Exigence in the Anthropocene: Teaching Ecocomposition in the Age of Climate Change
(See attached PDF for full CFP)
"[National Council of Teachers of English's] (2019) “Resolution on Literacy Teaching on Climate Change” suggests: “Understanding
climate change challenges the imagination; addressing climate change demands all the tools of
language and communication, including the ability to tell compelling stories about the people
and conflicts at the heart of this global discussion.” Through this book, we hope to reinvigorate
the concept of ecocomposition for as a critical tool for teaching writing amid the impending
existential climate crisis.
Essays proposed for this collection may wish to consider the following:
1. What does exigence mean in an era of rapid climate change? How does the urgency of
public calls for change affect the way climate is discussed or written about in a college
2. What audiences are appropriate for students to target as they attempt to reach beyond
the confines of the classroom?
3. What role can activism play in the writing class, especially when students reach beyond
the constraints in the classroom to reach broader audiences through public discourse or
activism? How might new, emergent forms of public/counterpublic activism change the
framing of such discourse? How is this activism related to exigence and urgency?
4. How does kairos differ from exigence in terms of writing about climate change? How
does the moving target of the daily news cycle about climate change impact the
dynamics of teaching writing relative to this topic?
5. What role does climate change denial, “fake news,” and post-truth rhetoric play when
approaching this topic in the classroom? What happens to logos in this situation?
6. How do authority structures and other components of ethos affect writing and teaching
about climate change? How do the authority structures of different groups within the
rhetorical ecology of climate change—scientists, politicians, religious leaders,
celebrities, activists—affect the rhetorical situations surrounding this topic?
7. How does pathos affect the ability of students to approach this topic with some degree
of intellectual detachment?
8. What competing narratives have shaped the past and present debates over climate
change? How can metaphor and story be useful tools for teaching ecocomposition?
9. What role does stasis theory play in teaching, discussing, and writing about climate
change? In other words, how might considerations of facts/reality,
definition/classification, quality/severity, and policy/action be a valuable heuristic for
10. What genres are most commonly employed by climate change rhetors? What other
forms or genres can (or could) be used? How is the topic approached differently through
forensic, deliberative, and epideictic approaches?
11. What value can other approaches—animal studies, dis/ability, ecocriticism,
ecofeminism, ecoliteracy, ecopedagogy, environmental justice, indigenous studies,
literary studies, outdoor education, place-based education, political ecology,
postcolonial studies, queer studies, etc.—contribute to teaching writing in the
Exigence in the Anthropocene: Teaching Ecocomposition in the Age of Climate Change is
intended for a broad audience. The book will feature chapters from scholars/educators from
across writing/English studies who approach the teaching of writing/rhetoric through the
concepts of ecocomposition and climate change. We seek essays that communicate an
understanding and analysis of the challenges and contradictions of writing and teaching in the
Anthropocene. With this collection, we hope to reach many of the following audiences: writing
scholars, educators, and researchers; writing program administrators; concerned citizens;
community organizers; and environmental activists. With that said, we suggest you write with
an audience of upper-level undergraduates and graduate students of composition/rhetoric in
We seek essays, narratives, and other multimodal forms that explore and address teaching
(eco)composition in the Anthropocene. We find great value in inviting audiences perhaps
unfamiliar with theories and practices of ecology, composition, rhetoric, and pedagogy to
clearly envision such work through new frames, forms, and foci. Please keep in mind that
narrative does not rule out theorizing, and theorizing does not rule out story. Keep in mind, too,
that because essays and narratives typically emerge out of specific contexts, we encourage
authors to deeply ground their writing in a specific place, space, environment, and/or
▪ CFP shared online and via social media: October 1, 2019
▪ Individual abstracts due: December 15, 2019
▪ Acceptance notifications: March 1, 2020
▪ First drafts due: June 1, 2020
▪ Returned edits: September 1, 2020
▪ Final manuscript submission: November 1, 2020
▪ Proposed publication: February 1, 2021
Abstracts should: include author’s (or authors’) full name, email address, and affiliation; be no
more than 1,000 words, not including references; and include references in APA style. Eventual
chapter submissions should be 6,000-8,000 words. Co-authored texts are welcome. No
simultaneous submissions please. Please submit your abstract as a Word document to: