CFP: Special Issue of AMERICAN LITERARY REALISM: “Regionalism’s Climates”

American Literary Realism is putting out a CFP for a special issue.

Critics frequently frame American literary regionalism in geographical terms, whether by emphasizing a region’s spatial boundedness or emphasizing components of regionalist writing that stretch across space and scale. A similar negotiation of spatial scales from the proximate to the planetary has come to characterize recent conversations about climate change in the environmental humanities—for example in the work of Timothy Clark, Benjamin Morgan, and Elizabeth DeLoughrey. Regionalism’s engagements with place, scale, ecology, and everyday atmospheres make it a potentially generative form for representing climate, and yet few scholarly treatments have investigated the interconnections between American literary regionalism and climatic thought. This special issue seeks to generate critical conversation about the presence of climate—broadly construed—in late 19th– and early 20th-century regionalist writing.

Regionalism’s Climates  

Papers might consider:

  • storms, hurricanes, and planetary weather systems
  • historical climate science, including climate determinism
  • industrial transitions
  • climate, health, and chronic illness/the “climate cure”
  • biosocial understandings of climate
  • forms of environmental responsiveness
  • atmospheric language and figuration
  • political climates/climate as a mode of intersectional violence
  • climatic/atmospheric/environmental dynamics in relation to queer affects and relations
  • how regionalism’s climates situate it within realism writ large 

Deadline for submissions: 

Please send proposals of 250 words to Rachael DeWitt ([email protected]), Alison Maas ([email protected]), and Hsuan Hsu ([email protected]) by July 31, 2023.  Essays (of ca. 7,000 words) will be due by December 20, 2024.