Books and special issues of journals – Deadlines October-December 2019

Dynamics of collapse in fantasy, the fantastic and SF
Issue 63 of Caliban, June 2020
Deadline for proposals: 15 October 2019

Apocalyptic patterns have fuelled SF, fantasy, horror and the fantastic for a long time. The central argument of many classics within these genres is the annihilation of the world or that of civilisation. In this respect, the example of R. Mathesons novel I Am Legend (1954) is typical, with its pandemic turning people into the living-dead. The story spawned multiple movie adaptations,[1] eventually giving birth to the zombie apocalypsesub-genre, via G. Romeros Night of the Living Dead (1968). Along this legacy, another post-apocalyptic piece was a fruitful inspiration to dystopian anticipation, albeit in a perspective closer to action films or motorised western movies: G. Millers Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981). Here, it is the depletion of oil resources which brings about the end of civilisation. Thus, the pattern is similar to the evolution the world has actually known since the release of the movie, as the world oil production peaked in 2006, according to the International Energy Agency.[2]

Closer to home, some recent works have been presented and/or interpreted by ecocritics as metaphors for climate change and the catastrophes it triggers: J. VanderMeers Annihilation (2014) and its movie adaptation by Alex Garland, in which air alteration around a growing area causes mutations in the fauna and the flora; or P. Bacigalupi and T.S. Buckells fantasy novels The Tangled Lands (2018), in which excessive use of magic unhinges the environment.[3]

Meanwhile, within the scientific community, more and more speak up to take stock of an undergoing collapse rather than to prevent a remote apocalypse. Among these authors, are the French astrophysicist J. Blamont and his Introduction au siècle des menaces[4], the American historian and geographer J. Diamonds now classic Collapse(2005), in which he analyses the collapse of past societies to understand contemporary threats[5], or, of course, the regular reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These issues were already outlined in The Limits to Growth (1972), akaMeadows report, the seminal essay written for the Club of Rome, but these predictions were not taken seriously at the time.

The most comprehensive synthesis of all those works must be Comment tout peut s’effondrer[6] (2015), written by the engineer in agronomics and ethologist P. Servigne and the independent scholar and eco-advisor R. Stevens, in which they study the implications of signs foreshadowing a global [] economic and probably socio-politicalcollapse leading, potentially, to « the end of thermo-industrial civilisation »[7] and which « might trigger a collapse of the human species or even of all but a few living species ».[8] For the authors, the concept of collapse combines two complementary meanings. They borrow their technical definition from J. Diamond, a drastic decrease in human population size and/or political/economic/social complexity, over a considerable area, for an extended time,[9] and combine it with a more pragmatic perspective borrowing from Y. Cochet : at the end of the process which we will call collapse, the basic needs (water, food, housing, clothing, energy, etc.) are no longer provided to most of the population by services which are regulated by the law[10]. As for collapsology, a science the authors meant tocreate and which has since been developed successfully, it isthe transdisciplinary study of the collapse of our industrial civilisation and of what might come next, based on two cognitive modes, which are reason and intuition, and on scientific works of standing[11]. On this basis and in a perspective both technical and anthropological, collapsologists mean to explore a world in whichglobal warming is already causing longer and stronger heat waves as well as extreme eventsand in whichwe already witness water shortages in highly populated areas, economic losses, social unrest and political instability, as well as the propagation of contagious diseases, the proliferation of pests, the extinction of many living species [], the melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, and the diminution of agricultural productivity.[12]

