2018 WINTER THEME CALL FOR PAPERS: Art, Social change, & a Vision of Sustainability

JSE Call for Papers Art 042117a PDF

The arts promote inquisitive wonder and hold an amazing ability to reveal hidden connections and deep meaning. Sustained participation in inquiry-based creative projects fosters innovation, problem solving, and the vivid imagination necessary to tackle complex social, environmental, and economic issues. Art has been used as an outlet to express and heal from all aspects of lived experiences, and as a tool to access inner ways of knowing – as well as help to foster an awe inspiring vision of our shared future. Through art there is an opportunity to listen, reflect, and tune the physical body to the natural rhythms that exist all around us.

For this issue of the Journal of Sustainability Education (JSE), we invite the arts to be front and center and to remain as a vital living force in all future issues. Barbara Bickle said of the arts “I invite them to hammer upon my human substance so that I can transform and understand how to be creative and heal with the capacities that are embedded within their domains as art forms” (p.51). As we tap our inner artist, we are given the tools to re-imagine the world.

This edition of JSE is also is re-issue for our original call for future-casting articles which create an extraordinarily awe inspiring vision of our future. We invite you to reflect on your dreams for a thrivable, equitable, beautiful future. What do you really want? What palpable future are we collectively trying to create? We would like you to use your skills as an artist to radically reimagine a desired future of a particular place, or the desired future as it relates to an issue important to you. What does it look, sound, smell, and feel like to be in this future? Then—as though from that future place—articulate the role of sustainability education in getting us there.

The questions below are meant to both a) regenerate scholarship from researchers who have used creativity as a form of inquiry and deep engagement and b) spark the imagination of those ready to get personal, be illogically imaginative, and leap-frog existing knowledge to land in territories as-yet-unexplored:

  1. A Call to Artists:
  2. What are sustainability education scholars, community organizers, educators, artists, activists, and other creative beings doing to connect social justice, sustainability, and creative expression?
  3. How have the arts informed your research, and how are your creative practices rooted in the earth?
  4. How have arts-based research methods been applied in sustainability scholarship?
  5. What does the future hold for artists who rely on government funding to keep their programs alive? What sustainable methods can we derive to ensure the future of the arts in sustainability education?
  1. A Call to Visionaries:
  2. What is your aspirational vision for the future?
  3. What is it that you want to move toward?
  4. What does it look, sound, smell, and feel like to be in this future?
  5. How did we learn to live in better balance with the natural life support systems of this planet?
  6. What role did education play in inspiring people, young and old, to create systems that work for everyone?

The editors of this special issue ask these questions in an effort to stimulate research, reflection, theory development, visionary aspirations and discussion of praxis. We are particularly interested in artistic practices and how they connect to sustainability but even more so papers, images, poetry, performances, photographs, and practices that demonstrate transformation of the individual by art and ways the arts are essential to your ways of knowing and walking the earth today and in the future. We also seek relevant book and media reviews, editorial pieces, photo essays, multimedia pieces, case studies, and reflections on learning and practice.

Submission deadline: October 1, 2017

Expected publication date: February 1, 2018

If you are interested in submitting work for this issue, please visit the JSE website (www.susted.org), and register as an author using the RATS (review and article tracking and submission) system (follow the link to RATS at the top of the JSE home page). RATS also includes links to the JSE submission guidelines (select “submit” from the RATS interface). For further information, please contact the issue editor. Please use “JSE Arts inquiry” in the subject line of your message.

The JSE also seeks peer reviewers. You are encouraged to use the RATS system to participate in our peer review process.


Anna Metcalfe, Ph.D., Guest Editor, annametcalfe (at) gmail.com

Christine Kelly, Ph.D, Guest Editor, chrmkelly (at) earthlink.net

Clare Hintz, Ph.D., Editor, editor (at) susted.com