CFP: Anthropocene Gothic

Around three hundred years ago, the Industrial Revolution increased the print left by human activity on planet Earth. In 2000, Paul J. Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer, the well-known atmospheric scientists, coined the term “Anthropocene” as a geological designation associated with the perceived and quantifiable impact of humankind on the ecological functioning of the planet’s atmosphere.

Although the scientific community has not yet approved of an official re-naming of existing geological periods, the Anthropocene nomination has attained significant assent in ecocriticism, as well as in the specific trend within it which we now call EcoGothic which, according to Elizabeth Parker, is “a flavoured mode through which we can examine our darker, more complicated cultural representations of the nonhuman world ‒‒which are all the more relevant in times of ecological crisis” (Forest and EcoGothic).

Humankind has taken part in an insurmountable transformation of the planet that results from the ways we have used technology to mould Nature to our needs without considering a non-human perspective. However, when pandemics, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters strike, we are forced to seclude our feeble bodies and witness our barricades and artificial strongholds collapse or barely keep us safe. During the last three centuries, Gothic narratives have reminded us that we are not in control when natural processes collide with our claim of superiority over the planet. 

For the present edited collection, with the provisional title Anthropocene Gothic, we invite contributors to submit articles that explore Anthropocenic perspectives and their multifarious presence in Gothic texts. Possible topics to explore might include, but are not limited to:

  • EcoGothic: Romantic vs Gothic approaches to the representations of the natural world
  • EcoHorror and the exploration of climate crisis anxieties
  • Plant horror: The monstrous vegetal in art
  • EcoGothic and Animal Studies
  • Donna Haraway’s concept of “companion species” and Anthropocene Gothic 
  • Horror of Contagion
  • Pandemics and its aftermath in Gothic literature and art. 
  • A dark ecology of the forest in Anthropocene Gothic.
  • Nautical Gothic and its relation to environmental concerns
  • Monsters and a blurring of the distinction between human and other-than-human in Gothic aesthetics 
  • Eco-disaster cinema
  • The Anthropocene perspective in Gothic: A dialogue with postcolonial and neocolonial studies 
  • The transformative potential of Anthropocene Gothic.

Please send a proposal of about 500 words, for chapters of 6000-7000 words, and a short biography to Aurora Piñeiro and Tony Alcala by 30 November 2023.

Contributors can expect to be selected and notified by 15 December 2023. The deadline for submission of full articles will be 29 February 2024.