Caliban #63, entitled Dynamics of Collapse in fantasy, the fantastic and SF, intends to start a reflection on the more or lesscollapsologicalperspectives that our new context can bring to the creation or the reading of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic works. Those may belong to the fantastic genre, in the classical sense of a supernatural intrusion in a realistic background or in the Todorovian acceptation of a sustained doubt as to the reality of the supernatural occurence. They may also pertain to fantasy (Todorovs marvellous), in the classical sense of a universe in which supernatural events are either normal or beyond ontological doubt. Last but not least, they may belong to science fiction, in a broad acceptation in which the causes of collapse, whether realistic or not, are presented with Suvinian cognitive rigour.[13] Thus, Stephen Kings The Stand (1978) pertains both to the fantastic in the classical sense and to SF, since the apocalypse is caused both by a pandemic (SF) and by the eldritch action of evil supernatural forces (fantastic). The whole spectrum of what can be called more or less loosely science fiction is thus relevant from post-apocalyptic space opera such as the TV series Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) to various uchronia, dystopia, and works of anticipation which may focus more on sociopolitical evolutions and collapse rather than on technological evolutions and collapse .

The works under study may be literary or cinematographic, of course, but essays on comics, boardgames, role playing games or video games are more than welcome.

The main approaches to these issues are the study of recent works that may have been influenced by the context of undergoing collapse, or the re-reading of older works from the standpoint of our new context and/or of reflections developed by collapsologic-minded scholars. Those works may also be used as starting points to question the concept of collapse, to ponder the ways they illustrate different kinds of collapse (such as collapse of climate, energy ressources, infrastructures, finance, politics, biodiversity) and their interactions, since each type may trigger collapses of a different kind, just as the proposed solutions to each may also trigger other kinds of collapse.[14] Here is a non exhaustive list of relevant works with suggestions of potential thematic perspectives :

Imagining the aftermath: The Walking Dead (comic book series and adaptations), Jack Kirbys Kamandi, Cormac McCarthys The Road, Russel Hobans Riddley Walker, Paolo Bacigalupis The Windup Girl, John Crowleys Engine Summer, Mick Jacksons Threads, Walter Murchs Return to Oz, Franklin J. Schaffners The Planet of the Apes and its sequels. Any post-apocalyptic dystopia or dystopia about an undergoing collapse: George Orwells 1984, Suzanne Collinss The Hunger Games, Margaret Atwoods The Handmaid’s Tale, Alfonso Cuarons Children of Men, Richard Fleischers Soylent Green; the boardgames Outlive or Pandemic Legacy Season 2, the video games Forsaken, Falloutand Wasteland, the role playing game Polaris.

How it all goes crashing down:

with a bang (Isaac Asimovs Nightfall, Max Brookss World War Z, H.G. Wellss The War of the Worlds, Ursula K. Le Guins The Word for World is Forest, Philip K. Dicks Ubik, Stephen Kings The Stand, Dan Simmonss Ilium and Olympos, China Miéville’s Embassytown; the movies Deep Impact, Blindness, Contagion, Perfect Sense, The NeverEnding Story; the boardgame Pandemic; Mark Rein-Hagens role playing game Vampire: The Masquerade)

vs with a whimper (Asimovs Foundation, J.R.R. Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, CrowleysLittle, Big, Le Guins The Farthest Shore; Mike Judges film Idiocracy; Francesco Nepitellos role playing game The One Ring – especially its campaign The Darkening of Mirkwood).

inescapable (Le Guins « Paradises Lost »,  Orson Scott Cards The Call of Earth, Asimovs « The Last Question », C.S. Lewiss The Magicians Nephew and The Last Battle, Joss Whedons TV series Dollhouse; the board games Small World, Vinci, War of the Ring and the role playing game The One Ring)

vs. preventable  (Deep Impact, Armageddon, The Lord of the Rings, The Farthest Shore, Pullmans His Dark Materials, the board games Pandemic and Arkham Horror or the role playing game The Call of Cthulhu).

individual responsibility (Le Guins Lathe of Heaven, Drew Goddards film Cabin in the Woods, Terry Gilliams12 Monkeys, Rupert Wyatts Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Val Guests The Day the Earth Caught Fire; the video game Plague, Inc.: Evolved; the episode trilogy « Weirdocalypse » concluding the animated series Gravity Falls),

vs collective responsibility (the TV series Dollhouse and Black Mirror, the board game Anacrony, Clifford Simaks novel City, the movies The Day After Tomorrow and Idiocracy and more generally political dystopia),

vs third party responsibility (the series of novels and movies Left Behind or the video game Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldbergs film This is the End)

or intermingled responsibilities (Phillip Pullmans His Dark Materials or David Wongs This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Dont Touch It)

