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Call for Contributions to a Special Issue of New Formations


Please Circulate Widely 


New Formations: a journal of culture / theory / politics




2021 was the year that several environmental ‘tipping points’ – polar meltdown, aquifer exhaustion, permafrost warming and methane release, destabilised ocean currents, deforestation, rising air and sea temperatures, rates and extents of wildfires, storms and flooding – were allegedly approached or even surpassed, rendering the prevention of global warming beyond 1.5 C impossible and 2.0 very unlikely. Given the feedback effects of these phenomena, such increases were predicted to lead to increasing – and irreversible -- degradation.  Where the global scale of ecological collapse previously posed the difficulty of its representation, there is now increasing acceptance among governments and populations that climate catastrophe is ‘real’. 


But this brings with it new challenges, including the obvious one of despair in the face of the seeming impossibility of reversing the inevitable – and now apparently imminent -- annihilation of human life and that of most other species, or deferral of action to a subsequent generation imagined to be technically superpowered. 


 How can we respond to this? What contributions can cultural theory, cultural studies, critical theory, radical philosophy, political theory, media studies, and the wider critical humanities and social sciences, make to our understanding of this situation, and even to its possible remediation? 


For this special issue of the journal we invite contributions addressing this question from any perspective. 


Possible topics may include, but ned not be limited to:


Ecological and anti-individualist paradigms in the twenty-first century

Democracy and ecology

Anti-colonialism and the climate emergency

Ecocriticism today

The climate and the commons

Ecological anti-capitalism in the Age of Platforms

New materialism, biosemiotics, panspychism

Knowledge and legitimacy in the age of post-consensual politics

Posthumanisms and ecofeminisms

After the Anthropocene  

Uneven extinction:  the significance of race, gender, class and geography

The hermeneutics of tipping points, domino effects, cascades

Doomsday clocks: from atomic to environmental

Natural and political ‘feedback’

Indifferent ontologies and ethical responsibilities 

Critical Climate Change and anti-humanism

Apocalyptic exaltation

Climate grief – mourning or melancholy?

Greta Thunberg and the accusation of the elders

Extinction Rebellion and the outlawing of protest

Green New Dealing and greenwashing

The consolation of virtual realities

Escape:  plutocrats in space

Downsizing: rescaling as remediation

Animal futures

Living and dying with disease:  pathogenic ecologies and antimicrobial resistance

Burn this issue:  the archive without readers





We invite proposals in the form of a title, 300 word abstract and biographical note. The deadline for submission of proposals is September 15th 2021. Proposals will be selected by the end of September 2021, and the deadline for the delivery of full articles (7,000-9,000 words) will be April 30th 2022. 


Proposals should be emailed to with the subject line ‘Extinction Proposal’ 

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