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Call for Essay Proposals for a Volume on Teaching Postcolonial Environmental Literature and Media (MLA Book Series)


Essay proposals are invited for a volume in the MLA Options for Teaching series entitled Teaching Postcolonial Environmental Literature and Media, to be edited by Cajetan Iheka. In the past decade, critical readings of texts from formerly colonized societies have increasingly combined postcolonial and ecocritical perspectives. The rising interest in postcolonial ecocriticism is reflected in curricular offerings, which include entire courses or sections of courses devoted to novels, stories, plays, films, and other media focused on environmental issues in postcolonial settings. The proposed volume sets out to establish the scholarship on the teaching of postcolonial ecocriticism. By exploring pedagogical theories, contextual materials illuminating the cultural background of postcolonial societies, strategies for teaching particular texts, and the regional dynamics of teaching these texts, the volume will enable established and new instructors to develop critical literacies that will enhance their classroom experience. The book will also help professors and instructors who are interested in studying and teaching postcolonial texts in universities and colleges across the world but who are not familiar with the cultural settings and historical complexities of the ecological issues these texts address. The volume aims to initiate a conversation about best pedagogical practices for the rising field, to provide materials for educating teachers in the humanities about postcolonial ecocriticism, and to generate scholarship that will extend the field.
To produce a comprehensive volume, the project adopts a broad conception of the postcolonial. In addition to formerly colonized spaces in the global South, including Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, the postcolonial in this volume includes colonized spaces in the global North, such as the indigenous, Latinx, and African American communities in North America.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • historical foundations for teaching postcolonial environmental literature and media
  • colonialism, neocolonialism, globalization, and environmental degradation
  • theoretical frameworks for teaching postcolonial ecocriticism
  • designing the postcolonial-ecocriticism curriculum
  • ecofeminism and postcolonial ecocriticism
  • teaching landscapes and narratives of place (bioregional, national, continental, global)
  • teaching environmental literature and media in various regional or institutional contexts
  • teaching human-nonhuman entanglements
  • environmental justice, ecological justice, and political ecology in postcolonial ecocriticism
  • approaches to incorporating multimedia into the postcolonial-ecocriticism classroom
  • animal studies in the postcolonial course
  • teaching petroliterature and media
  • diversity in the postcolonial-ecocriticism classroom
  • agriculture and food security in the postcolonial course
  • teaching film, photography, music, and other media
  • decolonizing environmental knowledge in the postcolonial curriculum


Proposals that stress pedagogical methods, outcomes, and challenges are particularly welcome. Contributors planning to incorporate student work into their papers must obtain permission before doing so. Prospective authors should send a 250-word abstract to the editor, Cajetan Iheka ( by 30 November 2018. Authors whose proposals are accepted will need to submit the completed essay by late 2019. Essays should not exceed four thousand words, including notes and works cited. Questions should be directed to the editor, Cajetan Iheka (

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