Submitted articles will be double-blind peer-reviewed. They can be written either in English or French and will not exceed 30,000 signs (including spaces, footnotes and bibliography). They must be sent by 15th Oct, 2019 to both these email addresses:

cyril.camus@hotmail.fr / florent.hebert.eng@gmail.com

———————

[1] In 1964, starring Vincent Price; in 1971, starring Charlton Heston; in 2007, starring Will Smith.

[2] “In the New Policies Scenario, production in total does not peak before 2035 […] never attaining its all-time peak of 70 mb/d in 2006”. Nabuo Tanaka, dir. “World Energy Outlook 2010”, International Energy Agency, 2010, p. 125.

[3] cf. Maddie Stone, “The Monsters of Climate Change”, Earther, 2018, https://earther.gizmodo.com/the-monsters-of-climate-change-1829826348

[4] « Introduction to the Age of Hazards ». J. Blamont, Introduction au siècle des menaces (2004), available in French only.

[5] Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, 2005, Londres: Penguin Books, 2011, p. 6-10.

[6] « How Everything Might Collapse : A Collapsology Handbook », Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens, Comment tout peut s’effondrer : petit manuel de collapsologie à l’usage des générations présentes, Paris : Editions du Seuil, 2015.  Available in French only.

[7] Servigne and Stevens, op. cit., p. 25-26.

[8] Ibid., p. 129.

[9] Diamond, op.cit., p. 3. Quoted in Servigne and Stevens, op. cit., p. 178.

[10] In the original: “le processus à l’issue duquel les besoins de base (eau, alimentation, logement, habillement, énergie, etc.) ne sont plus fournis à une majorité de la population par des services encadrés par la loi ». Yves Cochet, « L’effondrement, catabolique ou catastrophique ?”, convention, 27th May, 2011, Institut Momentum, https://www.institutmomentum.org/l’effondrement-catabolique-ou-catastrophique/. Quoted in Servigne and Stevens, op. cit., p. 15.

[11] In the original: “exercice transdisciplinaire d’étude de l’effondrement de notre civilisation industrielle, et de ce qui pourrait lui succéder, en s’appuyant sur les deux modes cognitifs que sont la raison et l’intuition, et sur des travaux scientifiques reconnus” Servigne and Stevens, op. cit., p. 253.

[12] In the original: “le réchauffement provoque déjà des vagues de chaleur plus longues et plus intenses et des événements extrêmes [et l’on] constate déjà des pénuries d’eau dans les parties densément peuplées, des pertes économiques, des troubles sociaux et de l’instabilité politique, la propagation de maladies contagieuses, l’expansion de ravageurs et de nuisibles, l’extinction de nombreuses espèces vivantes […], la fonte des glaces polaires et des glaciers, ainsi que des diminutions de rendements agricoles”. Servigne and Stevens, op. cit., p. 67-68.

[13] See Darko Suvin, Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre, 1976 p. 7-8.

[14] Servigne and Stevens, op.cit., p. 124-125.

Books and special issues of journals – Deadlines April-June 2019

“All We Are Is Eyes”: The Literary Art of Ali Smith
Authors are invited to contribute to an edited volume
Deadliine for proposals: 14 April 2019

Authors are invited to submit papers for a volume exploring the literary output of Ali Smith. Papers may explore any aspect of Smith’s work, but suggested areas include gender, sexuality, nationality and the relationship between literature and the visual arts. Papers should be between 4,000-7,000 words, preceded by a 200 word abstract and formatted using the MLA system. The deadline for abstracts is 14th April 2019.

