Call for Chapter Proposals

Book Title: Land in Libraries: Toward a Materialist Conception of Education

Editors: Lydia Zvyagintseva and Mary Greenshields

Publisher: Library Juice Press

Estimated Publication Date: April 2022

Bless us, these lands, said the rememberer. These lands aren’t our lands. These lands aren’t your lands. We are this land.” – Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States, An American Sunrise: Poems, W.W. Norton, 2019, p. 108.

“Books are very far from our actual feelings and senses. To know a language is to be immersed in it and take part in it. Languages are not about books—they’re about feelings and experiencing what those feelings bring to the individual. To understand an environment a person has to understand the language of the environment.” – Derek Rasmussen and Tommy Akulukjuk, “My Father Was Told to Talk to the Environment First Before Anything Else” in Arctic Environmental Education in the Language of the Land, 2009, p. 285.

The question of land is largely absent in libraries. Deeply committed to the neoliberal project as a guiding ideology of the profession, libraries exist at once as ahistorical, atheoretical, and landless institutions in their understanding of themselves, their work, and their impact on people. This edited volume seeks to contribute to the growing body of work on libraries and the anthropocene, decolonization, and climate change through writing in theory and practice. We are interested in both non-metaphorical (actual, material) as well as conceptual perspectives on land. We are interested in centering land as a foundational category underpinning social relations, as a necessity for the function and reproduction of capitalism, and as a place where we work and learn together. Fundamentally, we live on the land and how we live in relation to the land matters to how we understand ourselves as individuals and a society.

We welcome contributions from scholars and practitioners alike.

Possible topic areas include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ecocriticism of libraries in practice (ie. energy consumption, land footprints)
  • Libraries’ role in the anthropocene 
  • Climate change and libraries 
  • Historical analysis of library system development on Treaty/unceded territory (ie. history of 100 branches in Tkaronto)
  • American Land Grab university project and libraries
  • Libraries’ role in settler colonialism in North America and/or other parts of the world
  • Decolonization and Indigenous insurgence in libraries
  • Land-based education in schools, libraries, and community
  • Examination of land acknowledgements and commitments to traditional Indigenous territories and peoples in libraries

Contributions with the following theoretical frameworks, among others, may be particularly helpful in exploring this topic:

  • Queer and Indigenous Feminisms
  • Anti- and Decolonial Studies
  • Historical Materialism 
  • Marxist and Materialist Feminisms
  • Post-Humanism and Neopragmatism
  • Standpoint and Eco-feminism

Submission procedure:

Please submit an initial chapter proposal description of up to 500 words and a tentative chapter title. Please also include the author(s)’ names, titles, and organizational affiliations. Chapters must not be previously published or simultaneously submitted elsewhere.

Please submit proposals to: landinlibraries@gmail.com

Submission deadline: January 15, 2021

Tentative timelines:

January 15, 2021Chapter proposals (500-word max summaries) due
February 1, 2021Authors notified 
July 15, 2021Complete chapter drafts due (2,000 – 5,000 words)
January 1, 2022Final chapter drafts due (with editorial feedback)
April 2022Anticipated book publication date

Special note – we very much understand that this is a difficult and unpredictable time. If you have an idea but aren’t sure if you can meet a deadline, please still contact us to express interest and share your idea. We will work with you to find solutions that may work for all parties.

Chapter authors will be able to make their chapters open access by posting final copies of their chapter in their institutional repositories.

For additional information, contact: Lydia Zvyagintseva, Head, Digital Scholarship Services, University of Alberta, lydiaz@ualberta.ca  

Mary Greenshields, Special Collections Librarian, Liaison to ISSC, Indigenous Studies, Aboriginal Health, and Indigenous Governance & Business Management, University of Lethbridge, greemc@uleth.ca 

Editor bios:

Lydia Zvyagintseva is a librarian with the University of Alberta Library, the traditional home of the Nêhiyawak, where she is responsible for the operations and service design of the Digital Scholarship Centre. She holds degrees in French Language and Literature, Digital Humanities, and Library and Information Studies. Her publications include studies on design and usability of large-scale interactive displays and open data in learning environments. Having worked in both public and academic settings for the past 18 years, Lydia’s interests include digital pedagogy, critical making, land-based learning, and community engagement. 

Mary Greenshields is a settler-librarian at the University of Lethbridge Library in the traditional home of the Niitsitapi. She is the subject specialist for the university’s Indigenous programs, a teaching librarian, and co-manages the library’s special collections. Mary holds degrees in French Language and Literature, English Literature, and Library and Information Studies. Her research interests exist at the intersections of feminism, love studies, critical pedagogy and librarianship, and settler-Indigenous relations.