2021 Special Issue Call for Papers — Our Shared Planet: The Environment Issue

Our Shared Planet: The Environment Issue
Special Issue of American Studies
Guest editors: Hee-Jung Joo (University of Manitoba), Pacharee Sudhinaraset (NYU)
Call for Papers Deadline: August 31, 2020

For people of color, the future has never been a given. Whether through the policies and practices of state-sanctioned genocide, enslavement, internment, or forced relocation and migration, racialized communities have survived their worlds ending, over and over. To cite the opening lines of Sun Ra’s 1974 Afrofuturist film Space Is the Place, “It’s after the end of the world, don’t you know that yet?” This special issue critically interrogates the supposed universal notions of a shared planet, ecological demise, and what it means to be human in an era of climate change. The collection aims to center the perspectives of people of color historically and in our contemporary moment on how they envision(ed) “surviving” apocalypse. Instead of considering race as a peripheral or ancillary extension to notions of humanity, this special edition posits race as central to the project of rethinking the human and non-human relationships that form this planet. Indeed, scholars, artists, and activists engaged in what is often termed “race work” have never left the question of the human behind. We welcome submissions that position race (including whiteness) as a theoretical, aesthetic, and practical starting point at which to tackle a socially just version of climate change.
We are especially interested in engagements with and entanglements amongst Afrofuturism, Indigenous Futurism, Latinx Futurism, and Asian American Futurism that might engage with but are not limited to the following questions:

§ What happens when people of color are centered in narratives of the future? How does this recentering reveal the limits of contemporary scholarship on climate change?
§ How might alternative and queer spaces, epistemologies, timelines, histories, and cultural practices engage with notions of a “shared” planet?
§ How do utopia and dystopia take on different meanings in the context of colonialism and white supremacy?
§ What role does race play in cultural articulations of a “shared” planet rooted in critical animals studies and/or critical plant studies?
§ How do histories of settler colonialism, antiblack racism, and techno-orientalism cut through imaginations of a shared, or unshareable, planet from different racialized groups?
§ What do notions of “survival” and “perseverance, as well as “abundance” and “permanence” limit or yield for us?

We invite submissions from activists and independent scholars, as well as creative writers and artists, as some of the most visionary research on race and futurity is being articulated outside of academia. We stand by American Studies’ commitment to scholarship that is “accessible to a variety of readers, not solely to academic specialists.” The work around climate change requires this type of broad and creative engagement.
The deadline for submission of complete articles and creative pieces is August 31, 2020. Original photography, artwork, and poetry are welcome. Artistic submissions (.png or .tiff file) and written submissions (.doc, .docx, or .pdf file) should be sent to oursharedplanet@gmail.com. Articles should be no more than 25 double-spaced pages in length, excluding endnotes and images. Citations should follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition. All article submissions will undergo an anonymous peer-review process. For more information on American Studies’ general submission guidelines, including graphic requirements for original artwork, please consult https://journals.ku.edu/amsj. Please address any other questions to guest editors Serenity Joo and Pacharee Sudhinaraset at oursharedplanet@gmail.com.

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