Call for Proposals: Wetland Wednesdays on NiCHE

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Call for Proposals: Wetland Wednesdays on NiCHE

Proposal deadline (extended): February 13 February 27, 2024

Draft deadline: March 12, 2024

Series publication: April 3–May 1, 2024 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is currently under RCMP investigation after his government attempted to remove land from Ontario’s Green Belt, which was created in 2005 to protect environmentally sensitive land, key habitats, and farmlands from development—including over 96,000 hectares of wetlands. 

The removal of protected land for housing and commercial development rehashes familiar patterns in conservation, land valuation, and resource development in Canada and beyond. Environmental scientists Catherine Owen Koning and Sharon Ashwork have called wetlands “the ugly ducklings of landscapes,” as they commonly feature in the Western imaginary as:

place[s] to circumnavigate, an obstacle to overcome . . . They get in the way, they block the path, they are neither open water or dry land. You can’t build on them, and you can’t swim in them. They are the places in between, the borders of the lake, the low spots collecting water between hills. They are the places often disregarded completely or altered unrecognizably, made into more familiar and ‘useful’ kinds of terrain. To many, wetlands are just in the way. 

Wetland Wednesdays will be a series of blog posts in April and May 2024 exploring these frequently misunderstood ecosystems and the lifeways they can, do, and have sustained. Contributions about all wetlands including swamps, bogs, marshes, fens, and mangroves in Canada and beyond are welcome. 

We seek proposals in French or English that highlight:

  • Human and non-human interactions with and within wetlands 
  • Histories of wetland drainage and/or rehabilitation 
  • The natural resources of wetlands (cranberries, wild rice, fish, peat, fresh water…) 
  • The liminality of wetlands 
  • Wetlands’ contributions to climate change mitigation and ecosystem resilience
  • Wetlands’ historical association with disease, pollution, and waste 
  • Wetlands as recreational sites 
  • Wetlands, archaeology, and spirituality 

Submissions can take the following forms:

  • Blog posts (800-1200 words) 
  • Personal essays and reflections on hikes, boating trips, ecotourism, and other interactions with wetlands (600-1,200 words)  
  • Photo essays
  • Analyses of wetlands (and their monsters) in media (800-1,200 words)
  • Playlists of music and podcast episodes
  • Short stories, poetry, and other fiction (400-1200 words) 
  • Anything else you can think of pitching! 


Send a 100-300 word proposal describing your proposed contribution and a short bio (200 words) to Gabrielle McLaren ( by February 13, 2024.

Contributions from emerging scholars are especially welcome! Feel free to email to go over a pitch, help work out an idea, go over the contributor guidelines, or ask any questions. If you are a graduate student or precarious scholar, I’m happy to talk to you about NiCHE’s honorarium policy.

If your pitch is retained, I’ll get back to you by February 18. The final draft deadline will be March 12, and the first post of the series will be published April 3, 2024.

If the timeline doesn’t work for you, let me know in your pitch so we can try and work something out.

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Gabrielle Mclaren

Gabrielle (she/elle) holds an MA in History from Concordia University, where her thesis dealt on malaria's impact in Upper Canada, using the construction of the Rideau Canal as a case study. She graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2020 and will be starting a PhD at York University in Fall 2024. She is currently based in Tio'Tia:ke, Montréal where she works as the Associate Director for the SSHRC-funded Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Times series.

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