Launching the EML and Heliotrope


Write toward the light.

Submit here:

The Environmental Media Lab (EML) at the University of Calgary is seeking submissions on a rolling basis for Heliotrope: Writing toward the light, a space for publishing short think-&-feel pieces. Heliotrope is a space for scholars and practitioners to explore and share your work — and to ask new questions.

The EML invites a wide range of submissions from anyone who studies topics at the intersection of:  1) media and technology 2) environmental humanities 3) special topics (currently: bioinformatics and genomics)

Submissions should be between 500 (min) and 1500 words (max). We also welcome accompanying video and audio pieces, although we do not currently have space to host them ourselves. Please get permission for your images as needed. We prefer that references be hyperlinked, but please also include citations at the end (in whatever style you prefer). We encourage you to end your piece with a set of questions, prompts, or provocations. Let us know if a component of this work is published elsewhere.

Environmental Media engages an array of media texts, discourses, and objects, to understand the mutual entanglements of media and environment. We look at documentary films and podcasts, media campaigns, advertisements, etc., to understand and analyze representations of naturecultures. We look at the lifecycle of our current global communications infrastructures, from mining rare earth minerals, imperialism and colonialism, e-waste, sensors and towers, data centers, the cloud, 5G, — to everything that connects the ‘wired’ world. We look globally at how ‘natural’ disasters, racism, pandemics, genomics, climate change, mass food systems, and pollution have become inscribed into the environment, and how nature itself becomes medium and message.

To launch Heliotrope, we welcome submissions that explore our special topic – bioinformatics and genomics – in unexpected and creative ways. Consider the idea of interludes—the moments in between, the pauses, the spaces of anticipation and hesitation, the creative and kinetic potential in the moments of stillness at the eye of a storm. Wanting just as much as our writers to embody practices of curiosity, generosity, and imagination, our editorial team is committed to providing constructive feedback to all submissions.

Accepted pieces will be published regularly and on a rolling basis, starting September 2020.

Write to Heliotrope’s co-editors, Mél Hogan, Crystal Chokshi and Tessa Brown, at