telling, tales and myths
- Trauma, disaster, violence, testimony
- The process of writing and enclosure
- Political engagement
- Poetry and prose studies: rhythm, musicality, breath, syntax
- Hybridity, formal mutations, translation, trans-media representation
- Humor and comedy
300-word abstracts should be sent to François Hugonnier (email@example.com) and I. B. Siegumfeldt (firstname.lastname@example.org) together with a brief bio-bibliographical note before 15 September 2018. Notification will be sent to the participants by 15 October 2018. Completed articles to be submitted by 1st March 2019.
You are invited to read and follow the norms for presentation indicated on the peer-reviewed Revue LISA / LISA e-journal website (< https://lisa.revues.org/159 >), ISSN: 1762-6153, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, Revues.org.
FRANÇOIS HUGONNIER is an Associate Professor of American Literature at the University of Angers. He is the author of a dozen chapters, articles and interviews on Paul Auster’s work. His book-length study of Don DeLillo’s Falling Man was published in 2016 (P U de Paris-Nanterre). He is the Editorial Assistant of the Journal of the Short Story in English and a board member of the forthcoming Center for Paul Auster Studies in Copenhagen.
I. B. SIEGUMFELDT is an Associate Professor of English, Germanic, and Romance studies at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. She is the co-author of a book of conversations with Paul Auster (Paul Auster, A Life in Words: Conversations with I. B. Siegumfeldt, New York: Seven Stories, 2017) and the driving force behind the forthcoming Center for Paul Auster Studies in Copenhagen.
(posted 4 April 2018)