Any queries regarding submissions should be sent to:

or

(posted 5 February 2019)


Postclassical Narratology: Twenty Years Later
An issue of Word and Text – A Journal of Literary Studies and Linguistics, IX (2019)
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2019

Guest Editors: Biwu Shang, Arleen Ionescu and Laurent Milesi

As a term, ‘postclassical narratology’ was proposed by David Herman in his ground-breaking article ‘Scripts, Sequences, and Stories: Elements of a Postclassical Narratology’ (1997) and widely popularized in his edited volume Narratologies: New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis (1999). The last two decades witnessed an explosive interest in narrative studies, which to a large extent could be categorized as the various strands of postclassical narratology. Although in Herman’s view postclassical narratology does contain classical moments, it does not simply mean that the term, in the very literal sense, periodizes narratology into classical vs. postclassical phases. Instead, it refers to those newly-developed approaches beyond structuralism and to new narrative phenomena in the spectrum of analysis.

The boom and rapid development of postclassical narratology is evidenced in an unaccountable number of works produced in the past years; to name a few: James Phelan and Peter J. Rabinowitz’s A Companion to Narrative Theory (2005), Jan Alber and Monika Fludernik’s Postclassical Narratology: Approaches and Analysis (2010), David Herman et al.’s Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates (2012), Biwu Shang’s Contemporary Western Narratology: Postclassical Perspectives (2013), Jan Alber and Per Krogh Hansen’s Beyond Classical Narration: Transmedial and Unnatural Challenge (2014), and Zara Dinnen and Robyn Warhol’s The Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Narrative Theories (2018). However, we should be aware of the fact that along with its unprecedented development, postclassical narratology has also met controversies from various directions. For instance, Brian Richardson (1997) and Meir Sternberg (2011) are doubtful of both the term ‘postclassical narratology’ and the distinction of the classical/postclassical in narrative studies.

As a rejoinder to the thought-provoking and timely initiative of the second phase of postclassical narratology by such scholars as David Herman and Biwu Shang (2010), Jan Alber and Monika Fludernik (2010), and Biwu Shang (2015), this special issue ‘Postclassical Narratology: Twenty Years Later’, in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this new orientation in the field of narratology, attempts to examine and assess the development of narrative inquiries in the postclassical context of the last two decades. Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • Classical Concepts, Postclassical Perspectives
  • Narrative Theory Today and Tomorrow: Current State and Future Directions
  • Rhetorical Theory of Narrative
  • Feminist Narrative Theory
  • Unnatural Narrative Theory
  • Cognitive Narrative Theory
  • Transmedial Narrative Theory
  • Fictionality, Emotionality, Ideology,

We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, ranging across critical theory, literary and cultural studies, as well as other disciplines in the humanities. Contributors are advised to follow the journal’s submission guidelines and stylesheet available from http://jlsl.upg-ploiesti.ro/. The deadline for abstract submissions is April 30, 2019. Please send 500-word proposals to the editors of the volume, who will answer any queries you may have. Articles selected for publication must be submitted by June 30, 2019. All submitted articles will be blind-refereed except when invited. Accepted articles will be returned for post-review revisions by July 30, 2019 and will be expected back in their final version by September 30, 2019 at the latest.

Proposals and articles should be sent as attachments to wordandtext2011@gmail.com and the three editors of the issue Biwu Shang (biwushang@sjtu.edu.cn), Arleen Ionescu (anionescu@sjtu.edu.cn) and Laurent Milesi (milesi@sjtu.edu.cn).

(posted 25 January 2019)


The Cinema of Kenneth Branagh: Adaptations, Retellings and Reevaluations
A volume edited by Sabine Planka & Feryal Cubukcu
Deadline for abstracts: 31 Mat 2019

Since Kenneth Branagh impressed audiences in 1989 with his first film, “Henry V”, movie critics, film scholars, Shakespeare scholars, and Shakespeare enthusiasts alike have noticed two qualities about the young director: he holds back very little, and he borrows from other films quite a bit. Certain portions of his films have been defined appropriately as “lavish”, “over the top”, “energetic”, and “sheer bravura”. His numerous engagements with the mainstream would offer rich and varied ground to explore, and would contribute to a deeper understanding of how a star persona functions; but failure to recognise even the least significance of exploring his recent popular work suggests a persistence in obeying traditional cultural hierarchies and marginalising the mainstream as a site of academic focus.

