Communicating a World-in-Crisis

Call for Chapter Proposals

Communicating a World-in-Crisis

Edited by Simon Cottle, Emeritus Professor, Cardiff University

Deadline for chapter proposals: December 20, 2022.

We live at the dawn of a new age, or, possibly, at the dusk of a dying age that presages no new ages at all. The language of civilizational collapse is starting to be heard. Whether in the considered prose of academic writing and scientific reports, in the expressive genres of film and fiction, or in the heartfelt chants of protestors, such as Extinction Rebellion, on the streets. The onward and accelerating crush of global crises and catastrophes is rarely absent, it seems, from TV and mobile screens or newspaper front-pages.

Global crises are now /endemic/ to our contemporary /world-in-crisis/. For the most part they are globally /encompassing/ (which is not to say they are experienced equally around the globe). Importantly, they are also complexly /enmeshed /and/entangled /with each other/– /though too often this complexity is insufficiently recognised and understood. Based on the scale of their global reach, the depth of their ramifications, their synchronicity and mutual compounding, global crises today are without historical precedent. Whether approached individually or in interlocking combination, they pose /existential /threats to the continuation of human existence and quite possibly to much/all life on planet Earth. These cataclysms have their names. Climate change straddles the Earth as the most precipitous threat to humanity, but it is inept to think that this is the only existential catastrophe now bearing down on life on planet earth – critical as the climate emergency undoubtedly is. Pandemics, bio-diversity loss, the sixth mass extinction, energy, water and food insecurity, soil degradation, war and weapons of mass annihilation, all now pose further threats to existence. Preceding or sutured into many of them are global economic crashes and deepening inequality, increased political polarisation and instability, and failing supply chains as well as mass population movements and expanding humanitarian disasters. And theoretical ideas of the Anthropocene, Capitalocene and the Symbiocene and ecological civilisation, amongst many others variously help to provide conceptual coordinates of use in grasping the nature of the momentous ‘planetary emergency’ underway.

How today’s world-in-crisis becomes communicated and known and variously responded to, and how the play of strategic power and cultural symbols shape and define, or delimit and dissimulate, the nature of today’s interconnected world-in-crisis, and with what consequences, is probably the most critical and urgent communication question of our times.

/Communicating a World-in-Crisis /sets out to explore diverse media, genres and other forms of communication and the expression of today’s accelerating and deepening world-in-crisis. This edited collection, therefore, seeks out and will incorporate diverse academic and expert perspectives on the following:

  • contemporary journalism
  • documentary
  • film
  • eco-criticism and literature
  • photography
  • music
  • painting
  • performance arts
  • museums
  • education
  • performative communication of politics and protest

The book will bring together for the first-time different voices and perspectives engaged with the communication of the contemporary world and its human induced ecological and other existential threats. The volume is not only concerned with the communication of possible system collapse and ecological destruction. It is also keen to explore the politics (and psychology) of hope. Not the hope of deluded optimism that still informs dinosaur thinking wedded to normative ideas of unending economic growth and the continuation of business-as-usual and life-as-normal. But active hope that can be seen and won and communicated in the creative flourishing of ideas and practices that are already seeking, in myriad and diverse ways, to find pathways of transition and societal transformation. Chapters can be variously pitched across the theoretical-empirical, methodological-epistemological continuums.

Submission details:

As editor of this contracted volume, I would be pleased to receive abstracts for prospective chapters (title, 300-500 words, plus brief bio) by December 20, 2022. Decisions in the New Year.

The book is contracted and scheduled for publication by the publisher Peter Lang, in late 2023. Its brief is deliberately wide and encompassing and I am pleased to consider possible chapter ideas in addition to the areas noted above. Please forward to other possible interested colleagues.

Thank you, Simon Cottle ((Cottles /at/ )