Call for Papers: “Tropical Materialisms: poetics, possibilities, practices”

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Here is a call for papers for eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the Tropics. The deadline for full paper submissions is June 30, 2022.

eTropic publishes new research from Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and allied fields on the variety and interrelatedness of nature, culture, and society in the Tropics. Special Issue themes draw together scholars of the tropics, including Northern Australia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, tropical Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands, the Pacific, Hawai’i, and the American South.

Special Issue Theme: Tropical Materialisms: poetics, possibilities, practices

Tropical Materialisms concur on at least three things: humans are always entangled with non-human/material agents; such entanglement is necessary for any creative act to take place; and these same entanglements allow us to interrogate and re-evaluate preconceived notions about the world – from built and natural environments to the fabric of time-and-space.[i] 

This special issue aligns itself with the fields of critical posthumanism and new materialism. What is particularly exciting is the opportunity to rearticulate these fields in tropical terms, that is, with scholarly and creative practices from and about the tropical world. This focus is crucial given that the current scholarship in posthumanism and new materialism predominantly comes from European/temperate contexts and is informed by Western philosophies. In order to decolonize this ontological turn, the special issue recognizes not only that colonial knowledge systems impacted the tropics, but also that matter’s liveliness is understood within ‘animist materialism’. As such, this special issue welcomes materialisms informed by decolonizing intuitions.

“Tropical Materialisms” asks questions such as:

How can the tropics, both as a geographic zone and as pertaining to poetics (via “tropes”), theoretically inform and historically problematize new materialism and critical posthumanism? And, in turn, how can these fields also recalibrate tropical studies?

What particular terms from the tropics can be considered in relation to the growing vocabulary of new materialism and critical posthumanism? In other words, how can the languages of the tropics offer possibilities to revitalize the conversations in these fields?

What critical and creative material practices from the tropics can be instructive in thinking about these “tropical materialisms”? And in turn, how is new materialism and critical posthumanism influenced by traditional knowledges from the tropics?

This special issue looks at three things: theoretical engagements on new materialism and critical posthumanism; new vocabularies through which discourses on “tropical materialism” can be initiated; and varieties of practices across disciplinary fields which demonstrate what this “tropical materialism” may be. 

We accept writings in disciplinary genres (the scholarly and the creative) and encourage hybrid forms. We also seek submissions engaging material elements—photographs, videos, art, music. In short, we call for poiesis: “an active engagement with the world, which is always creative.”[ii]

For instructions, see Call for Papers at or contact cc.

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