Call for Contributions
For a special issue of Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History
‘Genocide/Ecocide: Culture, Public Debate, Language’
Issue Editors: Helena Duffy and David Tollerton
Amidst the heated debate on building a new Holocaust memorial complex in London’s Victoria Tower Gardens were complaints about the destruction of green space and fears that the site would be vulnerable to flooding by the nearby Thames. In this sense, the contentious project can be regarded as one point of connection between Holocaust memory and environmental concerns proceeding from the increasingly palpable consequences of the encroaching ecological catastrophe.
This special issue of the journal Holocaust Studies sets out to explore the juncture of genocide memory and rising environmental awareness found in literature, cinema, and visual art, in public debates, and in linguistic development. We are especially interested in ecocritical readings of cultural representations of the Holocaust and other genocides that foreground the trans-corporeality of the experiences of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders, whereby participants of interhuman violence are intermeshed with the non-human world. As well as studies of ecopoetics and ecopolitics of the figurations of the Nazi genocide, we welcome critical analyses of the recent and ongoing discussions of the environmental disaster which mobilise Holocaust rhetoric, and of the discussions surrounding Holocaust commemorations which intersect with ecological concerns. Correspondingly, we are looking for examinations of the ways in which the language of the Holocaust has inflected the environmental debate. This is as exemplified by analogies between the two phenomena, by the growing purchase of terms such as ‘ecocide’ and ‘environmental Holocaust’, and by LaCapra’s deployment of the botanical term ‘traumatropism’ signifying a peculiar growth of a plant resulting from a wound to designate a founding trauma as myth of origins.
The topic of articles may include, but are not limited to:
- ecocritical readings of Holocaust literature, film, and art;
- transcorporeality in Holocaust representations;
- nature (animals, plants, and landscapes) as an agent, witness, or traumatised victim in Holocaust culture;
- Holocaust rhetoric in debates around the environmental crisis;
- the Holocaust in post-catastrophic consciousness;
- Holocaust commemorations that raise or intersect with ecological concerns;
- paradigmatic and epistemological shifts in Holocaust research involving the environmental perspective;
- the ethics of ecocritical and environmental perspectives in Holocaust research;
- philosophical origins of ecocide and genocide;
- terminological borrowings between discourses of genocide and ecocide.
Please send a 250-word abstract by 31st May 2022, along with your academic affiliation and a brief bio note, to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Notifications will be sent by 16th June 2022. Should your proposal be accepted, we will expect to receive full articles of between 8,000 and 12,000 words, including abstract and references, by 31 January 2023.