CALL FOR PAPERS – Temporal Environments: Rethinking Time and Ecology

Special Issue of Environmental Philosophy

Deadline: Abstracts of 300-400 words, due by April 1, 2011; Papers due for review by August 1, 2011
Theme: Temporal environments: rethinking time and ecology
Guest editors: Jacob Metcalf (UC Santa Cruz) and Thom van Dooren (University of Technology, Sydney)
Target publication date: Spring 2012

Place and space have received substantial attention in environmental philosophy in recent decades. Theorists from a variety of fields have proposed that reorienting our relationship to the non-human world requires reconsideration of ways of understanding and inhabiting spaces and places. Ecophenomenologists have argued that replacing meaningful places with abstract space was a critical moment in histories of environmental destruction, and environmental ethics will require re-imagining place as meaningful again. Bioregionalism has emphasized the need to rethink our places as ecological relationships, and inspired not only changes in academia, but also in environmental movements such as food localism. In a related vein, Val Plumwood has cautioned against too simplistic a notion of “one’s place”, critiquing the fracturing of place in which cherished homeplaces are able to be preserved only as a result of the destruction of less visible ‘shadow places’. In short, there is a broad assertion that reassessing our obligations to more-than-human worlds requires understanding place as more meaningful than an empty space to be filled by human concerns.

This special issue of Environmental Philosophy will present a collection of articles that direct similar attention to the time and temporality of environments, a topic that has been relatively neglected by environmental philosophy and ethics. Although environmental ethicists have long discussed temporal issues, such as intergenerational justice, time has often been treated as an essentially linear and static container for human action. But if we conceive of time as produced, constructed, maintained, lived, multiple, and a more-than-human concern, the possibilities for environmental philosophy look dramatically different. This collection will offer such a framework for thinking through time and environment by exploring the multiple lived times present in global climate change, species extinction, the practices of ecological sciences, and the temporal fidelities of conservation and restoration.

 Among the questions we hope this collection might explore are: What philosophical reconsiderations of time might be available and useful for other ecological disciplines? How does the pace of human life— markets, science, desires, consumption—impact our ability to imagine and produce livable futures? How might we remember different, and sometimes lost, ways of valuing human and nonhuman worlds in a way that does not fetishize the past but still holds it open as a resource for constructing better futures? How does an attentiveness to the scope of evolutionary time alter our sense of obligation in a time of massive biodiversity loss? How does the high-speed pace of much human life actually make it harder to change the conditions of those lives? How do humans and other animals learn to justly co-inhabit our sometimes very different temporalities? What ways of life are enabled or disabled by different temporal metaphors? What post-colonial temporalities are necessary for recuperation of cultural ecologies damaged by genocides and ecocides? Will sustainable ecologies require new models of temporality to reformulate growth, degrowth, and regrowth?

We invite submissions from environmental philosophers and other ecological scholars, including reflective pieces from natural and social scientists. Pieces that are grounded in specific cases of temporal environments are especially encouraged. We welcome pieces from international and native communities, and others not often represented in philosophy journals.

Environmental Philosophy (http:// is a peer-reviewed professional philosophy journal, and is the official journal of the International Association of Environmental Philosophy (IAEP). Environmental Philosophy publishes innovative research relevant to all areas of environmental philosophy, including ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, theology, politics, ecofeminism, environmental justice, philosophy of technology, and ecophenomenology.

There are no word count restrictions, but submissions are encouraged to aim for 6-8,000 words.

For further information or to submit abstracts, please contact Jacob Metcalf ( or Thom van Dooren (


Download as a PDF: Temporal Environments: Rethinking Time and Ecology