Eco-Georgic: From Antiquity to the Anthropocene
Ecozon@ 12.2 Autumn 2021
Deadline for full articles: 15 Januay 2021
Guest Editors: Sue Edney (University of Bristol), Philipp Erchinger (University of Duesseldorf) and Pippa Marland (University of Leeds)
Georgic, a genre or mode of writing about agricultural labour and rural life, is typically concerned with ways of being at work in an environment that tends to overtake or resist all human efforts to master it. As David Fairer has argued, georgic nature is always, to some degree, out of tune with our human endeavours to live in agreement with it (2011). It therefore constantly challenges us to adapt to its changing conditions. In Virgil’s Georgics, for example, human activities of cultivation and construction are repeatedly threatened to be overrun or swept away by the life of the more-than-human world–the world of pests, storms and droughts–in and through which they have to proceed. Georgic work, in short, takes place in a “world in process whose rewards are hard won” (Fairer 2015: 111). Hence the genre’s interest in all products of human skill and invention by means of which the earth, not necessarily a comfortable place, can be made to yield its fruits (Beck 2004). Yet, while georgic, from today’s perspective, is often quickly dismissed as being deeply implicated in outdated anthropocentric and nationalist ideologies of cultural improvement, industrialisation, exploitation and colonisation, it also addresses a number of questions about the relations between human and nonhuman spheres that, in our contemporary historical moment, seem urgent and fresh.
Thus, this issue of Ecozon@, taking its cue from Fairer’s concept of “Eco-Georgic” (2011), proceeds from the assumption that the georgic mode, with its interest in the messy involvement of human and nonhuman action, resonates with current debates in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. Like much recent work in this field (Abram 1996, Alaimo 2010, Bennett 2010, Moore 2015), georgic literature often presents human culture as a way of working through, rather than being opposed to, nature. The daily work of sustaining, understanding, refining, and transforming human existence, it suggests, is inextricably caught up in, rather than separate from, the evolution of non-human matter and life. Last but not least, the georgic tradition affords a consideration of the changing functions of literature. For georgic has always reflected the use of the pen through the work of the plough, creating analogies between the making of poetry and the cultivation of the land. As a result, it poses questions about the relationship between the arts of writing and farming and, more generally, between literary and non-literary ways of working with the material world.
We invite articles that explore the ecology of georgic literature in all its theoretical and historical implications and shades. Conceptually, we encourage contributors to think of georgic in three ways: as a specific generic tradition that has its roots in Hesiod and Virgil, reaching its heyday in seventeenth and eighteenth-century verse; as a more fluid way of writing that, as “a rhizomatic underpresence” (Goodman 2004: 1), has remained influential throughout the history of literature, informing not only poems, but also fictional prose, essays and travel reports; and, finally, as a mode that is gaining new relevance and vitality as contemporary writers increasingly find themselves “writing to” the multifaceted crisis of the Anthropocene.
Submissions could address, but are not limited to, one of the following topics:
- Re-readings of the georgic tradition in the light of ecological and ecocritical concerns
- Issues, such as human-animal relations or the weather, that are relevant to the georgic tradition
- Farming and literature
- Anthropological and ecological aspects of literary labour or work
- Cultural histories of soil
- Georgic’s relation to pastoral and other genres
- Rewilding, wilding, land sharing
- Georgic ontology and epistemology
- Queer and feminist Eco-Georgic
- Georgic and contemporary ecocritical theory
- Anthropocene Georgic
Please direct any queries to the editors Sue Edney (email@example.com), Philipp Erchinger (Philipp.Erchinger@uni-duesseldorf.de), and Pippa Marland (P.J.Marland@leeds.ac.uk).
Manuscripts of 6000-8000 words may be submitted via the journal platform as early as December 2020 and no later than January 15, 2021. Authors must comply with the guidelines indicated on the platform. Title, abstracts, and keywords must be provided in the language of the article, English, and Spanish. MLA style should be used for citations. Permission must be obtained by the author for any images used, and the images should be included in the text. Manuscripts will be accepted in English, German, and French. Though it is not an essential requirement, we highly encourage potential authors to make prior contact with the editors by submitting a preliminary abstract (approximately 500 words).
Abram, David. The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World, Vintage Books, 1996.
Alaimo, Stacy. Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self, Indiana UP, 2010.
Beck, Rudolph. ‘From Industrial Georgic to Industrial Sublime: English Poetry and the Early Stages of the Industrial Revolution’, The British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 27.1, (2004): 17-36.
Bennett, Jane. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, Duke UP, 2010.
Fairer, David. ‘“Where fuming trees refresh the thirsty air”: The World of Eco-Georgic’, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 40 (2011): 201-18.
Fairer, David. “The Pastoral-Georgic Tradition”, in: William Wordsworth in Context, ed. Andrew Bennett, Cambridge UP, 2015, 111-118.
Goodman, Kevis. Georgic Modernity and British Romanticism, Cambridge UP, 2004.
Moore, Jason W. Capitalism in the Web of Life, Verso, 2015.
(posted 22 February 2020)
Pandemics in European Literature (20th – 21st ce.): Theory and Practice
A special issue of Journal Interlitterara
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2021
- Nikoleta Zampaki, PhD Candidate of Modern Greek Philology, Department of Philology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Peggy Karpouzou, Assistant Professor of Theory of Literature, Department of Philology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paper proposals are invited for a special issue on the topic of Pandemics in European Literature (20th – 21st ce.): Theory and Practice and they might explore the topic of pandemics in the European Literature. Over time disease outbreaks have ravaged humanity, sometimes changing the course of history. From Homer’s Iliad which starts with a plague that strikes the Greek army at Troy there are numerous examples of contagion fables (plagues, epidemics, infectious diseases, etc.) into the European canon, among the most outstanding are certainly The Decameron, written by Renaissance humanist Giovanni Boccaccio in the late 1340s and early 1350s, Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year (1722), Mary Shelley’s, The Last Man (1826), Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague (1912) and Albert Camus, La Peste (1947). We will highlight the notion of pandemics, thought as a very large epidemic, through variable European literary texts, the impact on the people and their culture as well as the psychological dimensions that caused to humanity.
Papers might address questions like the following:
- Which are the representations of pandemics in the Εuropean Literary tradition (20th-21st) and genres like science fiction, apocalyptic fiction, climate fiction, traveling writing? How can pandemics be represented through the different local literary traditions?
- How did European Literature and Culture contribute to quarantine time? How did authors continue to write through the time of pandemics?
- How can society and individuals live through the sense of isolation and loss of community? How is their identity shaped and which is the social impact of pandemics? Which is the role of biopolitics and necropolitics in this direction?
- How about the impact of Ethics into Pandemics and vice versa?
- How can self-quarantine create an opportunity for increased engagement with environmental humanities and animal studies?
- May we investigate any nexus between pandemics and feminism or eco- feminism?
- Which is the relationship of pandemics and post humanities? Should we consider different representations of meta-bodies into today’s literary texts?
- Could be found any scientific discourses of pandemics into European Literature?
- May we contribute any ideas arising from our research to the current pandemic literature and what concerns may be pushed to the background now that pandemics dominate the headlines, but are still relevant and happening at the same time?
- How could pandemics construct or establish variable narrations today? May we consider a new pandemic theory as a new sub-form at the era of Anthropocene?
Through this call we focus on a variety of pandemic dimensions in the European Literature and we aim to provide broader scientific and cultural context for it. To cover the global scope of the topic, we seek contributions from around the world. Interested authors should send an abstract of no more than 300 words, a brief bio (c. 200 words) and 3-5 key words at both Guest Editors’ emails by the 31st of January 2021. Authors will be informed about whether their proposals have been accepted after the deadline. The call targets an academic and professional audience and all papers should follow the journal’s guidelines of submissions and policy. Please follow the guidelines for the submission [https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/IL/about/submissions] and the articles’ word count should be approximately 6.000 words. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries you might have.
(posted 22 June 2020)