CFP: Ukrainian wartime reimaginings for a habitable Earth

23 03 2023

CALL FOR PROPOSALS/SUBMISSIONS: Creative writing, theoretical/scholarly writing, experimental text/image works from Ukrainian writers/artists and humanities scholars

Terra Invicta: Ukrainian Wartime Reimaginings for a Habitable Earth

Creative visions from Ukrainian artists and humanists articulating what in the world is worth fighting for

In an Anthropocenic context of intensifying climate change, exploding migration crises, and anticipated future wars over land, resources, and borders, Ukraine’s recent experience is hardly peripheral. It is in fact central to geopolitical, economic, and sociocultural processes at large in the world, and becoming more pressing year by year. Just as the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear accident placed Ukraine on the map of the world’s socio-ecological “sacrifice zones,” so has Ukraine’s invasion by Russia—an authoritarian petro-state poised to decline as its fossil-fuel economy depreciates—made it central to the global crises expected to arise on a climate-destabilizing planet.

As Slavoj Žižek recently wrote, Vladimir Putin’s “strategic plan” has been “to profit from global warming: control the world’s main transport route, plus develop Siberia and control Ukraine. In this way, Russia will dominate so much food production that it will be able to blackmail the whole world. This is the ultimate economic reality beneath Putin’s imperial dream.” Ukrainians have resisted this “plan” with their bodies, their (and others’) weapons, and their minds.

This volume will present scholarly and creative writing and art embodying visions of what Ukrainians are fighting for within an expanded horizon of what is possible. Beyond merely defending nationhood and self-determination, the volume articulates, in a range of creative and theoretical formats, “futurisms” rooted in the value of reviving multispecies relations with land, and of positively transforming multicultural relations with history. Like the late Bruno Latour’s calls for “becoming earthbound,” these Ukrainian voices will ask us to imagine what a new “earthbound identity” might look like in a climate-altered world. At the same time, contributions will draw on existing traditions of art and thought that relate Ukrainian contemporaneity to deeper histories of ecological relationality, cultural practice, and intercultural cohabitation. Potential themes include, but are not limited to: environmental history, urban ecology, popular mobilization and grassroots self-organization, the politics of reconstruction, post-traumatic recovery, cultural geographies of land, water, and soil (black earth), civic and ecocultural identities, energy transition, ecological restoration, new media ecologies, and traditional/folk epistemologies and cultural practices.

The volume aims to introduce Ukrainian eco-artistic and environmental humanities themes to a wide readership, thus its style will be “para-academic,” incorporating the scholarly (but not too scholarly) and the visionary (but reality-based). Publication will be in English; proposals and submissions should also be in English (though Ukrainian and other translations may be pursued at a later date). Contributors should either be born and/or raised in Ukraine or have longstanding professional and/or personal relationships with Ukraine. 

This call is for brief initial proposals (150-450 words) outlining works of writing (literary, poetic, or critical/theoretical) or text-image pieces that address these issues of Ukrainian futurity, ecology, and habitability. Final written contributions should aim for a length of no more than 8,000 words (plus references where applicable). If you have a finished but unpublished piece that addresses these issues, you may send it in for consideration in place of a proposal. Previously published work may be considered under special circumstances if it directly responds to the themes.

Proposal submissions received by April 30, 2023, will be given full consideration. Tentative acceptance of proposals will be announced by June 1. Complete drafts will be due in late 2023, with final acceptance depending upon editorial/peer review.

Please send all proposals, contributions, or questions to: Adrian Ivakhiv, Professor of Environmental Thought and Culture, University of Vermont; Fulbright Scholar, Freie Universität Berlin. Please include the words “Terra Invicta” in the Subject line of your e-mail. 



One response

30 03 2023
Dino Game

The picture is so beautiful

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