About the Forum Prize

The Forum essay prize competition was launched to mark Volume 45 of the journal in 2009. Having published hundreds of outstanding articles over the years, the editors wished to introduce a means of encouraging and rewarding the very best scholarship from any of the areas of study represented by the journal. True to the principle of the journal as a wide and various forum for the discussion of ideas, they also wanted excellence to be the sole criterion for judgement.


The Forum Prize 2016 – Ecologies – Call for Articles

Forum for Modern Language Studies invites submissions on the subject of Ecologies for the 2016 Forum Prize competition.

Forum Prize 2016 – Call for Articles

The field of ecocriticism is of increasing interest to many scholars of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures across a broad range of historical, geographical and generic contexts far beyond the mostly anglophone examples of nature writing or environmentalist non-fiction on which it initially focused. Looking beyond sentimental representations of the natural world, ecocritical reading seeks to respond to our contemporary sense of environmental catastrophe by critically re-examining cultural constructions and discourses which are ecological in the broadest sense, dealing with the relationship and interactions between organisms, their environment and each other.

Alongside the vibrant developments in research across the field, recent years have seen ecocritical questions addressed in a wide range of university courses, offering students an opportunity to make connections between work in the arts and humanities, and the environmental debates which are omnipresent in public, political and media discourse. Ecocriticism is also inherently interdisciplinary, encompassing fields such as political science, geography, philosophy and economics, as well as research areas such as post-colonial and gender studies; it is also proving central to more recent scholarly interest in affect, hybridity and animal theory.

The editors of Forum for Modern Language Studies invite submissions dealing with any topic pertaining to the theme of Ecologies, understood in its broadest sense. Authors may wish to address one or more of the following topics:

  • ecocritical (re)readings of literary texts
  • cultural representations of environmental concerns
  • conservation, management and protection
  • ecological and cultural sustainability
  • extinction and apocalypse
  • ecocritical (re)readings of space, place and landscape, from the wilderness to the city
  • new trends in nature writing: anti-pastoral, post-pastoral, urban pastoral
  • the aesthetic, or affective, dimension of environments
  • ecological and cultural diversity
  • comparative ecocriticism, and the challenge of a global ecocritical perspective
  • ecocriticism and ethics, animal rights
  • the organic, material ecocriticism, new materialism
  • ecopoetics
  • narratives of migration, displacement and alienation
  • localism, regionalism and bioregionalism
  • globalisation and cultural hegemony
  • the environment and the economy, consumption and consumerism
  • pollution and waste
  • the question of genre, from popular to highbrow, as well as digital culture, and the relationship between new environments and new forms
  • non-linguistic dimensions of ecocritical thinking, such as music, painting, sculpture and dance
  • environment, performance and contemporary artistic practice
  • communities, hierarchies and social justice
  • ecolinguistics, discourse analysis and linguistic diversity

Submissions may address literature of any period, from a literary or linguistic perspective, and in any of the languages covered by the journal: usually Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian, but we will consider others too. The competition is open to all researchers, whether established or early-career: it is worth noting that previous competitions have been won by scholars in both categories.

The winner will receive:

  • Publication of the winning essay in the next appropriate volume of Forum for Modern Language Studies
  • A prize of £500

A panel of judges will read all entries, which will be assessed anonymously. At the judges’ discretion, a runner-up prize of £200 may be awarded. The Editors may commission for publication any entries that are highly commended by the judges.

Entry requirements and Submission details for the Forum Prize 2016

The closing date for entries is Monday 4 April 2016.

Entries must be written in English, be between 6,000 and 10,000 words in length including notes, should conform to MHRA style, and must be accompanied by an abstract (approx. 150 words) summarizing the principal arguments and making clear the relevance of the article to the competition topic.

Articles should be submitted online at www.fmls.oxfordjournals.org, flagged as Forum Prize entries and following the guidelines for authors. We will also accept submissions by email or hard copy and disc, if there is a compelling reason: in this case, please contact the Administrative Editor, Dr Robin MacKenzie (rmm10@st-andrews.ac.uk).