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Voice and Environmental Communication

Type of Call: 
Call for manuscripts for an edited book
Deadline: 
April 23, 2012

Call for Manuscripts for an edited book on Voice and Environmental Communication

Co-editors: Jennifer Peeples and Stephen Depoe

Voice and Environmental Communication

“Society speaks and all men listen, mountains speak and wise men listen”

-John Muir

“I Speak for the Trees”

-The Lorax

We are issuing a call for submissions to an edited book on voice and environmental communication.  We invite contributions that examine and critique ways that practitioners, politicians, activists, artists, scientists, academics and others give voice to, and listen to the voices of, the natural and human-made entities found at the center of environmental concerns.  As Watts (2001) explains, voice is not analogous to simply speaking.  It is the “enunciation and the acknowledgement of the obligations and anxieties of living in community with others” (p. 180).  Following Aldo Leopold’s lead, we expand community to mean all living things and the ecosystems they inhabit, thereby extending beyond humans both the capacity for “voice” and the ability to be an audience to these diverse ways of communicating.   In addition, we recognize that voice is power--it can be given and taken away.  It has the capacity to create presence, it is used as a means to resist oppression and as a response to alienation, and it is the sound of becoming.  Like the environment, voice is socially grounded and conditioned by its cultural, political, economic, and historical contexts (Brady, p. 203).  Finally, as environmental decisions are always contested and often contentious, voice is the currency of environmental struggle.

With the significance of voice to environmental concerns, surprisingly little work has been done to investigate their interconnectivity.  This book will explore the multifaceted dimensions of voice in order to understand its function in environmental discourse.

Finally, notable scholar Eric Watts has agreed to write the concluding chapter, further articulating the environmental work presented in the text with the scholarship on voice. His work examines the ways in which public voice is “invented, performed, consumed, and suppressed.”  Professor Watts is known for his groundbreaking essay, “Voice” and ‘voicelessness’ in rhetorical studies,” Quarterly Journal of Speech (2001) and is the author of the forthcoming book “Hearing the Hurt”: Rhetoric, Aesthetics, and Ethics of the New Negro Movement from the University of Alabama Press. 

Call for Manuscripts

This call for manuscripts invites rhetoric, critical, and empirical research on voice and the environment.  We encourage submissions in a variety of topical areas that will form organized sections of the volume, including (but not limited to): 

Voice and nature.   How might we conceptualize “voices” in nature in a manner that does not privilege human-made symbolic codes?    How can non-human voices influence understanding of the environment and environmental decision-making? 

Voice and protest.  In what ways have voices in environmental protest changed in response to globalization, homeland security, new media, technology, or other current national and/or global trends and policies? 

Voice and decision-making.  Who is invited to take part in environmental decisions and in what capacity? Whose voices are heard and whose are marginalized or erased?

Voice and performance.  How does one perform one’s environmental beliefs?  What do our consumptive choices (food, goods, etc.) “say” about our environmental ethics or perspectives?   

Voices and organizations.  How do corporate, governmental or non-profit organizations give voice to environmental issues?  In what ways do collective or organizational voices differ from an individual voice in terms of ethics, function and/or efficacy? 

Please note: All submissions investigating voice and the environment, even those not covered in the preceding list, will be considered by the editors for inclusion in the book. 

Submission information

Manuscripts must be prepared in English, should be crafted in a clear and concise style that is accessible to a broad readership.  Submissions should be written following APA style (Version 6.0) and not exceed 8,000 words including references. Manuscripts must not be under review elsewhere or have appeared in any other published form. All manuscripts will be reviewed by the co-editors and finalists will be sent out for double blind, peer review.

Submissions should be sent electronically to jennifer.peeples@usu.edu by Monday April 23rd, 2012.  Please contact Jennifer Peeples at jennifer.peeples@usu.edu with questions.

Brady, M. J. (2011). Mediating indigenous voice in the museum: Narratives of place, land, and environment in new exhibition practice. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture 5, 202-220.

Watts, E. K. (2001). “Voice” and “voicelessness” in rhetorical studies. Quarterly Journal of  Speech 87, 179-196.

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