Special issue of Southern Cultures:
Human/Nature (Spring 2021)

Guest Edited by Andy Horowitz
Deadline for Submissions: June 15, 2020

Southern Cultures encourages submissions from scholars, writers, and artists for a special issue, Human/Nature, to be published Spring 2021. Issuing this call from an age of rising seas and devastating viruses, we are interested in approaches to the environment that recognize both that humans are now, and have long been, agents of change in the so-called natural world, and also that nature always creates possibilities and limits for human life. While we are interested in the environment as a material landscape—something that crunches underfoot and burns on the skin—we also welcome contributions that treat the environment as an intellectual terrain where ideas about place inform people’s views of the world.

We are looking for work that considers how people live in and with the wider world around them. By “the environment,” we do not narrow the focus exclusively to non-human nature, but rather invite contributors to consider broadly the relationships between people and place.

We welcome innovative methods, but we also seek work that engages with venerable forms—nature writing and agricultural history, for example—and invigorates them with contemporary concerns, ideas, and frameworks.

Possible topics and questions to explore might include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • the idea of a distinct southern environment and its influence on southern culture
  • how race, class, gender, and other social constructs of inequality can masquerade as the natural order of things
  • indigenous ecologies and environmental epistemologies
  • the lived experience of environmental change, and the climate crisis in the South
  • connections between built and natural environments
  • revisiting the idea of nature and the natural/what is “natural”
  • the environment as a place of labor versus a place of leisure
  • environmental hazards: diseases, pests, plagues, pestilence, and toxins
  • disasters
  • the interplay of time scales—how and when the timelines of human and environmental history seem to coincide or diverge; and the interplay of geographical scales, from the domestic to the regional to the hemispheric to the global
  • rural, urban, suburban, agricultural, and industrial environments
  • traditional medicines, foraging, farming, gardening, homesteading, and “back to the land” movements
  • agricultural technologies, civil engineering, urban planning, and other strategies of environmental management
  • geography and human ecology
  • food landscapes, production, and systems
  • environmental activism, ecofeminism, and environmental justice

As Southern Cultures publishes digital content, we encourage creativity in coordinating print and digital materials in submissions and ask that authors submit any potential video, audio, and interactive visual content with their essay or introduction/artist’s statement. We encourage authors to gain familiarity with the tone, scope, and style of our journal before submitting.