Life is an inclusive affair. From the smallest grass to the farthest stars, life permeating is in a bond of interconnectedness. Even things appearing disconnected so on the surface remain connected somewhere in the deepest recesses covertly unacquainted by the common sight. A widely accepted acknowledgement that human beings are the products of their total environment is now accentuated in human world. Consequently, it is possible to cure lot of things in human life on earth by bringing amelioration to the environmental factors that construct the destiny of humanity.
But, due to unbridled proliferation in the field of information and technology, our age, to a great extent, is controlled by mechanistic attitudes which consider Nature as merely a commodity and behave towards the existing non-human world so insensitively as if we were the last generation to inhabit on the earth. From this consciousness arises the sensibility towards the green environment around us in the form of Nature yielding life to the pulsating heartbeats of every living being and disturbing which is going to crumble the supposedly erected walls into total collapse.
Realizing such automated interpretations of human beings, in recent years, various disciplines such as philosophy, history, anthropology and several others have expounded their earnest concerns and prompted scholars to give space to environmental issues in their respective subjects so that they can contribute in preserving human existence on this planet.
Literature, as a social lens, is not an exception to this seriously hazardous issue. A literary concern for this serious issue, directly linked to the existence of humanity, has given birth to an emergent cognition as ecocriticism. This turn in literary discourse is definitely significant in anthropocene. It is extensively interpreted as a forerunner to ecological criticism and caters scholars to respond to the real-world problems.
As a study of literature and physical environment, ecocriticism offers its holistic view of the universe that is value-centered and respects to interconnectedness of things, and also takes its area under discussion, specially, of the cultural artefacts – language and literature. This theory does not aim directly to change the course of any of the causes of environmental disaster; rather it seeks to witness how theoretical and close reading of literary and cultural texts can not only raise the voice of ecological consciousness but also scrutinize the politics and presentations of nature in the texts.
Ecocriticism cannot be effectively approached as merely another species of criticism or theory competing for survival in the obscure habitat of academe, rather, it seeks to transform the academe by bringing it back into dynamic interconnection with worlds we all live in – inescapably social and material worlds in which issues of race, class, and gender inevitably intersect in complex and multi-faceted ways with the issues of natural resource exploitation and conservation. It essentially necessitates a move away from the approaches of those who rigorously bestow license to language and the complexity of binaries to construct the meaning, and re-emphasizes on the actual work of words in a world of consequence, happiness, and desolation.
Like feminism at its crest, ecocriticism is primarily an ethical criticism – one that inspects pedagogy from earth-centered perspective and makes the connections among self, society, nature, and text possible.
Thus, it is time for literary scholars to build up an ecologically oriented poststructuralism but not only allow ecocriticism to become merely another ism-machine for periodical and tenure, thus, transforming it from crucial professional and social necessity to just another producer in the academic factory. It is the call of time when literary scholars should use ecocritical lenses to question the various canons which we have received as of now, and which continue to be taught as though non human world within those canons are world-less.
Though, revisiting canons has grown into somewhat of a cliché recently, but the inaugural issue of our journal may have the most instant and long-lasting effects. Here, we call for Research Papers, Reviews, Interviews, Poetry, Short Stories, Translations, Monographs on Ecocriticism / Green Studies for December 2016 Edition that it is not enough to offer nature writing and nature literature alone but that the entire range of canons – from classical literature to popular writing – must be called into question anew. The first issue of the Ad Litteram: An English Journal of International Literati shall particularly explore, but is not limited to, the following issues:-
- Environmental humanities and politics.
- How does surroundings [other than human world] shape one’s writing?
- Concept of “Nature” in literary arts.
- Nature in visual and performing arts.
- Eco-semantics and Eco-poetics.
- Concept of sacred garden, virgin land, paradise and anthropocentrism.
- Living in/with landscape.
- Animal Studies.
- Apocalyptic vision [with respect to climate change, large infrastructural project and social injustices]
- Environmental ethics and Justice.