Branagh does not hesitate to make use of the camera angles, textual imagery, ambiguity, pastiche and parody in his movies and adaptations. If all his movies are taken into account, it would seem that despite the fact that film is so often touted as a visual medium, perhaps its’ most powerful ability of affecting and influencing its viewers lies not only in the images it presents, but also in the personalities of life-like characters.

While lots of research has been done on Branagh’s Shakespeare-adaptations our volume wants to consider the other movies Branagh has directed, too. It is obvious that not only Shakespeare and other authors have had influence on him but also other directors as can be seen, for example, in his film “Dead Again” (1991) that is clearly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock. Additionally Branagh’s work, therefore, contains not only Shakespeare adaptations but also adaptations of other literary works from different genres like “Thor” (2011), “Cinderella” (2015) and the upcoming adaptation of the novel for children “Artemis Fowl” (2019). The newly-announced is a second Agatha Christie-adaptation “Death on the Nile” for 2020 – and which has indirectly be announced by the cliffhanger at the end of his first Christie-adaptation “Murder on the Orient Express” (2017) – which expresses Branagh’s extraordinary talent to handle every genre. It goes without saying that Branagh adapted an opera, too: in 2006 he transferred Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” into a World War I-scenario.

Our volume, therefore, intends to focus on Kenneth Branagh primarily as a director. We are seeking for previously unpublished essays that consider the following topics (but are not limited to) from multidisciplinary perspectives to expand the view on Branagh’s oeuvre that can be divided into

(a) Adaptations of Shakespeare (Henry V (1989)/Much Ado About Nothing (1993)/A Midwinter’s Tale (1995)/Hamlet (1996)/Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000)/As You Like It (2006)/Macbeth (2013)) and

(b) Adaptations of other literary works and the connection to different genres (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994; Gothic Novel)/The Magic Flute (2006; Opera)/Thor (2011; Comics)/Cinderella (2015; Fairy Tale)/Artemis Fowl (announced 2019; Children’s Literature)/Murder on the Orient Express (2017; Crime Novel/Agatha Christie)/Death on the Nile (announced for 2020; Crime Novel/Agatha Christie)).

Suggested topics include, but are by no means limited to the following:

  • influences of Branagh’s education at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) on his movies
  • influences of and connections to other directors
  • the literary basis of his movies
  • techniques of narration
  • colonial/postcolonial readings
  • ‘spatial turn’/architectural concepts in Branagh’s movies
  • class consciousness
  • social life and the role of the individual
  • gender representations/representations and visualizations of femininity and masculinity
  • visual effects/style
  • visualization of garden/landscape/nature and heritage
  • set design/costume design and (collaboration with) set designers/costume designers
  • use of (classical/modern) music

The timetable for the volume is as follows:

  • The deadline for abstracts: May 31, 2019
  • Feedback: Mid of July 2019 at the latest
  • Submission for articles (completed): October 31, 2019
  • Double peer review process and feedback of final acceptance due to: November 30, 2019
  • Articles sent back to editors: December 31, 2019
  • The publication is planned during spring/summer 2020.

If you are interested in proposing a chapter, please send an email with (1) an abstract of 500 words and (2) a short CV (maximum of 200 words, plus 3 titles of relevant publications) to both Dr. Feryal Cubukcu (Dokuz Eylul University) (cubukcu.feryal@gmail.com) and Dr. Sabine Planka (University of Siegen) (mail@sabine-planka.de).

Your abstract should outline your hypothesis and briefly sketch the theoretical framework(s) within which your chapter will be situated. All submissions will be acknowledged. If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, you may assume that your email was lost in the depths of cyberspace. In that case, please re-submit. Please note that we will not include previously published essays in the collection.

