Call for Articles

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The environment is us: humanities and the ecological crisis
Ikhtilaf, The Journal of Critical Humanities and Social Studies invites scholarly articles, book reviews and review essays for its first issue on Humanities and the Environmental crisis. At a time of global environmental and economic challenges, there is urgent need for debate about the role of the humanities in tackling the question of climate change. In this issue, we aim to explore the way the intersections between history, culture, politics, literature and art can help us address the complex question of the dramatic global changes, euphemistically referred to as ‘climate change’ and open up new ways of thinking about the subject. Solving the complex environmental problem depends on cross-disciplinary collaboration among researchers.

The humanities enable a multi-faceted perspective of climate change. Reaching back into history for example can be very insightful. It can help us understand the way people dealt with climate catastrophes in the past. The ways that creative artists, writers, thinkers, and activists have critically examined energy practices can contribute to the development of creative solutions to current environmental challenges. The concepts of spatial justice and of the right to the city are crucial in the fight against environmental degradation and can pave the way for policies which respect the needs of humanity.

Climate change is not just a matter of science, economics, or politics; it is also closely related to our ontological connection with the world. There is a close link between global corporate capitalism, the contemporary consumerist society and the dramatic global changes of the recent decades. The utilitarian relation we have with time and space has largely contributed in damaging the environment by using up resources at an extremely high rate. Enormous environmental and spatial injustices have been generated by many decades of economic restructuring and neoliberal globalization. To confront climate change and its dangerous consequences, like global warming and changing landscape, rising sea levels, increased frequency of severe storms, droughts, alteration of species, spreading of disease, we must reconsider our relationship with nature and take into account moral and ethical challenges.

The goal of the first issue of the journal is to answer questions such as: why are the voices of humanities rarely heard on global warming and climate change? What assessments do the disciplines gathered under the title humanities have of the role and impact of human activity on the environment? How can the romanticizing of humans’ place and relation in nature be revisited to produce a critical discourse that surpasses the general reception of literary accounts of the physical environment as dreamy, nostalgic or totally irrelevant…etc.

We invite scholars from a range of disciplines including history, cultural studies, literary studies, urban and architectural studies, gender studies, migration studies, geography, environmental studies, philosophy and art to consider aspects of the  literary, visual, cinematic, historical, philosophical and ethical aspects and treatments of climate change.

Feature articles should range between 5000 and 6000 words in English or Arabic, 1500 to 2000 words for book reviews. Contributors are required to send an abstract (250-300 words) for review. The deadline for abstract submissions is October 15, notices of acceptance/rejections will be sent out by the end of October, and article submissions deadline is December 30, 2016.

All articles will undergo the usual process of blind-reviewing before final acceptance.

Please send abstracts to: chourouqnasri@gmail.com

Ikhtilaf, The Journal of Critical Humanities and Social Studies is a refereed Open Access interdisciplinary publication of the Identity and Difference Research Group affiliated with Université Mohammed Ier, Oujda Morocco. Ikhtilaf is an Arabic word that means both "difference" and "differend" (french for conflict, aporia etc…) The Journal's mission is to stress difference in thought at a time that forced (globalized) sameness is threatening to stifle creativity, innovation and intellectual freedom. Our hope is that this nascent publication contribute to the rise of what is called "Epistemologies from the South." Grounded in the core disciplines of the humanities, Ikhtilaf encourages interdisciplinarity and seeks to bring together humanities and social studies to stress the centrality of critical discourse in our collective response to the crucial interrogations of the twenty-first century. Focusing on North Africa, the Middle East and their relations to African, Asian and European histories, realities and trajectories, Ikhtilaf aims to apply the distinctive research methodologies developed within the disciplines of the humanities in the study of a wide range of local and regional issues that are of global and trans-national significance.