Environmental Criticism: Seventh Issue of Soroud Journal

Deadline: September 20, 2021
Contact: Bouchaib Saouri
Email: [email protected]

A Call for Contribution to the Seventh Issue of Soroud Journal

“Environmental Criticism”

The seventh issue of Soroud magazine (forthcoming December 2021) will be devoted to environmental criticism/ecocriticism, which an umbrella term that is interdisciplinary and adopts different readings. Many definitions of environmental criticism have been adopted, drawn from different theoretical perspectives but that all revolve around the relation between literature and the environment, be it physical, natural, human, or non-human.

Environmental criticism tries to reconsider a series of concepts, such as ‘human’ and ‘nature’, and expand them to include the natural environment and human nature. It also tries to reconsider the concept of ‘context’ dominant in literary criticism which used to emphasize the social context at the expense of the natural context which involves all that surrounds the human like animals and plants, that is earth in general. In this way, environmental criticism moves from the traditional dualism that distinguishes between culture and nature, humans and nature with the dominance of the former over the latter. As a result, traditional philosophies have given priority to humans and reinforced their exploitation of the environment. Environmental criticism, tries, in this sense, to deconstruct anthropocentrism and question its validity in a complex web made up of connected beings, where humans have no biological privilege. Therefore, environmental criticism moves from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism.

Environmental criticism has known various developments since the twentieth century with the appearance of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring which criticizes the use of pesticides in agriculture and its negative effects on nature and humans. Then, many civil social and political movements came afterwards to defend the environment in all its different aspects. There also appeared global organizations and green political parties that defended nature, animals, all living beings, and warned against the dangers of catastrophes caused by humans through deforestation and the pollution of water, air, and oceans. Therefore, the environmental constituent has become basic in all human life: in politics, economy, society, and culture.

The constitution of environmental consciousness and the interest in writing about it started during the first half of 1990s and many books on the topic appeared especially in the Anglo-Saxon cultures and in Europe afterwards. Then, critical, theoretical writings spread in academic and scientific research, in the field of literature and art. Perhaps the most important feature in these writings is their focus on nature and culture, since human culture is basically tied to the material world it is living in. This has necessitated the cooperation of both naturalists and literary critics, philosophers and historians, geographers and anthropologists.

Environmental criticism calls for questioning the relations of humans with the environment. It also deconstructs their conceptions of the environment through their creative writings. It, therefore, pays attention to the way a literary text is constructed to represent the external environment.
It is possible to summarize environmental criticism in two important phases: the first phase distinguished between what is human and non-human, by privileging nature and its physical and artistic qualities. This phase included the Romantic period that stressed the beauty of nature and its positive effects on the viewer. The latter was always the center. The second phase, however, questions this gap between the human and the non-human and tries to put aside anthropocentrism in favor of ecocentrism because the latter contains humans, animals, plants and all living beings.
The purpose behind this introduction is to help in the expansion of research on environmental criticism, especially in literary narratives in all their aspects. Therefore, we encourage researchers from all over the world, Moroccans included, to think about this new literary approach and consider, but not be limited to, the following suggestions:

• The presence of nature in literary narrative with all its constituents: humans, animals, plants …,
• The position of humans in environmental narrative and their consciousness of the complex relation that ties them to nature,
• The language of environmental narrative and its imagery,
• Humans and non-human animals in environmental narrative,
• Men and women in environmental narrative, and
• Natural catastrophes in environmental narrative.
Translated by Said Mentak (This is the translation of the Arabic text written by Prof. Mohammed Bouhsen, Mohmmed V University).
Deadline for the submission of abstracts (300 words): March 20, 2021
Deadline for the submission of final articles (3000 to 8000 words): September 20, 2021
Publication of accepted articles: Winter 2021

The Journal publishes article in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. It is a peer-reviewed journal.
All abstracts and articles should be sent to [email protected]
For more information on the Journal check the website www.soroud.ma

Posted on January 18, 2021