Call for Book Chapters "Cinema, Disasters and the Anthropocene"

Source(s): Il Sileno Edizioni
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Edited by:

  • Enrico Nicosia, Department of Cognitive Sciences, Psychology, Education and Cultural Studies, University of Messina, Italy
  • Lucrezia Lopez, Department of Geography, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Dear Colleagues,

we would like to inform you that the call for chapter contributions to the “Geographies of the Anthropocene” book series for the collective volume titled: Movies, Disasters and the Anthropocene (Language: English), edited by Enrico Nicosia (Department of Cognitive Sciences, Psychology, Education and Cultural Studies, University of Messina, Italy) and Lucrezia Lopez (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain) is now open. Proposals will be accepted until February 15, 2022.


What kind of challenges does the future hold? Geography can play an important clarifying role to reduce the complexity of (today’s) social, economic, political and technological reality, by presenting a much deeper vision of reality and at the same time offering us the means to navigate it. In the context of theoretical analysis and in the context of studies on the Geographies of the Anthropocene, this call aims to provide empirical and concrete insights into geographical research regarding its recent developments, with a specific look at the challenges of the future.

Jennifer Fay’s Inhospitable World: Cinema in the Time of the Anthropocene integrates the concept of the Anthropocene and the field of Cinema and Media Studies, probing the nexus where human-driven climate change meets film theory and aesthetics. For Fay, cinema bears a unique affinity with the Anthropocene, as a phenomena of the Industrial Revolution involved in the uncanny defamiliarization of the world: “The Anthropocene is to natural science what cinema … has been to human culture”. The analogy is even more profound, however, because filmmaking also facilitates the creation of artificial worlds and catastrophic events, both in the movie studio and on location shoots.

Following Fay, contributions to Cinema, Disasters and the Anthropocene are invited to discuss, reconstruct and explore relevant themes as narrated and visualized by the cinematographic medium.  For many critical theorists, it has become second nature to hold some degree of suspicion towards “science”.  Arguably as an accomplice to some of the most egregious crimes of the modern era, science has been identified with everything from positivism and instrumental reason to essentialism and biopolitical control. Skepticism towards science peaked in the late twentieth century, when leftist thinkers in the humanities sought to undermine empirical approaches to scientific knowledge. This transformation in social thought seemed to depend on the unsettling of epistemic certainty and the subversion of all normative, objectivist validity claims. Yet, as philosopher Bruno Latour has argued, the “scientific wars” appear outdated in light of geopolitical exigencies, particularly due to the accelerating process of climate change. The language of social construction and cultural relativism must give way to an emphatic defense of scientific consensus and global truth, even if it is uncomfortable.

A theoretical rapprochement with the natural sciences has been evidenced by the burgeoning literature on the Anthropocene. Popularized by the atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen, the term “Anthropocene” designates the current geological epoch, in which humans exert a central impact on the global environment. Dating back to the late eighteenth century, the Anthropocene is marked by an exponential increase in the human population, an unbridled exploitation of natural resources and an excessive increase in concentrations of greenhouse gases. 

In the Anthropocene era, the challenge of climate change is not a problem of science but rather a failure of politics. And politics, so to speak, fails because the Great Acceleration has led to a standard of living in the “West,” unparalleled in history. Who is willing to give up the material benefits  of the Great Acceleration? What would a new, less affluent but more sustainable life look like? How are the alternative societies depicted? How are worlds where global warming is not mitigated and climate dystopias imagined? How does cinema portray the historical periods of the Industrial Revolution and Great Acceleration that created the “Anthropocene”? Indeed, how is the concept of the “Anthropocene” influencing the production and consumption of film? Representations, speculations, and questions on such phenomena are topics  that film scholars and humanists, including geographers,  are more likely to explore.

Editors will welcome proposals on practical and theoretical aspects, as well as on experimental studies. Topics of interest in the call include, but are not limited to:

  • Contributions of cinematographic narration to the dissemination of environmental problems and increasingly frequent disasters which focus attention on the themes and issues that animate contemporary debate.
  • The narration of scientific knowledge related to environmental disasters in global and local context, in reflections devoted to the reconstruction of ecosystems.
  • Presentation of case studies on scenarios and geographical representations of the Anthropocene on global and local scales.
  • Anthropocene and cultural apocalypses, the role of geography and its evolution in ecological catastrophe.
  • Geographies of the world: geographic dialogues beyond East and West, doing geography at a global level in the inclusion of indigenous peoples, perspectives and minority communities.
  • Geophilosophies and ecological aesthetics, virtual environments, geographies of space and time.
  • Cinema and digital technology: new communication formats characterizing the scenarios of modern communication networks.