(posted 4 February 2019)

Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in July 2020

Water and Sea in Word and Image: IAWISI/AIERTI Conference
University of Luxembourg, 5-10 July 2020
Proposals for sessions, deadline: 28 February 2019

In an era in which water scarcity is threatening us all and the mainland is affected even in the depths of its epicenter by what is happening on its shores, it seems of great importance to propose a subject both acutely topical and strongly tied to the collective imagination. In Alessandro Baricco’s novel Ocean sea (1993), the fictional character Plasson paints the sea with seawater. This emblematic scene sums up our topic to some extent: water is difficult to grasp and yet concerns us more and more. Shapeless, still waiting to be defined, it even resists any effort of conceptualization. Putting water and the sea into words and into images is not obvious, represents a real discursive and plastic challenge and is therefore particularly likely to call into question the relationship between text and image. Due to its rhythm “without measure” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980), water as an element transcends Lessing’s dichotomy between arts of time and arts of space (see Louvel, 2002). The water’s unspeakable nature does not coincide with its invisible essence. Yet, literary and plastic narratives constitute an actual semiosphere with, at its borders, an area where the semiotic links are violated (Lotman, 1966), the realm of the unstable, the arbitrary, the unaccountable.

Located at the heart of the European continent – however tightly interconnected with its periphery –, cradle of the siren Melusine, territory boasting its natural springs and its balneology, Luxembourg seems to be the appropriate place to host a world congress on this subject.

Abstracts for sessions should be a maximum of 300 words.

N.B.: All conference participants must be members of IAWIS/AIERTI (https://iawis.org/) and in order with their membership fee before the conference.

The deadline for SESSION PROPOSALS is February 28th, 2019. Submissions are to be dropped on our website: https://waterandsea2020.uni.lu

The selection committee will contact you before March 30th, 2019 about the outcome of your application.

POTENTIAL CONFERENCE SESSION THEMES

N.B.: The sessions consist of one or maximum two panels of 1h30 each (three papers). The panels will offer a tribune to experienced researchers in Word and Image Studies and/or young scholars (doctoral students/postdocs) whose proposals the chairs of the elected sessions will gather and select. The word and image interaction should be formulated in the title of the session. Please indicate if your session fits with one or several of the potential themes listed below (e.g.: 1, 7, 12).

1.     Water, a natural element (its virtues and dangers) and an esthetic challenge
2.     Water as energy in science and arts
3.     The biblical or mythical imaginary of water and sea
4.     Aquatic and maritime myths, rites and marine, fluvial or lacustrine folklore
5.     Melusine, nymphs, naiads and other sirens
6.     The seaside or still water in painting and literature
7.     Balneology, its history and actuality
8.     Harbours in texts and images
9.     Insular or peninsular cultures
10.   Touristic promotion of natural heritage (seaside, lakes, rivers)
11.   Aqueducts, thermal baths and dams in the Greater Region
12.   The Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean (shores, fauna, cultural and market routes, migration)
13.   Graphic novel, comics or cartoons on sea, water or migration
14.   Water and sea in film, video or in digital artefacts
15.   The future of water in arts and media
16.   Water scarcity, drought and sustainable issues in word and image
17.   The sea as epistemological metaphor (shipwreck, raft, wave, hurricane, liquidity, archipelago, foam)
18.   Scientific or imaginary cartography
19.   Other related topics

(posted 14 January 2019)

Books and special issues of journals – Deadlines January-March 2019

Call for Topics for Two Special Issues of European Journal of English Studies (Volume 25, to be published in 2021)
Deadline for proposals: 1 March 2019

The general editors of the European Journal of English Studies are currently seeking proposals for two special issues of Volume 25 to be published in 2021. EJES presents work of the highest quality in English literature, linguistics and cultural studies. The journal’s acronym ‘EJES’ reflects on the journal’s aspiration to publish cutting-edge research within an outlook that questions boundaries between disciplines and cultural contexts. For us, ‘European’ does not describe a geography, but a situation in which ‘English’ is studied and taught in both Anglophone and non-Anglophone contexts and across a range of disciplines. EJES is published by Taylor & Francis, a division of Routledge. The journal is peer reviewed and has an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects. Numbers of the special issues have been subsequently published by Routledge as books.

