Plastics: Culture, Environment, and the Politics of Waste

Tatiana Prorokova's picture
Call for Papers
Subject Fields: 
Animal Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Maritime History / Studies

Plastics: Culture, Environment, and the Politics of Waste

Editor: Tatiana Prorokova

This project probes the complex relationship that humanity has had with plastics since the beginning of the twentieth century. Cheap yet durable, plastics are some of the most widely produced and used materials. Yet the inability of most plastics to degrade in a natural way makes them some of the largest pollutants. Plastic trash has been transforming our environment, polluting the land and the ocean, destroying multiple eco-systems. This project traces the cultural history of plastics. It investigates the ways plastics shape our petroculture, uncovers the capitalist history of plastic waste, and reimagines the meaning of (non-degradable, biodegradable, and degradable) plastics in the era of global climate change. The editor invites scholars, artists, and activists to engage in the interrelated discussion on the role of plastics in our lives and the effects these materials have on human and nonhuman health. The book will identify the key ways plastics shape the history of pollution and climate change as well as address the cultural and political implications of living life without plastics.  

Potential contributors are welcome to submit their abstracts of 250 words along with their short bios (150 words max.) to by April 1, 2020. Full chapters of 8,000 words will be requested by September 1, 2020.


About the editor: Tatiana Prorokova is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Vienna, Austria. Her current project examines representations of the environment and climate change in fiction since the Industrial Revolution. She holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of Marburg, Germany. She was a Visiting Researcher at the Forest History Society (2019), an Ebeling Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society (2018), and a Visiting Scholar at the University of South Alabama, USA (2016). Her research interests include war studies, environmental humanities, disability studies, gender studies, and race studies, and are reflected in her publications in academic journals and edited collections. She is the author of Docu-Fictions of War: U.S. Interventionism in Film and Literature (University of Nebraska Press, 2019) and a coeditor of Cultures of War in Graphic Novels: Violence, Trauma, and Memory (Rutgers University Press, 2018).   


Contact Email: