Member Services

Edited Volume: Modernism and the Anthrpocene

Edited Volume on Modernism and the Anthropocene
Deadline for Proposals: March 31, 2015

Edited by Jon Hegglund, Washington State University and
John McIntyre, University of Prince Edward Island

We are seeking 500-word proposals for submissions to a collection of essays exploring the representation of the Anthropocene within modernist literature and culture. As a whole, the volume examines the emerging and complex relationship between Anglo-American modernism and its geological, climatological, and deep historical contexts, as it is articulated in a range of literary texts, movements, and expressions in the first half of the twentieth century.


Please email proposals and queries to
Jon Hegglund: hegglund@wsu.edu or
John McIntyre: jmcintyre@upei.ca


In 2000, the atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen invoked the term “Anthropocene” to describe the period since the onset of the Industrial Revolution as an era defined by humanity’s active intervention into the environmental record on a planetary scale. In its identification of a new relation between humans and their environments, the Anthropocene has become a useful term for the humanities in understanding how literary and cultural texts respond to these conditions of planetary change. Given that the temporal scope of Anglo-American modernism coincides with an acceleration of the human transformation of the Earth, we would expect to see literature and art register these phenomena, whether directly or obliquely. With such work in mind, we seek proposals for papers that explore the relationship between modernism, modernity, and the Anthropocene, taking into account how these can be seen as mutually constitutive planetary phenomena. We are interested in essays which explore modernist representations of the environment, natural ecosystems, geological time scales, and climate and climatic events, as those phenomena are related to and impacted by human activity.

Possible topics include:

representations of droughts, floods, storms and other forms of “extreme” weather in modernist texts
representations of geological "events" such as earthquakes, volcanoes, or tidal surges in modernist texts
transnational and trans-cultural contrasts across modernist representations of the environment
the impact of human activity and agency upon climate and vice versa
the relationship between genre, environment, and climate within and across modernist texts
modernist concepts of temporal and/or spatial scale as they relate to climatic and environmental representation
weather events and "natural" disasters as narrative cruxes or crises
modernist anxieties or fantasies about species extinction (including the human species)


Conference Location: N/A, N/A
Conference Starts: March 31, 2015
Conference Ends: March 31, 2015

CFP Submission Deadline: March 15, 2015

For more information, contact: John McIntyre

Back to Main Index