Call for papers
Among the problems troubling the 21st century, particularly salient are those concerning the
environment. In what is commonly referred to as the Age of the Anthropocene, the relationship
between human beings and the natural world is at the heart not only of extensively debated
problems such as climate change and the depletion of natural resources, (micro-)plastic pollution
and the consequences of nuclear disasters, but also of issues such as the management of the
global economy and the likelihood of the emergence of novel diseases, of which Covid-19 is only
the latest. The very concept of environmental sustainability – quite possibly one of the defining
concepts of 21st century policy thinking – revolves around this relationship, and it is on the way
we understand it that our approaches to addressing environmental issues depend.
This understanding is shaped by a broad array of beliefs, assumptions and convictions which
vary, evolve, stratify and cross-fertilize across times and cultures, all of which come to bear –
at least potentially – on contemporary environmental discourse. Indeed, the plethora of issues
which fall within such discourse make for a complex scenario riddled with tensions, many of
which originate from the different ways in which environmental problems are “framed,” i.e. how
specific aspects of such problems are selected and given salience in discourse so as “to promote
a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment
recommendation for the item described” (Entman 1993: 52). The multiple framings that can be
identified differ in terms of values, priorities, perspectives and predictions – and therefore,
following Entman, the remedies they suggest and the recommendations they put forth to avoid
what is increasingly recognised as impending disaster.
Identifying and analysing the frames deployed in environmental discourse, as well as their
historical, cultural and philosophical roots, is therefore crucial not only to understand underlying
assumptions about the relationship between human beings and the environment, but also to
explore the way in which the need for behavioural change (or lack thereof) both on a collective
and an individual level can be convincingly argued. Moreover, since framing is a decisive step in
the construction of arguments which affect the outcome of a debate (van Eemeren and
Houtlosser 1999), it is all the more essential to analyse its role in a form of discourse which is
inevitably mobilised in the service of action (or inaction).
This call for papers invites contributions on the above-mentioned topics. We are seeking research
papers, case studies, and theoretical contributions that address the framings and understandings
of nature and the environment across time, space, media and discourses.
Potential topics for submission may include, but are not limited to:
- Framing (of) nature across time and space
- Cultural differences in framing environmental problems
- The role of media in shaping environmental discourse
- Framing climate change
- The politics of framing
- The framing of sustainability
- Framing environmental activism
- The ethics of framing with respect to nature and the environment
- The role of science and ideology in environmental discourse
- The future of environmental discourse
We welcome submissions (max 300 words plus five references) from scholars and researchers
in the fields of linguistics, translation, and interpreting, discourse analysis, argumentation
theory, rhetoric and related disciplines, as well as from other associated fields. Interdisciplinary
perspectives are especially welcome. As part of the Clavier event series, the conference will
feature a special strand on corpus linguistics approaches.
Proposals can be submitted for individual papers (20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion),
posters and panels. Proposals for panels for up to 5 papers (for a 2-hour session) should include
a short description of the panel (150 words max) and the titles of the individual papers included
in the panel. Panel organizers should pre-select panel contributions. Panels featuring more than
five participants may be arranged upon request subject to space and time availability. Panel
participants should also submit their proposals individually, following the Submission Guidelines
and clearly indicating the title of the panel they will be presenting on. The language of the
conference is English
Proposals should be clearly structured, with theoretical contributions highlighting the innovative
aspects of the proposed models, and analyses clearly outlining aim, materials, methodological
approach and expected results. Please use the APA citation style for your references.
All submissions should be made electronically via email to the conference email-address
(Clavier2023@unimi.it), along with a cover letter indicating the author’s name, affiliation,
contact information and title of contribution.
In their (anonymous) submissions, authors should clearly indicate minimum 3 and maximum 5
keywords, and they should specify their preference for paper delivery or poster presentation.
The latter may be especially suited to early-career researchers or to presentations of work-inprogress.