Tropical Gothic: Literary and Creative Work

This is the second published collection of the two-part special issue on the theme Tropical Gothic. While the first issue provided a space for reflection upon the unique social, historical, political, cultural and environmental conditions of the tropics; this second issue, demonstrates how creative writers and artists have a particular role to play in such reflections, through producing the cultural artefacts for the contemplation of others, or by contributing to such debates as creative practitioners and critics. The papers concentrate on Tropical Gothic literary and creative works from South and Southeast Asia and Tropical Australia

Posted: 2019-10-01



Tropical Gothic: Arts, Humanties & Social Sciences

Gothic is resurging in academic and popular cultures propelled by fears associated with massive social transformations. In the tropics, the gothic manifests in specific ways within the fraught geographies and histories of colonisation and violence that have been especially acute across the tropics. As the region of the greatest biodiversity in the world, the tropics, is under enormous stress, while globalisation and neoliberalism (‘vampiric’ capitalist) impinge upon the livelihoods, traditions and the very survival of peoples of the tropics.

As the papers in this special issue demonstrate, a gothic sensibility enables humans to respond to the seemingly dark, nebulous forces that threaten existence. These papers engage with specific instances of Tropical Gothic in West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Southeast Asia, northern Australia, and the American Deep South.


Posted: 2019-05-30

Call for Papers: Environmental Artistic Practices and Indigeneity: In(ter)ventions, Recycling, Sovereignty


Submission deadline extended to 15 October 2019

Analysing creative practices by Indigenous artists, or artists working closely with Indigenous communities, this pluridisciplinary issue aims to determine how Indigenous societies perceive and interact with pollution and toxic substances that affect their environment and territories. The issue examines how conceptions of waste and its recycling enlightens discourses on Indigenous sovereignty, and in turn, explores how the notion of sovereignty – as understood, lived, and defined by Indigenous peoples – informs and influences artistic practices that respond to contemporary environmental challenges.

This issue invites contributions addressing all forms of artistic practices in the tropics of the Pacific, Northern Australia, Indian Ocean Islands, tropical Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, or the deep south of the USA. Contributions on the ways the global North of Europe or America intersects with Indigenous peoples/practices in the tropics are also welcome.

Treatment, perception, recycling, and transformation of materials

We are interested in the artistic approaches deployed in or around spaces faced with different kinds of pollution and waste. How do artists speak about the journey of waste – for example due to marine currents, rivers or human actions? Is waste perceived as a negative effect of consumerism in society or taken as potentially interesting material that can be valued like any local natural resource? Proposals are invited to highlight the symbolic dimensions of these new materials, and – through the analysis of the negotiations or conflicts that surround their extraction or circulation – to unveil the values given to a territory.

Decolonisation and sovereignty as artistic and environmental actions   

This issue looks at Indigenous concepts used by artists to express their vision of what ‘sustainable development’, or a respectful relationship with the environment, would be. We are particularly interested in contributions that enter into dialogue with, or expand works, conducted by Indigenous academics, researchers, and artists. We also welcome contributions on the responses given by Indigenous artists to situations in which the concerns and actions of environmentalists go against the expression and claims of Indigenous sovereignty.

Arts and knowledges of the ocean, sea, rivers, and coastline

Authors are invited to analyse how artistic practices that deal with pollution mobilise Indigenous concepts relating to land(scapes), water(scapes), and sea(scapes). Looking at the articulation between the arts, environment, recycling, and sovereignty will also lead us to question the very notion of borders between land and sea commonly used in non-Indigenous contexts. 

This issue invites contributions addressing all forms of artistic practices articulated through academic or creative works.

ABOUT eTropic

eTropic disseminates new research from Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and allied fields on the variety and interrelatedness of nature, culture, and society in the tropics. The journal is indexed in Scopus, Ulrich's and DOAJ, it is archived in Pandora and Sherpa/Romeo, and DOIs are used.


  • Submissions close 30 July 2019
  • Academic articles
    • Approximately 6000 words long
    • Photographic critical essays 4000 words
    • Include a 200-word abstract of the article
    • Provide a separate 100-word biography for each author
  • Creative works (short story, poetry, creative nonfiction, visual works)
    • Written creative works up to 6000 words
    • Art/photographic creative works up to 4000 words
    • Include a 200-word abstract or research statement (if possible)
    • Provide a separate 100-word biographical note

Submission process

  • We welcome submissions from academics, authors, artists, and postgraduate research students
  • English or French submissions are accepted (Abstract must be in English)
  • Follow APA style for: in-text citations, Reference list, and Figures/Images
  • Submitted as Microsoft Word file, double-spaced 13pt Arial font
  • Submissions should be uploaded to eTropic online journal portal
  • Any images must be used with permission and referenced
  • Suitable papers will be double-blind peer reviewed
  • Journal ISSN:1448-2940
  • Publication date: May 2020

 For enquiries or pitching ideas email the special issue editors:

Dr Estelle Castro-Koshy, Senior Researcher, James Cook University, Australia

Dr Géraldine Le Roux, Senior Lecturer, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France

For general enquiries email eTropic:

Posted: 2019-01-11

Special Issue: Living Cities: Tropical Imaginaries (Issues 1 & 2) [PUBLISHED]


‘Living Cities: Tropical Imaginaries’ reminds us that metropolises are both created and creative spaces. This special issue is concerned with the peopled and lived experiences of cities and how these interact with cultural, material and natural environments. Issues 1 & 2 address this theme.

Posted: 2018-04-25

Special Issue: Bold Women Write Back [PUBLISHED]


‘Bold Women Write Back’ in this special issue of eTropic! This issue follows in the wake of International Women’s Marches across many parts of the globe, and the 2017 International Women’s Day theme ‘Be Bold for Change’. The issue asks, in a world where women are still excluded from citizen participation, is there a new role for resistance through art and literature? For women of the tropics in particular, in what ways can writing, art, and academic work be bold in helping make needed changes? For women more broadly, what does it mean to be bold right now as oppression intersects race, sex, class, and religion in a world that is repealing rights and advances?

Posted: 2018-02-23

Conference: Tropics of the Imagination [CLOSED]


Tropics of the Imagination is a multidisciplinary conference on imaginative and creative approaches to culture and nature in the tropics. The 2017 theme was Living Cities: Tropical Imaginaries. It was held in Singapore 6-9 September 2017. 

View the conference at:

Posted: 2017-07-21

Special Issue: Tropical Liminal: Urban Vampires & other Bloodsucking Monstrosities [PUBLISHED]


Vampires and other monstrous beings constitute some of the most famous myths that continue to haunt contemporary societies. This special issue examines the presence of these beings within cities and surrounding urban areas of the tropics and sub-tropics.

Posted: 2017-05-21

Special Issue: International Day of the Tropics [PUBLISHED]


The United Nations declared 29 June 'The International Day of the Tropics' - a day dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of the tropical regions of the world. This issue contributes to this tropical lens with research from the humanities, arts and social sciences disciplines. It celebrates the inaugural International Day of the Tropics.

Posted: 2016-12-20
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