Keywords: Disaster fictions and films; Environment; Crisis; Narration; Human and cultural geography; Resources; Race; Anthropocene.

Important Dates

  • February 15, 2022: Book Chapter Proposal deadline
  • February 28, 2022: Acceptance/Rejection Notification
  • May 31, 2022: Full Chapter Submission
  • July 31, 2022: Review notification
  • October 15, 2022: Final version chapter submission
  • November/December 2022: Final e-book version available

Submission Procedure

Interested authors should submit their proposals (max 500 words) by February 15, 2022, explaining the main topic and the objectives of the chapter.

The manuscript proposals (Word or PDF) must be sent to the following address:

Acceptance/Rejection notification will be sent to the authors by February 28, 2022. After the acceptance notification, authors should submit full chapters by May 31, 2021 formatting their manuscripts following the Editor’s guidelines.

The manuscript word count must be between 4500 - 6000 words. This includes tables, illustrations, references, etc. All submissions will be reviewed in a double-blind manner.

Critical bibliography

Buell Lawrence, 1995, The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing and the Formation of American Culture, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Buell Lawrence, 2001, Writing for an Endangered World. Literature, Culture, and Environment in the U.S. and Beyond, Harvard, Harvard University Press.

Clark Timothy, 2010, The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Chakrabarty Dipesh, 2016, “Humanities in the Anthropocene: The Crisis of an Enduring Kantian Fable”, New Literary History 47, nos. 2 and 3 (Spring and Summer 2016), 377–97.

Crutzen Paul, 2002, “Geology of Mankind”, Nature 415 (January 3, 2002), 23.

Fay Jennifer, 2018, Inhospitable World: Cinema in the Time of the Anthropocene. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Guattari Félix, La Cerla Franco, [1989] 2019, Le tre ecologie, Milano, Edizioni Sonda.

Holm Poul, and Travis Charles, 2017, “The new human condition and climate change: Humanities and social science perceptions of threat”. Global and Planetary Change, 156:112-14. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.08.013.

Inglehart Ronald F., 1998, La società postmoderna. Mutamento, ideologie e valori in 43 paesi, Roma, Editori Riuniti.

Latour Bruno, 2004, “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern”, Critical Inquiry 30 (Winter), 225–48.

Laugier Sandra, 2015, « Care, environnement et éthique globale », Cahiers du Genre, no 59, p. 127-152.

Margantin Laurent, 2006, Kenneth White et la géopoétique, Paris, L’Harmattan.

McNeill J. R. and Peter Engelke, 2014, The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
Merchant, Carolyn, 1980, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution, San Francisco, Harper and Row.

Næss Arne, 1989, “From ecology to ecosophy, from science to wisdom”, World Futures: The Journal of New Paradigm Research, 27: 2-4, pp. 185-190.

Nixon Rob, 2011, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.

Romestaing Alain, Schoentjes Pierre, Simon Anne, éds, 2015, « Écopoétiques », Revue critique de fixxion française contemporaine, n° 11,

Salabé Caterina ed., 2013, Ecocritica. La letteratura e la crisi del pianeta, Roma, Donzelli.

Scranton Roy, 2015, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization (San Francisco: City Lights Books).

Starhawk, [2002] 2016, Chroniques altermondialistes : tisser la toile du soulèvement global, trad. par Isabelle Stengers, Édith Rubinstein et Alix Grzybowski, Paris, Cambourakis.

Starhawk, 1993, The Fifth Sacred Thing, New York, Bantam Dell Pub Group.

Steffen Will et al., 2015, “The Trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration,” The Anthropocene Review 2, no. 1, 81–98.

White Kenneth, 1987, L’esprit nomade, Paris, Grasset.

Young Iris Marion., 1990, Justice and the Politics of Difference, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.

Zalasiewicz Jan et al., 2015, “When Did the Anthropocene Begin? A Mid-Twentieth Century Boundary Level Is Stratigraphically Optimal”, Quaternary International 383, 196–203.

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