[spectre] Ecological Rewriting: Situated Engagements with The Chernobyl Herbarium - new open access experimental book

Gary Hall mail at garyhall.info
Thu Jun 22 16:41:46 CEST 2023

Open Humanities Press is pleased to announce the publication of 
/Ecological Rewriting: Situated Engagements with The Chernobyl 
Herbarium, /edited by Gabriela Méndez Cota.

Like all Open Humanities Press books, /Ecological Rewriting/ is 
available open access (it can be downloaded for free):


*Book description *

/Ecological Rewriting: Situated Engagements with The Chernobyl 
Herbarium/is the first book in the Combinatorial Books: Gathering 
Supported by the COPIM <https://www.copim.ac.uk/>project, it is the 
creation of a collective of researchers, students and technologists from 
the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Led by Gabriela Méndez 
Cota, this group of nine (re)writers annotate and remix /The Chernobyl 
Herbarium: Fragments of an Exploded Consciousness/ by the philosopher 
Michael Marder and the artist Anaïs Tondeur (originally published in 
OHP’s Critical Climate Change series) to produce what is a new book in 
its own right – albeit one that comments upon and engages with the 

In the Mexican context, experiments with art, writing and technology 
have a history that is tied less to academic publishing or avant-garde 
scholarship and more to community-building and grassroots organising. It 
is important, then, that in creating /Ecological Rewriting/the 
collective led by Méndez Cota//are inspired by locally influential 
Cristina Rivera Garza’s theorization of re-writing as dis-appropriation, 
rather than appropriation of another’s work. Alongside philosophical 
concepts such as Jean-Luc Nancy’s ‘literary communism’, Rivera Garza’s 
ethical poetics is here turned into the proposition that the reuse of 
open access materials does not need to be understood as appropriation or 
reappropriation of ‘knowledge’. Instead, it can be conceived as a 
creative exercise in ‘unworking’ or ‘disappropriating’ academic 
authorship which responds to /The Chernobyl Herbarium’s/ invitation to 
think through (vegetal) exposure and fragility. Thus, the authors 
challenge property and propriety by creating singular, fragmentary 
accounts of Mexico’s relation with Chernobyl. In the process they 
explore ways of bearing witness to environmental devastation in its 
human and non-human scales, including the little-known history of 
nuclear power and the anti-nuclear movement in Mexico – which they 
intersect with an experimental history of plant biodiversity. The 
resulting book constitutes both a practical reflection on plant-thinking 
and a disruptive intervention into the conventions of academic writing.

/Ecological Rewriting: Situated Engagements with The Chernobyl 
Herbarium/ exists as an online version 
<https://doi.org/10.21428/9ca7392d.07cdfb82>) and as a print version 
(forthcoming). The online version is an experimental publication with 
links to the original sections of /The Chernobyl Herbarium/ that the 
writers responded to, so that the reader can follow an associative trail 
between the two publications.


*Authors *

Gabriela Méndez Cota, Etelvina Bernal Méndez, Sandra Hernández Reyes, 
Sandra Loyola Guízar, Fernanda Rodríguez González, Yareni Monteón López, 
Deni Garciamoreno Becerril, Nidia Rosales Moreno, Xóchitl Arteaga 
Villamil, Carolina Cuevas Parra


*Editor Bio

Gabriela Méndez Cota is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of 
Philosophy at Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México. Inspired by 
deconstruction, psychoanalysis and technoscience feminism, her research 
explores the subjective and ethical dimensions of 
technological/political controversies in specific contexts. Her books 
include /Disrupting Maize: Food, Biotechnology and Nationalism in 
Contemporary Mexico/ (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). Among other places, 
her work has appeared in /New Formations/, /Media Theory/, /Women’s 
Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, /and the /Routledge Handbook of 
Ecocultural Identities/ (2020). With Rafico Ruiz, she co-edits the open 
access journal of culture and theory, Culture Machine 
(culturemachine.net) <http://culturemachine.net/>. Between 2019 and 2021 
she led a practice-based educational initiative on 
critical/feminist/intersectional perspectives of open access, which 
included a collaboration with the COPIM project led by the Centre for 
Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University, UK, and resulted in a 
collective rewriting of /The Chernobyl Herbarium/ (Open Humanities 
Press, 2015).

*Series *

/Ecological Re-writing//is published as part of the /Combinatorial 
Books: Gathering Flowers series, edited by Janneke Adema, Simon Bowie, 
Gary Hall and Rebekka Kiesewetter:


Gary Hall
Professor of Media
Director of the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University:

Mastodon: @garyhall at hcommons.social

Director of Open Humanities Press:http://www.openhumanitiespress.org  


Journal article (open access) 'Defund Culture':https://www.radicalphilosophy.com/commentary/defund-culture

Book review: ‘Review of Bitstreams: The Future of Digital Literary Heritage' by Matthew Kirschenbaum:https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/721475

Blog post: 'Invest in the De-liberalisation of Society':http://garyhall.squarespace.com/journal/?SSScrollPosition=0

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