Discursive constructions of climate change : practices of encoding and decoding. Call for manuscripts for special issue of Environmental Communication.

Call for manuscripts for special issue of Environmental Communication : A Journal of Nature and Culture Volume #3, Issue #2 (2009)

Editors : Anabela Carvalho, University of Minho ; Tarla Rai Peterson, Texas A&M University

One of the biggest challenges of the current century for governments, corporations and citizens alike, climate change has gained a high political, social and symbolic status worldwide. While global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and proposals for mitigation are faced with many forms of resistance, polls show widespread concern with the issue.

Over the last couple of decades, climate change has in fact acquired a quasi-paradigmatic character, often standing for a diverse range of problems in the relation between humans and nature. It is, therefore, a central problem to environmental communication, and consequently to research in this discipline.

At the core of climate change are political, social and ethical choices with implications for the future of all peoples and all other species in the planet. The paths ahead, the available options and the decisions on the issue have been subjected to multiple discursive constructions and contestations by a number of social actors. Understanding how the meanings of climate change are constructed, reconstructed, and transformed, and shedding light on the relation between discourses, interpretations and social practices, are key goals for communication scholars.

We invite researchers worldwide who are working in the topic area of climate change to submit manuscripts that analyze the meanings of the issue in the discourses of various social actors and/or the media, or that discuss the connections between discursive and social representations of climate change.

How is climate change represented in discourses across the world in its scientific, political, economic and social dimensions ? To what extent do discursive categories and language practices shape perceptions of the problem, public engagement and political action ? What can rhetorical analysis contribute to further our understanding of political and civic communication on climate change ? These are examples of the questions that may be addressed in this special issue of Environmental Communication.

We seek manuscripts that analyze historical contexts, material and economic conditions, institutional settings, political initiatives, practices of resistance, and/or the theoretical significance of discursive formations surrounding climate change. Essays will be selected to be academically sound, self-reflexive, intellectually innovative, and conceptually relevant to communication on climate change.

Manuscripts should be formatted in Microsoft Word in a PC-compatible version (Mac users, please utilize the most current versions of Word and end your file names in “.doc”) and submitted electronically as attachments. E-mail messages to which manuscripts are attached should contain all authors’ name and affiliations. They should indicate a corresponding author, and include name, affiliation, e-mail address, postal address, and voice and fax telephone numbers for that person.

Manuscripts should include an abstract of 150 words or less, including a list of five suggested key words. Manuscripts should be prepared in 12-point font, should be double-spaced throughout, and should not exceed 8,000 words including references. The journal adheres to APA Style. Manuscripts must not be under review elsewhere or have appeared in any other published form.

Upon notification of acceptance, authors must assign copyright to Taylor and Francis and provide copyright clearance for any copyrighted material. For further details on manuscript submission, please refer to the ’Instructions for authors’ on the journal’s website.

The journal is published in English, and manuscripts must be submitted in English. Because climate change is a global phenomenon and issue, we are prepared to provide additional editorial assistance for manuscripts that examine the topic in non-English speaking regions.

Manuscripts should be emailed to carvalho@ics.uminho.pt or raipeterson@tamu.edu by 29 August 2008.