Geographia Literaria: Studies in Earth, Ethics and Literature

Jagannath Basu's picture
Call for Papers
August 30, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, Geography, Humanities, Literature, Social Sciences


The word “Geopoethics” comes from (meaning, “earth”), poiesis (meaning, “to create”) and ethics. The poiesis in Geopoethics has a sort of Heideggerian “bringing-forth” of the earth, not as something which was hitherto absent but by bringing something from concealment to unconcealment, from darkness to light. The earth is “brought into the light (or clearing) opened up by the created work itself” (Whitehead 2003). Geopoethics is about “thinking” (noein) the ‘always, already’, constituting not only the idea of the earth but the earth itself. It is not only the poetry but the process of creation itself (poiesis). Geopoethics is poetry-of-the-earth and poetry-with-the-earth in the etymological sense of the term. What are being emphasized here are the poetics and hermeneutics of ‘with’: the ‘with-the-space’ and the ‘with-the-place’ in literature. The ‘spatial turn’ in the twentieth century especially in science and aesthetics is characterized by a renewed understanding of territorial knowledge or earth-knowledge— a sort of geographical consciousness. The influence of this ‘spatial turn’ can also be observed in critical understandings in Edward Said’s “imaginative geography”, Deleuze and Guattari’s “de/territorialisation”, Gloria Anzaldua’s “the borderland”, Gaston Bachelard’s “topophilia”, Edward Soja’s “the postmodern geographies”, Frederic Jameson’s “cognitive mapping”, Henri Lefebvre and Michel Foucault’s  the ‘production of spaces’, Robert T. Tally’s “literary cartography”, James Lovelock’s “Gaia”, Marc Shell’s “islandology” and Kenneth White’s “Geopoetics”, to name only a few.

            This volume by sensing the fundamental ideas of space and place on the earth seeks to negotiate with and react to the underlying semasiological or psycho-geographical principle of Geopoethics which cuts across all these varied and at times conflicting schools. It tries to understand how we poetically exist with-the-earth? Isn’t literature, taking a cue from Hölderlin, a symptom of the way “man lives poetically on the earth”? How is our psyche an integral part of the earth-thought? How literature deals with the concepts of space and place? How, through literature, one is able to comprehend the underlying principle of Geopoethics— the principle of finding art in earth or E(art)h. How literature creates a world where every geographical location on the earth is a centre and every cultural location on the surface is equidistant from the inner core of the earth? How literature would enable us to sense this Geopoethics hidden deep within the earth? These are some of the pivotal questions which this volume seeks to explore. We believe that literature exemplifies a geographical consciousness an “intimate and subjective” experience of the earth. And this book is an attempt to conceive this eclectic infusion of art and earth, so that we are able to ensure that the world of the art always remains in touch with the earth of the world. And by doing so, we intend to pave a journey where literature would cease to remain a mere heterocosm and move towards being more earth-ly, geocosmic and biocosmic. Let us, through this book, un-earth this deep rooted spatiality in literature. Let us imitate earth through art, as this is the only place where we can live.

            We seek chapter abstracts (not more than 350 words) along with a short bio-note (not more than 100 words) in MS Word file(s) for the aforementioned title. The deadline for submitting the abstracts is 30 August 2020. Chapter abstracts may be sent to Jagannath Basu at Notification regarding the acceptance of the proposals would be communicated by 7 September 2020. Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield) has shown strong interest in publishing this volume.

The following areas may be explored while submitting the abstracts for the volume:

  • literature and Geopoethics
  • literature and space
  • literature and place
  • literature and geography
  • literature and earth
  • literature and land-consciousness
  • literature and soil
  • literature and flora and fauna


Jagannath Basu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Sitalkuchi College, India. His recent publication includes:

The Portrait of an Artist as a Pathographer: On Writing Illnesses and Illnesses in Writing ed. (Delaware: Vernon Press, forthcoming, 2020, with Jayjit Sarkar).


Dr. Jayjit Sarkar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Raiganj University, India. His recent publications include:

Illness as Method: Beckett, Kafka, Mann, Woolf and Eliot (Delaware: Vernon Press, 2019)

Border and Bordering: Poetics, Politics, Precariousness ed. (Stuttgart and Hannover: ibidem Press, forthcoming, 2020, with Auritra Munshi).

The Portrait of an Artist as a Pathographer: On Writing Illnesses and Illnesses in Writing ed. (Delaware: Vernon Press, forthcoming, 2020, with Jagannath Basu).



Contact Info: 

Jagannath Basu, Assistant Professor of English, Sitalkuchi College, India

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