Contact: Anthony Lioi, Associate Professor, The Juilliard School
Special Issue: The Roots of the Future
Resilience: A Journal of Environmental Humanities is seeking submissions for a special issue on radical futures, edited by Andrea Knutson, Anthony Lioi, and Stephen Siperstein. In response to the extractive practices of capitalist/colonial cultures as well as neoliberal trends in higher education, this issue of Resilience aims to explore pasts, presents, and futures of eco-political resistance.
Inspired by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment’s 2017 conference in Detroit and the Detroit activists who were integral to that conference, we seek to spark conversations about America’s colonial-capitalist history as a site of multiple layers of resistance. Located in a region marked by the oil and gas extraction and transportation that power the United States economy, Detroit sits at a nexus of the fight against fossil fuel dependence and for clean water. Detroiters have organized around infrastructure and pollution in their fight against water shut-offs, the ongoing crisis of Flint’s water supply, and the Detroit incinerator. These are struggles that echo across the North American continent. In addition, Detroit’s people reject the notion of “abandoned” cities and neighborhoods that invites privatization, gentrification, and charter schools. Finally, Detroit has always been a transnational space, from its geographical placement along Indigenous migration routes (Waawiyaataanong), to its serving as the destination of enslaved people on the Underground Railroad, to its becoming the new home of African-Americans participating in the Great Migration, to its central role in the Arab-American migration beginning in the 19th century. Detroit is a microcosm of North American pasts and futures.
Given this context, we are interested in work attuned to questions such as:
- What does it mean to practice resistance in the context of both the current moment and its historical precedents?
- What approaches to understanding the past enable decolonial and counter-extractive futures of flourishing?
- How can work in the deeper pasts of medieval, classical, and archaic cultures serve as roots of the future?
- What do the controversies over queer futurity have to teach queer ecologies?
- What does utopian thinking (feminist, socialist, cultural-nationalist, post-apocalyptic, etc.) offer at the present time?
- What roles do the environmental humanities play in creating cultures beyond the colonial, extractivist present?
- How can environmental humanities scholarship, activism, and pedagogy prefigure futures of radical justice?
- How can academic-community or cross-disciplinary partnerships in the environmental humanities establish institutions, collectives, or relationships beyond the neoliberal university?
- How can scholarship recover work from (or decolonize) a literary archive whose organizational terms reinforce and reflect colonial practices?
How does one interrogate the colonial legacies of a broader scope of archives, from the literary to the public records of a government website?
What kinds of interventions can the Digital/Environmental Humanities bring to prefigurative scholarship and pedagogy?
How might researchers, artists, writers, teachers, activists, policymakers, and colleagues across the humanities, social sciences, and natural science collaborate in practices of resistance and futurity?
As corporate partnering becomes more prevalent between higher education and the (larger capitalist) community, how can counter-extractive relationships be imagined and practiced?
We encourage non-traditional, emergent modes of scholarship, including those that are collaborative and transdisciplinary, as well as those that interweave the foci of research, pedagogy, and activism. These could take the form of essays, provocations, position papers, or artist statements. We invite submissions that are collaborative in nature and that resist the silo-ization of disciplines and communities.
Before submitting your work for consideration, please send a query to Anthony Lioi at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Roots of the Future.” Once your query is acknowledged, submit your work by March 16, 2018 via the Resilience website:
Be certain to indicate in the abstract that you are submitting something for the “The Roots of the Future” special issue.