Call for Papers: Edited Collection on Plants in Children’s and YA Literature

From the forests of the tales of the Brothers’ Grimm to Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree, from Piglet’s house in Winnie the Pooh to the treehouse in Andy Griffith and Terry Denton’s popular 13 Story Treehouse series, trees have been enduring features of stories for children. Trees act as gateways to other worlds, as liminal spaces, as markers of permanence and change, and as metonyms of childhood itself. The joy of ‘climbing a tree’ is a familiar trope of childhood. Plants more generally also crowd the pages, forming both the vibrant jungle in Where the Wild Things Are, and the clothes and dwellings of Cicely Mary Barker’s flower fairies and May Gibbs’s gumnut babies. They sometimes wear a more sinister aspect, as in John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, J. K. Rowling’s Whomping Willow, and Tolkien’s Old Forest in The Hobbit. When Emmi Itäranta imagines Northern Finland in a future marked by climate change in Memory of Water, plants are the only available source of food. And where would Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight vampires hide and hunt if not in the forest?

In the field of the Environmental Humanities, an increased fascination with plants is apparent, as can be seen in works such as Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire (2001), Jeffrey T. Nealon’s Plant Theory: Biopower and Vegetable Life (2015), Luce Irigaray and Michael Marder’s Through Vegetal Being (2016), and in Donna Haraway’s focus on “humusities” in Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016). Plants are also rearing their heads in science and popular science books such as Stefano Manusco and Alessandra Viola’s Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence (2015) and Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees (2015), which both claim that plants have sophisticated ways of communicating with each other. As Ursula K. le Guin put it in Late in the Day: “Descartes and the behaviorists willfully saw dogs as machines, without feeling. Is seeing plants as without feeling a similar arrogance? One way to stop seeing trees, or rivers, or hills, only as “natural resources,” is to class them as fellow beings — kinfolk” (2015). This is precisely the approach taken by Matthew Hall in Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany (2011). Children’s literature is in a unique position to explore representations of plants as kin, as homes, as ways of being.

While plants have been included as aspects of previous forays into ecocritism and children’s literature, we believe a sustained, comparative approach to this topic is timely. How do plants in children’s literature present images of vegetal agency, heritage and futurity? What might a plant-centric approach to children’s literature have to offer the broader field of plant studies? How do the plants entwined through children’s and young adult literature support or destabilize traditional readings? We are calling for international and historically diverse approaches which might consider topics such as:

Plants and posthumanism in children’s literature

Norse myth and the world tree in children’s literature

Moral, didactic and religious plants

The forest and the fairytale

Plants in children’s poetry or non-fiction

The treehouse in children’s literature

Plants in urban settings

Magical plants

Plants in children’s literature from indigenous cultures

Plants and national identity in children’s literature

Plants in YA fantasy, science fiction and climate fiction


This collection is intended for publication with a major academic publisher in the US or Europe.


  • Submission deadline for abstracts (max 350 words), accompanied by a brief biographical statement: September 30, 2019
  • Authors notified of preliminary acceptance: October 30, 2019
  • Publisher identified and preliminary contract finalized: December 2019
  • Submission deadline for chapters (about 5000 to 6000 words, max. word length and documentation style pending publisher’s requirements): April 30, 2020


Please send abstracts and any questions to:

Melanie Duckworth:

Lykke Guanio-Uluru:

Third Workshop of the Ecocritical Network for Scandinavian Studies: Environmental Change in Nordic Fiction

In the current climate of a global ecological crisis, visions and representations of the Nordic environment are undergoing a swift change. Traditionally, imagery of the Nordic and Arctic areas has been heavily influenced by the national Romantic ideas of purity and pristine wilderness, which still inform our common notions about the Northern nature. In recent years, however, the Northern environment has become a political hotspot, where the effects of global climate change are readily visible. The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on Earth, and visions of the future in the Nordic region are adopting increasingly concerning qualities. 

The third workshop of the Ecocritical Network for Scandinavian Studies will focus on environmental change in Nordic fiction. We provide a platform for scholars to investigate how environmental issues are represented in the Nordic fiction across media, and how the physical impact of ecological transformation affects our environmental imagination. We do not intend to limit our perspective on today’s ecological challenges, but rather wish to emphasize a historical perspective on how physical changes in the environment are connected to new kinds of cultural representations and new ways of seeing and thinking about the world around us. By examining the hopes and fears associated with the changing environment, we wish to contribute to a fuller understanding of ecological issues in Nordic fiction. 

Paper proposals are invited on topics including but not limited to the following (all in relation to Nordic literatures and cultures):

– Changing visions of the future: dystopias and utopias
– Changing representations of wilderness
– Changes in the urban environments
– Changing landscapes
– Changes in/of Nordic flora and fauna

Researchers from all levels of experience (including PhD students) are encouraged to submit a proposal of up to 300 words for a 20-minute paper (followed by a 10-minute discussion) to by April 30, 2019.

The workshop will take place at Tampere University in Tampere, Finland, on November 15–16, 2019.

The workshop language will be English.

The workshop is arranged by the Ecocritical Network for Scandinavian Studies (ENSCAN) in collaboration with the research project Darkening Visions: Dystopian Fiction in Contemporary Finnish Literature at the Tampere University (Kone Foundation, 2015–2019).


