Call for Papers

Abstract submission has closed as of 23:59(BST) Sunday 15th March 2020

Deadline for abstract submission: 1st March 2020 15th March 2020

Notification via email of acceptance: 13th April 2020

Theme: “Ecolinguistics in Action: Real-World Issues”

“I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” (Greta Thunberg)

The University of Liverpool is pleased to announce that it will be hosting ICE-5: the Fifth International Conference on Ecolinguistics online from the 17th to the 20th August 2020. The theme of the conference is Ecolinguistics in action: tackling real-world issues. The conference aims to create a dynamic and stimulating space for discussions and sharing of knowledge from across all relevant disciplines in an attempt to engage academics with different perspectives and ideas on how to use ecolinguistic research to bring about change. Ecolinguistics explores the role of language in the lifesustaining interactions of humans, other species and the physical environment. One aim of ecolinguistics is to develop linguistic theories which see humans not only as part of society, but also as part of the larger ecosystems that life depends on.

Another aim is to show how linguistics can be used to address key ecological issues, from climate change and biodiversity loss to environmental justice. ICE-5 will focus particularly on this second aim, and build on the themes of previous ICE conferences (held in Denmark and China) which explored how linguistics can contribute to the creation of ecological civilisations. ICE-5 will place a particular emphasis on practically resisting the hegemonic narratives of industrial civilisations and working towards concrete changes which can help more ecologically beneficial forms of society emerge.

“People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.” (Greta Thunberg)

Accordingly, we aim to create a multidisciplinary context where researchers in any discipline who are interested in both language and ecological issues can meet. This includes not only linguists but
researchers from areas such as a) environmental communication and ecomedia, b) environmental science and ecology, c) ecological humanities such as ecological anthropology, ecocriticism or ecopsychology, d) business subjects such as environmental economics or ethical marketing, d) ecological social and political sciences.


One of the aims of ecolinguistics is to challenge conventional forms of language and social organisation and to contribute to emerging new forms. In line with this, ICE5 will include not only conventional paper presentations but also a variety of more interactive sessions including round table discussions, outdoor sessions, interactive workshops, poetry and storytelling events, mindfulness activities, and public engagement.

Potential topics and themes include but are not limited to:

  • Using ecolinguistics to resist consumerism and hegemonic economic discourses.
  • Working to improve communication in ecological campaigns and movements.
  • Exploring, preserving and promoting ecological discourses from traditional and indigenous cultures across the world.
  • The application of ecological philosophies such as buen vivir in law-making.
  • Using cognitive approaches to opinion-formation to contribute to policy change.
  • Critiquing discourses of environmental responsibility and justice to highlight who is to blame and who has a duty to act.
  • Eco-anxiety and how the language of ecopsychology can promote environmental action.
  • The search for ecosomatic discourses to promote reconnection with the body and nature.
  • Using ecolinguistics to resist discourses which exploit animals and promote plant-based living.
  • Critiquing discourses of sustainable living, including zero-waste living.
  • Exploring ecological identity formation on social media and promoting ecologically beneficial identities.
  • Using ecolinguistics to embed ecological education across the curriculum.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers, poster presentations, 60-minute round table discussions, outdoor workshops, mindfulness or ecosomatic sessions, or 30 minute creative performance/spoken word/storytelling sessions. 

“You must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option.” (Greta Thunberg)