JESS SI Call for Papers: Critical Energy Literacy


Critical Energy Literacy: Intersectional Approaches to Research, Pedagogy, and Activism

Manuscript submission deadline: January 31st, 2023

Amidst the growing climate crisis, critically informed understanding of energy sources and associated socioenvironmental impacts is more important than ever. The theory of critical energy literacy was developed in response to such dynamics (Lowan-Trudeau and Fowler, 2022). Critical energy literacy employs an intersectional lens in drawing upon critical and decolonizing approaches to STEM (Bang and Medin 2010; Bullock 2017); considerations for collaborative multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary pedagogy (Bernstein 2015; Choi and Pak 2006); critical place-based inquiry and pedagogy (Gruenewald 2003; Tuck and McKenzie 2015); critical gender perspectives (Gough and Whitehouse 2020; Lloro 2021; Maina-Okori et al. 2018); and critical media literacy and engagement (Kellner and Share 2007; Milstein et al. 2017; Takahashi and Rosenthal 2018) to foster understanding of the social, environmental, political, and economic challenges, benefits, and impacts of various energy sources, developments, and technologies.

For this special issue of the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (JESS), we seek submissions related to a range of energy sources (e.g., oil and gas, wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, nuclear) and socioenvironmental contexts from other scholar-educator-activists that will expand and deepen our collective understanding of critical energy literacy. We welcome original manuscript submissions from early career and established scholars from a range of disciplinary and sociocultural perspectives that incorporate research, theory, practice, case, and/or community-based insights through conventional prose as well as visual representations such as maps, diagrams, and other illuminating imagery.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of critical energy literacy, obliquely related works may be identified in a number of fields such as critical environmental studies (Black et al. 2014), environmental humanities (Szeman and Boyer 2017), media studies (Parks 2015; Starosielski and Walker 2018), gender studies (Pulé and Hultman 2021), (renewable) energy studies and education (Henderson 2014; Hoicka and MacArthur 2018; Jennings 2009), and geography (Delgado 2016; Dow and Downing 2016). The aim of this collection is to bring together such fields for the first time.

Similarly, this special issue will serve as a new pedagogical resource that will provide detailed discussions of critical energy literacy in multiple contexts upon which educators may draw to facilitate more critically informed understanding of various energy sources in their course work and graduate supervision. Strong examples of critical energy theory, pedagogy, activism, and creative practice will be provided in relation to the sciences, humanities, social studies/sciences, teacher education, geography, and environmental studies. This approach is unique as most energy research and education initiatives focus on either the scientific or technical aspects of a given source or the sociocultural benefits and impacts, but they are rarely collectively addressed (Delgado 2016; Jennings 2009). As such, this special issue will be of interest to researchers, educators, and students in a variety of disciplines.

Timeline & Review Process

January 31st, 2023: Manuscript submission deadline

February 2023: Guest editors vet submissions

February-March 2023: Potential manuscripts sent out for anonymous peer review

April-May 2023: Reviewers submit assessments

May-June 2023: Guest editors assess reviews and decide on next steps for authors

June-August 2023: Accepted authors revise manuscripts based on editor and peer feedback

August 31st, 2023: Revised manuscripts submitted

September 2023: Guest editors review revised manuscripts and provide final feedback to authors

October-November 2023: Authors complete final revisions

December 1st, 2023: Authors submit final manuscripts

December 2023-January 2024: Final copy editing and proofing

January-February 2024: Anticipated publication

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Please submit manuscripts via the JESS submission portal, noting the special issue.

Manuscripts should align with all relevant JESS policies and submission guidelines.


Special Issue Guest Editors:

Greg Lowan-Trudeau, University of Calgary:

Teresa Anne Fowler, Concordia University of Edmonton:

JESS Editor-in-Chief:

Teresa Lloro, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona:


Bang, M, Medin, D (2010) Cultural processes in science education: Supporting the navigation of multiple epistemologies. Sci. Educ. 94(6):1008-1026.

Bernstein, JH (2015) Transdisciplinarity: A review of its origins, development, and current issues. J Res. Practice 11(1): 1-20.

Black, T, D’Arcy, S, Weis, T, Kahn Russell, J (Eds.)(2014) A line in the tar sands. Between the Lines, Toronto.

Bullock, EC (2017) Only STEM can save us? Examining race, place, and STEM education as property. Educ. Stud. 53(6): 628-641.

Choi, BCK, Pak, AWP (2006) Multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in health research, services, education and policy: 1. Definitions, objectives, and evidence of effectiveness. Clinical and Investigative Med., 29(6): 351–364.

Delgado, E (2016) Energy geographies: Thinking critically about energy issues in the classroom. J of Geog. in High. Ed., 40(1): 39–54.

Dow, K, Downing, TE (2016) The atlas of climate change. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Gough, A, Whitehouse, H (2020) Challenging amnesias: Re-collecting feminist new materialism/ecofeminism/climate/education. Env. Educ. Res., 26(9-10): 1420-1434.

Gruenewald, DA (2003) The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher, 32(4): 3–12.

Henderson, M (2014) Solar-powered learning: Educating for an ecological literacy. In: Deer F, Falkenberg, McMillan, B, Sims, L (eds.) Sustainable well-being: Concepts, issues, and educational practices, ESWB Press, Winnipeg, pp 95-104.

Hoicka, CE, MacArthur, JL (2018) From tip to toes: Mapping community energy models in Canada and New Zealand. Energy Policy, 121:162–174.

Jennings, P (2009) New directions in renewable energy education. Renewable Energy, 34(2): 435–439.

Kellner, D, Share, J (2007) Critical media literacy, democracy, and the reconstruction of education. In: Steinberg, S, Macedo, D (eds.) Media literacy: A reader, Peter Lang, New York, pp 3-23.

Lloro, TK (2021). An intersectional feminist food studies praxis: Activism and care in the COVID-19 context. J of Env. Educ., 52(5): 303-313.

Lowan-Trudeau, G, Fowler, TA (2021) Towards a theory of critical energy literacy: The Youth Strike for Climate, renewable energy, and beyond. Aust. J of Env. Educ., 38(1): 58-68.

Maina-Okori, NM, Koushik, JR, Wilson, A (2018) Reimagining intersectionality in environmental and sustainability education: A critical literature review. The Journal of Environmental Education, 49(4): 286-296.

Milstein, T, Pileggi, M, & Morgan, EL (eds.) (2017). Environmental communication pedagogy and practice. Routledge, New York.

Parks, L (2015) Signal traffic: Critical studies of media infrastructures. University of Illinois Press, Champaign.

Pulé, PM, Hultman, M (eds.) (2021) Men, masculinities, and earth: Contending with the (m)Anthropocene. Springer Nature, New York.

Starosielski, N, & Walker, J (eds.) (2016). Sustainable media: Critical approaches to media and environment. Routledge, New York.

Szeman, I, & Boyer, D (eds.) (2017) Energy humanities: An anthology. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Takahashi, B, Rosenthal, S (eds.) (2018) Environmental communication among minority populations. Routledge, New York.

Tuck, E, & McKenzie, M (2015) Relational validity and the ‘where’ of inquiry: Place and Land in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 21(7): 633–638.