Call for Contributors: UnChaining Sustainability

Event Details

End: January 31, 2019

Unchaining Sustainability: Working and Teaching for Regeneration and Resilience

In recent decades, U.S. institutions of higher education have in general moved toward supporting energy sustainability through course work and recycling programs, and many--from state universities and R1 institutions all the way across to private four-year colleges and associate degree schools-- do a thoughtful job of introducing students to general concepts of broader but still diversity-light global sustainability. Although such courses and curricula, and the institutions that offer them, often link the effects of our lifestyles on carbon emissions and environmental contamination, they keep a safe distance from structural and lifestyle critique and typically paint lightly any mention of the social justice issues embedded in global sustainability.  

Consequently, sustainability curricula and programs seldom explore the social changes that would need to occur in order to transparently live sustainably — environmentally, economically, and ethically —on this increasingly damaged planet and under examine the consequences of partial or limited sustainability.

Accordingly, the co-editors of this collection seek articles that surprise us and seek to explore, reevaluate, and support sustainability programs and curricula through a social and environmental justice lens. We seek arguments will challenge conventional sustainability frames, articles from both regional and global perspectives, and exploration of assignments that could support these approaches to an ethical, inclusive sustainability. We are interested in creating a book that could support individual, collaborative, and institutional change focused on defining, developing, and teaching full sustainability through a critical and ethical lens.  N.B.: We aim for a collection that will appeal to both academic and non-academic audiences.

We envision three sections: 

—Issues and implications ignored in conventional (“self-congratulatory”) sustainability frames (e.g., modern economic slavery of children and adults in global sustainability projects; invisibility of sacrificed populations and regions in the profitable recycling of toxic materials and e-waste; critique of lifestyle consumption and profit systems; greenwashing recycling projects; structural critiques of sustainability systems and supply chains)

—Provocative curricular frameworks for critical and ethical sustainability (e.g., arguments for and development of sustainability courses grounded in functional adaptation; exploration of the issues of  “deep adaptation” and realistic assessment of climate change effects; close examination of unchallenged capitalism as an obstacle to inclusive sustainability; exploration of practical strategies for incorporating thoughtful and rigorous perspectives)

—Ways forward and perspectives theoretical (e.g., arguments that tie historical approaches to slavery to the teaching of modern sustainability slavery; analysis of linkages between climate change and modern slavery and/or the issues of “deep adaptation”; discussions and critiques of projects, NGOs, global institutions, and publications that acknowledge and work for a more just sustainability;  critiques of « resilience »; analysis of the linkages between sustainability and human rights; curricular explorations of regenerative economy as a way forward)

At this moment, the academic editors are working with an acquisitions editor at Routledge Press who has expressed interest in the project. The full proposal and abstracts of chapters we tentatively accept will be evaluated by the publisher’s panel of editors. If proposal is accepted (within two months of submission to publisher), we will ask those whose abstracts we accept to complete a 7000–10,000 word chapter. Such work will of course be reviewed and edited (and returned for author approval) by the academic editors before final submission of full book manuscript to the publisher. Our tentative date for chapter submission is July 15, 2018.

Please send 500 word abstracts and a brief bio by Jan 25, 2019, to Fae Dremock, Assistant Professor, Ithaca College, Dept. of Environmental Studies and Sciences, and Arlene Plevin, Professor of English, Olympic College, Social Sciences and Humanities Division,