CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue on Decolonizing Asian Diasporic Ecocriticism


CFP: ARIEL Special Issue on Decolonizing Asian Diasporic Ecocriticism

Guest Editors:

Emily Yu Zong, Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Baptist University

Jeffrey Santa Ana, Associate Professor, Stony Brook University

In Decolonial Ecology, Malcom Ferdinand argues that modernity has wrought a double crisis: environmental devastation by capitalist and technocratic forces, and colonial legacies of Western imperialism marked by systemic racism and Indigenous erasure. This double crisis helps us to see that human emancipation alone cannot be the only goal in envisioning a decolonial future. Rather, a world that is to be free from colonialism’s oppression and destruction must also unlearn colonial ways of inhabiting the earth that are also environmentally ruinous.  

Asian diasporic and multiethnic studies have traditionally emerged out of anti-racist movements that celebrate Western democracy and liberal humanist recognition. Such liberatory resistance, however, is being reconfigured by a decolonial critique of modern (settler) colonial structures that see these structures as ongoing systems that reproduce divides between nature and culture and human and nonhuman. Recent Asian American and Asian Canadian scholarship calls for retelling stories of Asian diasporic oppression and resistance beyond frameworks like “claiming the nation,” the model minority, or multicultural harmony (Wong 2008; Fujikane and Okamura 2008; Suzuki and Bahng 2020). Decolonizing Asian diasporic ecocriticism would present both frictions and prospects: not only exposing how migrants and refugees have been implicated in colonial capitalist structures but also creating or offering counternarratives in which Asian diasporic communities participate in ethical ecologies and transformative politics that imagine alliances across borders and species that further environmental justice.

Bringing decolonial thought to bear on a growing body of Asian diasporic environmental literature, this special issue invites papers that examine the relations between decoloniality, nature, and ethics embedded in local histories and struggles of the Asian diaspora. We welcome articles that embed decolonial insights in ethnic, migrant, postcolonial, feminist, queer, and Indigenous struggles, knowledges, and body-place dynamisms in the Asia-Pacific and globally.

Prospective contributors are invited to submit proposals on topics related to decolonizing Asian diasporic ecocriticism including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Unsettling the (settler) colonial matrix of power in analyses of race, Indigeneity, gender, sexuality, labor, property, and environmental extraction
  • Challenging colonial epistemes of species and animality
  • Exploring diasporic-Indigenous collaborative ecologies and decolonial alliances
  • Analysing colonial and decolonial dimensions of migratory and refugee biopolitics
  • Deploying blue humanities and critical ocean studies for decolonial responses to ecological ruin
  • Investigating literary forms that disturb anthropocentric narratives of techno-modernity, neoliberal capitalism, nationalism, and globalization
  • Imagining alternative paradigms of ecological care, ethics, and relationality that foreground elemental, embedded, affective, ecomaterial, trans-corporeal, and/or more-than-human ecologies of interdependence
  • Critiquing environmental impacts of empire, military imperialism, and neoliberalism within and across regions of Asia and the Pacific Islands
  • Decolonial approaches to climate change and environmental justice

Please send a 500 word proposal and short bio no later than 15 April, 2024 to guest editors Emily Zong ( and Jeffrey Santa Ana ( Contributors will be notified by 1 May, 2024; article drafts of 6000-9000 words will be due by 15 September, 2024 for double-blind peer review.