Anita Lundberg Contribution

About the Special Issue Theme: Tropical Landscapes: nature-culture entanglements 

Landscape integrates both natural and cultural aspects of a particular area. Landscapes incorporate environmental elements including landforms, waterscapes, climate and weather, flora and fauna. They also necessarily involve human perception and inscriptions which reflect histories of extraction and excavation, of planting and settlement, of design and pollution. Natural elements and the cultural shaping by humans – past, present and future – means landscapes reflect living entanglements of people and place.

A landscape’s physicality is entwined with layers of human meaning and value – and tropical landscapes have a particular human value. The tropics is commonly defined in geographical terms as the region of Earth on either side of the Equator extending to the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Yet the tropics is far more than geographical and needs to be understood through the imaginary of tropicality. Tropicality refers to how the tropics are construed as the exoticised environmental Other of the Western world as this is informed by art and culture, and imperial and scientific practices. In this imaginary – in which the tropics are depicted through nature images as either fecund paradise or fetid hell – the temperate is portrayed as civilised and the tropical as requiring cultivation.[i]

As part of this drive for cultivation, the new theory of the plantationocene critiques how expansive plantation landscapes – past and present – are entwined with environmental degradation, with histories of colonialism, with capitalism and racism, and the tropics. Yet landscapes are also shaped by Indigenous peoples, from the vast songline tracks across the tropical north of Australia to the sculptured rice terraces of Bali.

Tropical landscapes can be theorised from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, including: art, architecture, archaeology, anthropology, geography, history, heritage, literature, ecophilosophy, ecogothic, poetry, mythology, science and technology, film and photography.

CFP Tropical Landscapes

This CFP is open to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary intertwinings, as well as new perspectives on established disciplinary approaches. It invites papers that consider landscapes between, for example: nature and culture, humans and animals, indigeneity and colonialism, science and poetics, histories and futures, reality and fiction, mythologies and technologies, spirits and humans, natural sciences and social sciences, the sacred and mundane, and the global and local.

The Special Issue invites a wide range of articles and creative works from researchers who engage with the tropical regions of the world. These include: tropical Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Indian Ocean Islands, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, the tropical north of Australia, Papua and the Pacific Ocean Islands, Hawai’i and the American South.

eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics publishes new research from Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and allied fields on the variety and interrelatedness of nature, culture, and society in the Tropics. ISSN:1448-2940, free open access; indexed in Scopus, Google Scholar, Ulrich's, DOAJ; archived in Pandora, Sherpa/Romeo; uses DOIs and Crossref; ranked Scimago Q1.