Toni Lahtinen,, Juha Raipola,

Call for papers til K&K 130: Stranden

K&K inviterer til å sende inn artikler som drøfter stranden som kulturelt topos, konsept og sted i og forbi de opptrukne bildene det vises til i anslaget, både konstanter og variasjoner. De følgende spørsmål peker på noen av de problemer og emner vi kunne tenke oss å få belyst i nummerets bidrag.

  • Hvilke kulturelle uttrykk og former preger stranden, nå og tidligere?
  • Hva er og har vært strandens plass i hverdagslivet?
  • Hvordan reflekterer forskjellige topografiske og geografiske forhold seg i stranden i kulturen så vel som i strandens mange kulturer?
  • Hvordan fungerer stranden i egenskap av allmenning som en arena som muliggjør forhandlinger av det individuelle og det kollektive, det egne og det felles?
  • Hvilke utopier er og har vært knyttet til stranden?
  • Hvordan behandles stranden i samtidens litteratur og kunst? Og i fortidens?
  • Hvilke konflikter og verdier står på spill i den aktuelle stranddiskurs?
  • Hvilke økokritiske ressurser kan man finne i studiet av strandsonen?
  • Hva er litteraturens og kunstens bidrag til å forstå strandens kulturhistorie og dens rolle og funksjon i den aktuelle debatt, om det er migrasjon, økologi eller økonomi?

[Deadline for abstracts: 15. september 2019. Abstracts på en side sendes til Knut Ove Eliassen ( eller Carsten Meiner ( Forfattere av godkjente abstracts vil bli invitert til et to-dagerseminar i Norge ultimo november 2019. Opphold og kost vil bli dekket. Deltagerne må selv bekoste reise. Deadline for innsendelse av first draft av artikler basert på aksepterte abstracts blir en uke før seminaret.]​

Se fullstendig info:


This call for papers welcomes current curriculum shifts in which education for sustainable learning—ESD— is becoming an overarching link between disciplines rather than a subordinate pursuit in education. Scholars and lovers of poetry can attest to how it sustains us in our lifelong learning, including our emotional, creative, linguistic, communicative, and analytical development. The concept of “Sustainability” has long-since surpassed the bounds of conservation and recycling; it has a long history in literature, specifically through the development of ecocriticism from the late 20th century and onwards. Yet literature in general, and the field of poetry in particular, is only beginning to come to terms with the larger implications of sustainability as a broader cross-disciplinary discourse, and its potential for lifelong learning. 

A central hypothesis of the Poetry and Sustainability in Education volume is that aesthetic abilities are inherent in all humans, and that poetry is therefore an important form of knowledge. Hence exposure to poetry and encouragement to read, write, and perform poetry has the potential to sustain cross-disciplinary learning. The main goal of this volume is to develop competence for research-based teaching of poetry and sustainability in education. The volume intends to explore and promote how poetry can be a central contributor to learning across disciplines in a fastly changing education system, and also in understanding how the field of ESD can contribute to better poetry pedagogies and methodologies.

We welcome teacher-educators, poetry scholars, ecocritics, and others involved in ESD to submit either an abstract or a full essay for publication consideration in the volume. Abstracts should be 200-300 words; full essays 5000-7000 words (including references). Send your proposal to the editors, Professor Sandra Kleppe and Professor Angela Sorby, no later than March 31st, 2019:

If your abstract is accepted, there will be a three-to-nine month period to author the full essay. Please do not submit an abstract if you are not able to work within that time allowance.

All essays will be subject to an editorial review process (between June and December, 2019). If your essay is accepted there will be a 6-week period to complete any necessary revisions. The prospective publisher of the volume is Palgrave Macmillan; the volume will also be subject to their review process. The publication date is 2020.

Note that we are also planning panels/roundtables at two international conferences:

  • Poetry and Sustainability in Education, panel/roundtable at the 2019 Midwest Modern Language Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois, November 14-17
  • Poetry in Education Symposium, panel/roundtable or workshop, Gothenburg University, Sweden, December 5-7, 2019

Special Issue «Emotions and Climate Change in Contemporary Visual Culture»

The peer reviewed online journal Arts is planning a special issue on representations of emotions and climate change. This special issue focuses on the way emotional aspects of climate change and the role of humans in this context have been represented in the visual culture in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Please consult the website of the CFP for further information. The call is open now and the deadline for proposed articles is August 23 2019.

International symposium «Water, Animals, and Arctic Climate Change»

University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu

December 12-13, 2018

The symposium includes Professor Scott Slovic’s keynote lecture and a two-day workshop directed by Scott Slovic, Arja Rosenholm, and Markku Lehtimäki. See the attached CFP_Water, Animals, and Arctic Climate Change for individual paper proposals (deadline October 31).

Scott Slovic (University of Idaho, USA)

«A More Particularized Understanding»: Apprehending Biospheric Change in Contemporary U.S. Writing about the Arctic

Date and time: Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at 10.15-11.45
Place: University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu campus, Agora Building, lecture hall AG100

Scott Slovic is professor of literature and environment, professor of natural resources and society, and chair of the English Department at the University of Idaho, USA. He served as founding president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) from 1992 to 1995, and since 1995 has edited ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. A specialist in ecocritical theory, comparative environmental literature, and psychological approaches to environmental communication, his recent and forthcoming books include the co-edited volumes Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data (2015), Ecocriticism in Taiwan: Identity, Environment, and the Arts (2016), and Ecocritical Aesthetics: Language, Beauty, and the Environment (2018).

Organizer: The Changing Environment of the North: Cultural Representations and Uses of Water,

Contact information: