Ecopedagogies for the Anthropocene

Deadline: January 13, 2020
Contact: Ellen Bayer
Email: [email protected]

Out of the Classroom and into the Wild: Ecopedagogies for the Anthropocene

We boast of our system of education, but why stop at schoolmasters and schoolhouses? We are all schoolmasters, and our schoolhouse is the universe. To attend chiefly to the desk or schoolhouse while we neglect the scenery in which it is placed is absurd. If we do not look out we shall find our schoolhouse standing in a cow-yard at last. —Henry David Thoreau, “Huckleberries”

This collection will explore the ways in which we take Thoreau’s words to heart and get our students out of the classroom and into the wild. After spending a full term reading and discussing texts in which the authors have engaged with the natural world, it seems only fitting that we give students the opportunity to have their own outdoor encounters. While we can theorize and analyze human interactions with natural environments, are we not also obligated to create a space and provide resources to encourage our students to venture into the natural world themselves?

This collection invites proposed chapters that outline logistical, pedagogical, and practical approaches to designing environmental arts and humanities courses, assignments, and activities that facilitate student engagement in the natural world. Contributors may use the following prompts as a guide for thinking about potential avenues for inquiry: How might we create a classroom that enables students to leave the confines of its walls and journey out into the natural world? What do these courses, assignments, and activities look like on paper and in practice? How do we define what constitutes a nature excursion? What are the outcomes we seek to achieve when we send students outside? What challenges might we face in this endeavor, and how might we tackle them? What resources can, or should, we provide to help facilitate such assignments? How do we foster inclusivity? How do we navigate problems with access? How do we explore the intersections of inclusivity, access, and environmental justice? How might a student’s personal experience in the outdoors, in turn, help to foster their engagement in discussions about broader environmental concerns?

The aim of this peer-reviewed collection is to showcase a range of creative approaches to empowering students to access the natural world while they are in our courses, and to provide instructors with new tools and ideas for implementing such ecopedagogies. I am working with an Environment and Sustainability Books Editor at Routledge who has expressed interest in this project, and I plan to submit the manuscript proposal and chapter summaries for consideration in Routledge’s Environmental Humanities Series.

Send abstracts of 300-500 words, plus a brief biography, to the editor, Ellen Bayer at [email protected] no later than January 13, 2020. I will inform authors of acceptance by January 27, 2020. Educators across the Environmental Arts and Humanities, of all ranks and types of institutions, are encouraged to submit an abstract. Instructors of team-taught courses, online courses, or other course styles are also most welcome to apply.

Posted on December 2, 2019