Call for Submissions: “Troubling Time”

Call for Submissions: “Troubling Time” Special Series

Few things have puzzled, terrified, inspired, and frustrated human societies over time as much as time itself. Whether mourning or reveling in the past or dreading or anticipating the future, time shapes lives and opportunities, emotions and perceptions. It shapes how every society and culture understands and interacts with the world around it. Thus, in few areas is the role and complexity of time more visible than in discussions and conceptualizations of “the environment.” As part of a new special series, Edge Effects seeks submissions that interrogate environmental ideas, spaces, processes, and problems through the lens of temporality. 

“The environment” is traditionally conceptualized through three-dimensional spaces—forests, mountains, cityscapes. Often referred to as “the fourth dimension,” time is also central to our understanding of the world and relationship to it. As scholars like Marcia Bjornerud have increasingly pointed out, “an awareness of Earth’s temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survival.” Yet, conceptualizing, narrating, marking the passage of time is inherently political, as debates over the Anthropocene, Capitalocene, and Plantationocene demonstrate.

Time, in many respects, has been captured by the clock: measured in minutes and seconds, labor hours and deadlines, and even human lifetimes, in constant, forward momentum. Thinking outside these confines, however, can provide new ways to imagine the more-than-human world and our relationship to it, as well as possible environmental futures and earthly capacities for resilience and adaptation. 

This series pays attention to the ways in which time is not a universal monolith. It has been experienced, represented, and understood differently across generations, societies, species, and geographies. From recording and predicting environmental change over time, to intervening to halt and reverse the effect of time, to “running out of time” to prevent climate change, and to imagining alternative environmental futures, environmental discourses implicitly and explicitly construct and invoke “time.” In this series, we seek to identify, disentangle, and challenge the intersection of temporality, power, and the environment.

We welcome submissions that may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Complexities, challenges, and contents of environmental archives
  • Narrations of time and geological/ecological eras 
  • Relationships between deep, geologic time, the present moment, and alternative futures
  • Nonlinear and unconventional conceptions and representations of time, including multispecies rhythms
  • Postcolonial, Indigenous, and/or subaltern views of time and environmental change
  • Anticipatory ruination, environmental grief, and climate anxiety
  • Adaptation, resilience, and prefigurative climate governance
  • Spectacle versus slow violence and chronic toxicity
  • History, memory and power  
  • Labor, leisure, and privilege
  • Pastoral nostalgia and mourning of environmental pasts
  • Critique of modernity from the perspective of environmental studies
  • Conservation, restoration, and other efforts to halt or reverse time

Anyone is welcome to submit to this series. As always, we aim to highlight the research and writing of graduate students, postdocs, and early career scholars from a variety of disciplines, as well as work by practitioners and activists who work beyond academia’s walls. We especially welcome submissions by people of color, Black and Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and those with underrepresented genders, including trans men, women (both cis and trans), nonbinary, and two-spirit individuals.

How to Submit

  • Due date for submissions: Thursday, February 29, 2024
  • If you submit a previously unpublished essay (1,500 to 2,300 words), please send both a complete first draft of your piece and a brief pitch to the Edge Effects team at (We will not send out decisions regarding acceptance/rejection based on your pitch alone.) In your pitch, please indicate how your work helps readers think critically about time and the environment.
  • If you wish to submit a creative piece—visual art, poetry, video, photo/comic/graphic essay, a hybrid or multimodal exhibit, etc., we encourage you to get in touch with us at before submission to make sure that our website can accommodate your format. Also:
    • If a version of your creative piece has been previously exhibited or published elsewhere, please let us know where and when in your pitch.
    • Before publication, anyone contributing a creative piece will be asked to write a brief introduction to their work; editors will be happy to work with you on this introduction, and the pitch will give us a good place to begin.
  • Accepted pieces are eligible for an honorarium. If you have questions or would like more information about this, please feel free to reach out to us at
  • Please note that Edge Effects publishes for interdisciplinary and public audiences. Accepted pieces will move through our editorial process with this in mind.
  • If you have any questions about how or what to submit, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to reading, viewing, and listening to your work!

Featured image: Starry night. Photo courtesy of Kaitlin Moore.