Call for Papers for a Special Issue on

Ecologies of Life and Death in the Anthropocene

Deadline for Submissions: July 31st, 2024

CALL FOR PAPERS: Lagoonscapes 4 | 2 | 2024

Special Issue’s Title: Ecologies of Life and Death in the Anthropocene

Guest editors: Professor Peggy Karpouzou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece & Dr. Nikoleta Zampaki, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Both life and death are natural states of humans and non-humans, coexisting and at the same time in an implicit ‘conflict’. The perception and mostly the experiences of death have varied through different local communities historically, often aiming to explain death through philosophical or religious interpretations of human and non-humans’ afterlife (e.g. Merchant 1979).

In the present condition of a precarious planetary time when environmental crises, wars, violence and pandemics are before us, entire ecosystems are annihilated or even destroyed. Human and more-than-human world’s vulnerabilities get amplified as death and loss become urgent environmental concerns, manifested in many cultural connotations, e.g. literary, artistic, philosophical etc., seeking to explore and explain death matter in nature as well as the consequences of death on species’ behavior and psychology. “It is about recognizing our shared vulnerabilities to human and non-human bodies, and embracing our complicity in the death of these other bodies- however painful that process may be” (Cunsolo 2017, 3-4).

Writers and artists have explored the representations of death matters beyond the human, the mourning for past, present and future ecological loss (Barnett 2022), while attempting to visualize and express ecological grief, mourning and melancholia, carve out memorial spaces and also imagine practices of the afterlife. For example, in literature, the poetic subgenre of elegy found as (anti-)pastoral elegy, eco-elegy or “ecological lament” (Morton 2009) is built on the poet’s acceptance of “death as natural […], in line with the season pattern and rebirth” (Twiddy 2012). Here death is not only synonymous with a biological end, but a rebirth, a state of a new being. However, the loss of nature itself, turning it into a ‘mirror’ of human loss, redefines the traditional elegy’s search for consolation (Sacks 1987).

Grounded in the theoretical framework of death studies, this special issue explores life and death eco-imaginaries and engagements, as they are interwoven through the study of the human and more-than-human world. It is there where an ontology of ecologies of life and death is being exposed and where the ethical territories of eco-grief and eco-mourning unfold. Therefore, the possibility of studying the ecology of life and death is questioned: How do we come up with death issues in nature? Is nature grievable? How do we mourn for it? How about the circular and linear way between life and death in nature’s spatiality and time? How about writers and artists’ perception of ecologies of life and death and how are they represented in texts and artworks? How do ecologies of life and death affect the way of writing or artistic outcome? How about the posthuman perspective on dead bodies and afterlife issues? What will it mean to live and die in the Anthropocene? (e.g., Scranton, 2016; Stiegler 2018).

While the ecologies of life and death give way to ‘decentralize’, even ‘deconstruct’ concepts like melancholy, grief and mourning, also ‘view’ the last ones as an approach of resilience and symbiosis between them, even a ‘spur’ to act. In this sense, there is a need to re-organize what is holding humanity back, such as the fear of humans’ destructive power, and take action to achieve life’s preservation in order to build sustainable futures. They particularly welcome submissions that revolve around, but are not limited to, the following axes and concepts:

  • ecologies of life and death in ecocriticism, ecopsychology, eco/bio-philosophies, bioethics, plant humanities, animal studies, etc.
  • eco-anxiety, eco-grief, eco-mourning, solastalgia, toxic environments, extinction studies, political ecology of death
  • ecologies of life and death in -cene, e.g., Anthropocene, Neganthropocene, Necrocene, Symbiocene etc.
  • ecologies of life and death in comparative literature and global literature
  • the genre of elegy (e.g., eco-elegy, “ecological lament”, (anti-)pastoral elegy etc.,
  • ecologies of life and death in continental philosophy
  • ecologies of life and death in posthumanities (e.g., posthumanism, transhumanism, a-humanism, meta-humanism, anti-humanism, super-humanism etc.)
  • ecologies of life and death in medical humanities (e.g., pandemics, epidemics, plagues, biotechnology etc.)
  • ecologies of life and death in religious studies and anthropology
  • postcolonial narrations of death
  • “necropolitics” (Mbembe), “bare life” (Agamben), “slow death” (Berlant)
  • ecologies of life and death in indigenous studies
  • human and more-than-human world in queer death studies and gothic studies
  • ecologies of life and death in disability studies
  • ecologies of life and death in arts and aesthetics / ars moriendi
  • ecologies of life and death in visual studies, media studies, film studies
  • memorials, ways of remembering, rituals of eco-mourning
  • images, tools and practices of the afterlife in literature, philosophy and arts (e.g., mummification, cryonics, end-of-life applications, 3D printing for facial reconstruction etc.)

Deadline for full articles’ submissions: Kindly submit a full article of no more than 50,000 characters (spaces and references included), an abstract of no more than 650 characters spaces included, and at least five keywords by 31 of July 2024 at the latest.

Should your article be accepted for inclusion in the upcoming December issue, you will receive an email containing instructions on how to upload your final version within 15 days from receipt. Such articles must be suitable for blind peer review.

Please make sure to obtain the necessary reproduction rights documentation if you need to include photos in your text.

Articles must be written in English. In case you have further queries, you are welcome to send an e-mail to the Editors’ e-mails: and