Special Issue "Emotions and Climate Change in Contemporary Visual Culture"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Visual Arts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 23 August 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Ann-Sofie N. Gremaud

Assistant Professor of Danish, Department of Languages and Culture, University of Iceland, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: representations of humans in nature; Icelandic modern art; changing perceptions of Danish colonial history; the Arctic as a future geography; the changing role of nature in Icelandic society; crypto-colonial Iceland; Danish use of Icelandic culture in national identity formation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The discourses about the consequences of industrialization for the climate and the planet in general have left us facing profound questions about our future as a species. Is climate change our doing? Will we be able to turn the development around to avoid massive catastrophes and conflicts? How long will we be here? Should we be here at all? News reports of floods, hurricanes, fires, and droughts spur discourses that are highly emotional and charged with feelings such as fear, nostalgia, guilt, and sadness.

This Special Issue of Arts 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. The theories about the time we live in, termed the "Anthropocene", the "capitalocene", or the "chthulucene", have all posed questions about the future of mankind and our position in relation to the rest of planet Earth. Climate change discourses have positioned humans as both victims and perpetrators and have ignited a complex emotional field that is explored and interpreted from numerous angles within the visual culture. Theorists from various fields—such as Ian Hodder (2012), Bruno Latour (2017), and Jane Bennett (2010)—have argued that we need to approach our current situation by looking at it as a complex network and a combination of processes of interdependence—of entanglement between things, animals, other biological beings, biospheres, and economic frameworks of inequality. The question of what a human is and can be is increasingly being explored through non-anthropocentric optics, and simpler notions of subject–object relationality are often rejected in the theory and in the field of visual culture. Hodder has stated that it may be our fundamental entanglement with things and technologies that makes it so difficult to deal with climate change (2012). However, human representations of our place in the world is still an important optic through which we can seek to understand how we make sense of our relations, limitations, and options. The languages of the aesthetic fields of photography, comics, movies, and other visual media leave room for ambivalence and complexities—as well as for the unspeakable—elements that are important aspects of the way we experience our (new) relationship with our surroundings.

Dr. Ann-Sofie N. Gremaud
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • climate change
  • emotions/affect
  • contemporary
  • visual culture

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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