Call for Contributions to Edited Volume “Women Who Write Animals”

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Contributions are sought for a volume that seeks to rethink and recover the history and future of English-speaking female authors who wrote about animals (as scientists, popularizers, storytellers, novelists and poets) from the late eighteenth to the early twenty-first century. We seek to explore the question of how female writers conceive nature and represent animals from a feminist perspective by examining their role in the reconstruction of nature and looking at how they represent non-human animals and their/our relationship with them. The collection aims to pay tribute to what Anglophone female writers did in the name of nature and local wildlife by recovering their contributions and reviewing history. 

During the Victorian and Edwardian ages, many women were in the forefront of movements such as the NAVS -National Anti-Vivisection Society (1875) the RSPCA -Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1824) or the RSPB -Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (1889). By seeking the right to vote, women also became active in protecting animals from threats like vivisection, hunting, and deforestation and took a special interest in a number of issues surrounding nature study and natural history such as the protection of species, the introduction of plants and animals into the home, and of course the animal story. As Linda Hogan, Deena Metzger and Brenda Peterson remind us in Intimate Nature: The Bond between Women and Animals “Women have been vital in reestablishing the relationships with animals and the rest of nature” (1998 xii). 

One of the questions Cheryl Glotfelty asks in the introduction to The Ecocriticism Reader is whether women write about nature differently than men (1996 xix). Much of women’s nature writing has been informed by the understandings of ecofeminism. Many of the earliest women writers seemed to describe a nature that existed “out there”, separate from themselves. 

With this in mind, we seek essays that engage with the works of female voices who often dared to defy the norms imposed by the society or their time and managed to make themselves heard. We are interested in writings which bear testimony to our relationships between species and offer new understandings of animals and women:  women who have studied animals, lived with and among animals and women who have been caretakers of other species. 

It is through these voices that we intend to question whether and how the representation of animals is influenced by gender and study the cultural attitudes and ethical implications they convey to the reader through their imaginary worlds. By analysing the different narrative strategies and approaches used by these female writers and by looking at the literary representations of nature and animals, we aim to give voice to and make visible their literary and activist efforts by examining their role in the reconstruction of nature and analysing how these representations were also a reflection of the society in which they lived. 

We invite contributions that engage with different approaches used by female writers to give voice to what they said and did by examining their role in the reconstruction of nature and above all by analysing how these literary representations were also often a reflection of the society in which they lived. 

We welcome works from a wide range of perspectives and from multiple genres including but not limited to poetry, fiction and nonfiction, essay, animal stories and fables, children’s writing, post-colonial writing, science education, nature writing, environmental literature, to current dystopias, post-apocalyptic fiction, climate fiction and ecopoetics. 

We hope these contributions will inspire a productive discussion on the role of how female writers represent animals and how we understand the reconstruction of nature from the past to our present.

Papers should be theoretically informed, original, unpublished, and address a distinctive focus on female writers and animals. Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for full essays (6,000 – 7,500 words), should be sent as word files to the editors (Lorraine Kerslake and Diana Villanueva by 23 December 2022. Submissions should include author’s name, affiliation and email address, a tentative title, up to 5 keywords, a short bibliography as well as a 200-word CV 

Notification of acceptance: Proposals will be subjected to blind peer-review by the scientific committee. Authors will be informed of the results of their submission before 30 Jan 2023.  

The submission deadline for accepted essays will be 30 June 2023.

Selected essays will be compiled in a volume that will be published by a top international publisher (Routledge, Brill, Palgrave or similar). 

*Theoretical references may include, but are not limited to, authors/ works below: 

Adams, Carol J. & Donovan, Josephine (eds.). 1995. Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations. Durham: Duke University Press. 

Adams, Carol J. & Donovan, Josephine (eds.). 2007. The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics: A Reader. New York: Columbia University Press. 

Adams, Carol J. and Lori Gruen (eds.). 2014. Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth. New York: Bloomsbury.

Aftandilian. David, (ed.). 2007. What Are the Animals to Us? Approaches from Science, Religion, Folklore, Literature, and Art. Knoxville, Tenn: University of Tennessee Press.

Alaimo, Stacy. 2000. Undomesticated Ground – Recasting Nature as Feminist Space. New York: Cornell University Press.

Armbruster, Karla and Kathleen R. Wallace (eds.). 2001. Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticsm. Charlottesville: University of Virgina Press.

Armstrong, Philip. 2008. What Animals Mean in the Fiction of Modernity. London and New York: Routledge.

Asker, D.B.D. 1996. The Modern Bestiary: Animals in English Fiction, 1880-1945. Studies in British Literature, V. 24. Lewston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press.

Ayres, Brenda and Sarah Elizabeth Maier. (eds.).2019. Animals and Their Children in Victorian Culture. New York: Routledge.

Baker, Steve. 1993. Picturing the Beast: Animals, Identity, and Representation. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Baker, Timothy. 2019. Writing Animals: Language, Suffering, and Animality in Twenty-First- Century Fiction. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bekoff, Marc (ed.). 2007. Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships: A Global Exploration of our Connections with Animals. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Biehl, Janet. 1991. Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics. Boston: South end Press, 1991.

Birke, Lynda. 1994. Feminism, Animals and Science: The Naming of the Shrew. Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Blount, M. 1975. Animal Land: The Creatures of Children’s Fiction. New York: Morrow.

Brown, Laura. 2010. Homeless Dogs and Melancholy Apes; Humans and Other Animals in the Modern Literary Imagination. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Collard, Andrée, and Joyce Contrucci. 1989. Rape of the Wild: Man’s Violence against Animals and the Earth. Bloomington and Indianopolis: Indiana University Press.

Cook, Barbara (ed.). 2007. Women Writing Nature: A Feminist View. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Cosslett, Tess. 2006. Talking Animals in British Children’s Fiction, 1786–1914. New York: Routledge.

De La Bellacasa, María Puig. 2017. Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds. Minneapolis; London: University of Minnesota Press.

DeMello, Margo (ed.). 2012. Speaking for Animals: Animal Autobiographical Writing. NY: Routledge.

Donovan, Josephine and Carol Adams (eds.). 1996. Beyond Animal Rights: A Feminist Caring Ethic for the Treatment of Animals. New York: Continuum.

Donovan, Josephine and Carol Adams (eds.). 2007. The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics

DeMello, Margo (ed.). 2012. Speaking for Animals: Animal Autobiographical Writing. New York: Routledge. 

Gaard, Greta (ed.). 1993. Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 

Glotfelty, Cheryll and Harold Fromm (eds.).1996. The Ecocriticism Reader. Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Athens: University of Georgia Press. 

Griffin, Susan. 1978. Woman and Nature. London: The Women’s Press. 

Haraway, Donna. 1991. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge.

Haraway, Donna. 2008. When Species Meet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Herman, David (ed.). 2016. Creatural Fictions: Human-Animal Relationships in Twentieth-and Twenty-First-Century Literature. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hogan, Linda, Deena Metzger and Brenda Peterson (eds.) 1998. Intimate Nature: The Bond between Women and Animals. New York: Fawcett Columbine. 

Kalof, Linda (ed.). 2017. The Oxford Handbook of Animal Studies. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Kalof, Linda and Amy Fitzgerald (eds.). 2007. The Animals Reader: The Essential Classic and Contemporary Writings. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers.

Merchant, Carolyn. 1983.The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution. New York: Harper & Row. 

Murphy, Patrick. 1995. Literature, Nature, and Other. Ecofeminist Critiques. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Plumwood, Val. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. London: Routledge, 1993.