Special Issue "Environment, Ecology, Climate and ‘Nature’ in 21st Century Scottish Literature"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Carla Sassi

Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, Verona University,Lungadige Porta Vittoria 41, 37129 Verona, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Modern and Contemporary Scottish Literature; nationalism and literature; postcolonial theory; ecocriticism
Guest Editor
Dr. Graeme Macdonald

Associate Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick, Warwickshire, Coventry, England, UK, CV4 7AL
Website | E-Mail
Interests: world literature; energy humanities; petrofiction and petroculture; modern and contemporary Scottish and British Literature; environmental humanities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue invites interested scholars to explore expressions and registrations of environmental culture and the eco-critical imagination in 21st century Scottish literature and culture. A broad and distinctive environmental consciousness can be traced in the field since at least the 19th century. Yet, despite some notable exceptions, critical academic engagements remain somewhat sporadic.[1] The development of modern environmentalism since the 1970s and the consequent greening of the Humanities in the subsequent decades have opened significant new critical and theoretical fronts, with prolific attention to environmental perspectives and reading strategies across the discipline of literary studies. These continue to develop in response to a number of emergent environmental concerns, such as the ongoing climate crisis and the recently declared shift into the Anthropocene epoch.

The wider context of contemporary Scottish environmentalism appears vibrant. NGOs, cultural and civic institutions, academic networks, political initiatives and policy mechanisms have sought to respond with ambition and purpose to a spectrum of environmental challenges. In places (as for example in the growing commitment to renewable energy research and development and to emissions targeting) there is a case for seeing Scotland as a radical and leading responder to climate change and to a range of other sustainability issues. There is, however, also evidence that Scotland is mired in environmentally problematic entanglements. Despite being arguably more conscious of the finitude of fossil-fuelled life than other petrocultural regions, for example, contemporary Scottish society remains very much reliant on high-carbon production processes, while a range of environmental issues, from waste disposal to fracking and land management, continue to pose questions.

How do these and other related environmental and ecological issues feature in contemporary Scottish literature and culture? Eco-spatial co-ordinates demand a range of territories, perspectives and scales: local/national/(bio)regional/‘global’/‘planetary’. They may also imply a critical repurposing; a transgressing and transcending of conventional ‘Scottish’ boundaries, temporalities, places and objects of focus—e.g. ‘nation’; ‘landscape’; ‘community’; ‘resource’—for a more environmentally and ecologically bound perspective. A host of potential examples lie across the various genres and constituencies of 21st century Scottish literature, broadly conceived (i.e. not necessarily produced by Scottish-born or Scottish-identified writers).

We invite contributions that engage with texts representing or addressing a spectrum of environmental concerns. These might range from nature writing to ecofeminism, from environmental justice to expressions of deep time and geological aesthetics, from narratives of climate apocalypse to the poetics of weather, from oceanic, ‘Blue Humanities’ readings to registrations of Scottish petroculture, from representations of landscape/plant/animal life to environmental media, from cultures of urban ecology to contemporary interpretations of wilderness, from representing waste and restoration to theorizations of contemporary consumption and resource use.

We seek articles (of around 6-8000 words) that address such themes and issues as outlined above, or in any other related areas. No fee will be charged to contributors in this special issue.

[1] See for example Louisa Gairn’s Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008) and the special issue on “The Lie of the Land: Ecology and Scottish Writing” of The Bottle Imp, Issue 17, June 2015 (http://asls.arts.gla.ac.uk/SWE/TBI/TBIIssue17/Editorial17.html). See also the Envirohum project: https://simplebooklet.com/envirohum1

Prof. Carla Sassi
Dr. Graeme Macdonald
Guest Editors

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 double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. 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.


  • Ecocriticism
  • Anthropocene
  • Contemporary Scottish literature
  • Local/global transition
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Climate Change / Global Warming
  • Energy production and use
  • Sustainability

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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