Call for Papers: Ethos Journal 3.2 “Cultural Artifacts in the Anthropocene”

Ethos: A Digital Review of the Arts, Humanities, and Public Ethics—a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary online journal and digital forum—invites submissions for its August 2017 special issue on the Anthropocene. In 2016, the International Commission on Stratigraphy met to discuss whether or not to formally define our current geological epoch as the “Anthropocene.” Despite the fact that the term has not been officially sanctioned, it has been widely adopted by popular scientists, social theorists, humanities scholars and others since its coining in 2000 by Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer. It is used to reflect the geologically significant conditions of an earth that has been profoundly shaped by human activities including global warming, ocean acidification, habitat loss, and species invasion. The adoption of this term has profound consequences for the way we think about humans. As Dipesh Chakrabarty discusses, the concept muddles the distinction between human and geological history. Accordingly, the concept of the “Anthropocene” has become, in Bruno Latour’s estimation, “the best alternative we have to usher us out of the notion of modernization.” For this issue of the Ethos journal, we invite submissions of original scholarly work that consider topics relevant to the project’s intellectual interests in the arts, humanities, and public ethics as each relates to the concept of the Anthropocene. Articles may explore literary texts, film, music, trends in cultural criticism and “theory,” or issues of wider social and political concern, in order to answer the question: How do our cultural artifacts respond to this new geological era?

Essays should be between 4000 and 7000 words in length and should be submitted in a format adhering to the most recent MLA guidelines. Ethos publishes articles written for a wider intellectual audience, so authors are encouraged to avoid—or, in the least, explain—technical jargon whenever possible.

Ethos is also looking for book reviews to publish that have some relevance to the issue’s theme. Book reviews should be between 500-1000 words, and must be submitted according to the MLA style guide. Reviews do not necessarily have to consider academic texts, as long as the criticism is incisive, the writing is clear, and the book is interesting (or, your review has something interesting to say about it).

Essay submissions received before May 16, 2017 will be considered for the August 2017 issue. Book reviews can be submitted for the August 2017 issue until June 16, 2017. Submissions well before the due date are especially welcome.

Ethos is a digital project maintained by a collective of academics and public intellectuals based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to our referred journal, the project also features weekly review posts on cultural criticism and public life. To learn more, visit the project at Please email submissions directly to editors Elisa Faison ( and Morgan Souza ( For questions, please contact editors.

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