Studies in American Fiction: “The EcoGothic”

Due Date: 06-30-2021

We invite submissions for a special issue of Studies in American Fiction devoted to the ecoGothic, an emergent critical approach that explores the intersections between the Gothic imagination and the natural world. The ecoGothic offers suggestive pathways toward theorizing the environmental humanities by investigating how such texts at times harbor the monstrous, the spectral, and the sublime. Gothic anxieties haunt some of our most environmentally focused literature. Likewise, natural elements and environmental concerns emerge, often in subtle ways, in texts more conventionally recognized under the label of the Gothic.

We seek submissions that shine a light into the shadowy corners of the American literary tradition, that address a host of environments—natural, unnatural, supernatural—and that explore canonical as well as understudied texts to reveal an environment that is not only a realm of beauty and enlightenment but also the province of madness and fear.

Topics might include the following:

  • The Gothic as a vehicle for addressing environmental injustice
  • Fear of nature (i.e., ecophobia); terror in or of the wilderness
  • Threats to the integrity of the human body; the melding of the human and the nonhuman (e.g., the ecogrotesque, trans-corporeality, hybridization, and post-humanism)
  • EcoGothic and disability; the spectacle of the “unnatural” body (e.g., freak shows)
  • Gothic tropes (e.g., the uncanny, the sublime) within an environmental context
  • The apocalyptic; connections between human oppression and environmental degradation or the threat of extinction
  • EcoGothic and regionalism; the Southern ecoGothic
  • The transnational ecoGothic
  • Queer figurations of ecology; the social construction of the (un)natural
  • Ecological crises and the repressed other; environmental guilt
  • Frontier Gothic; maritime Gothic; the horrors of conquering nature
  • The land as a haunted house; cursed environments (e.g., swamps, cemeteries, battlefields)
  • Ecofeminism through a Gothic lens
  • The legacy of slavery written upon the land (e.g., plantations and memorials)
  • Vengeful environments; monstrous wildlife; uncanny plants

For the full call for papers, visit Send 250-word abstracts by 30 June 2021. Final submissions of 8,000–10,000 words (including endnotes and works cited) in Chicago format will be due 31 December 2021. Please send submissions and any queries to the guest editor: Matthew Wynn Sivils (