CALL FOR PAPERS: WINTER 2005 ISSUE OF NILAS NEWLETTER
Experiencing Animal Presence: Totemism, Shapeshifting, Story
Although animals have always surrounded us, they have often been what might be called "absent presences," either ignored or dismissed as background for human events and dramas. Changing attitudes have brought increased awareness but not always increased knowledge, understanding, appreciation, or sympathy for the importance of other animals in a world we have been encouraged to think of as ours. NILAS (Nature in Legend and Story; http://www.h-net.org/~nilas/) has come to see story as a version of totemic ritual, allowing audiences young and old to experience the reality of other animals firsthand. Essentially, through the magic of imagination and the power of empathy, successful story allows the reader/listener to shapeshift, becoming the other animal and living life through its senses and intelligence. Examples abound, but first person animal narratives, "animal fantasies" that allow those our anthropocentric culture has assumed to be voiceless to speak, are one example of such totemic art. Other techniques are found in all the arts: Native American and New Age rituals that dance the animals into our presence, and us into theirs, are another example.
For the Winter 2005 issue of the NILAS Newsletter, we are seeking nonfiction and fiction, poetry and artworks that evoke cross-species empathy and communication through what NILAS refers to as totemic expression.
Submissions should be mailed or e-mailed in Microsoft Word format to Marion W. Copeland (postal and e-mail addresses provided below).
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Monday, February 14, 2005
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