The general editors encourage proposals of up to 300 words for special issues that span divides between cultural theory, literary analysis and linguistics. Guest editing teams should be comprised of two individuals working in different localities within Europe. They should demonstrate significant editing experience. Please send your proposal by 1 March to all three general editors and see the EJES website for examples of earlier CFPs: http://essenglish.org/ejes/

Greta Olson (Justus Liebig University of Giessen): greta.olson@anglistik.uni-giessen.de
Isabel Carrera Suárez (University of Oviedo): icarrera@uniovi.es
Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou (Artistotle University of Thessaloniki): katkit@enl.auth.gr

Recent special issues have included the following:

Volume 22 (2018)
22.1 Approaches to Old Age, eds Sarah Falcus and Maricel Oró Piqueras
22.2 Global Responses to the ‘War on Terror’, eds Michael C. Frank (Düsseldorf) and Pavan Kumar Malreddy (Frankfurt)
22.3 Poetry, Science and Technology, eds Irmtraud Huber (Berne), Wolfgang Funk (Mainz)

And the following future special issues are scheduled:

Volume 23 (2019)
23.1 Narratives of Religious Conversion from the Enlightenment to the Present, eds Ludmilla Kostova (Turnovo) and Efterpi Mitsi (Athens)
23.2 Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Narratives, eds Jan Alber (Aachen) and Alice Bell (Sheffield)
23.3 Shame and Shamelessness in Anglophone Literature and Media, eds Katrin Röder (Potsdam), Christine Vogt-William (Berlin) and Kaye Mitchell (Manchester)

Volume 24 (2020)
Representing Trans, eds Elahe Haschemi Yekani (Berlin), Anson Koch-Rein (Grinnell) and Jasper Verlinden (Berlin)
Neo-Victorian Negotiations of Hostility, Empathy and Hospitality, eds Rosario Arias (Málaga) and Mark Llewellyn (Cardiff)
‘Decentering Commemorations’: Literary, Cultural, Historical and Political Commemorations across and beyond the British Isles, eds Antonella Braida-Laplace, Jeremy Tranmer, and Céline Sabiron (Lorraine)

(posted 5 February 2019)


Re-Membering Hospitality in the Mediterranean: Essays in Anglophone Literature, Arts, and Culture
A peer-reviewed edited volume
New extended deadline for proposals: 1 March 2019

Co-edited by Yasser Elhariry, Isabelle Keller-Privat, Edwige Tamalet Talbayev

Hospitality is a complex, paradoxical concept whose etymology foregrounds an aporia. Derived from hostis, the foreigner and potential enemy, the hospes or host welcomes the guest, implying an intricate relationship between receiver and received, insider and outsider, as well as a compensatory relation since both hospes and hostis derive from the Latin verb hostire: “to treat as equal,” “to compensate,” “to pay back” (Grassi 35). The foreigner shifts from the position of an endangered, alienated subject to one who is included within the protective folds of the polis and the home. In welcoming the other, the host not only shares his home and power, but also entitles the guest (if only temporarily) to his own power as despot—etymologically, “the master of the house who lays down the laws of hospitality” (Derrida 149)—while reasserting his own domination. As a result, the commutative essence of the relationship between host and guest—whereby, as René Schérer argues, the host “acknowledges, through and thanks to the figure of the guest, his own exilic self” (40)—is perpetually jeopardized. In Claude Raffestin’s formulation, “hospitality is a right that warrants the transgression of limits without entailing violence” (166; qtd. Grassi 23).

Indeed, hospitality in the Middle Ages was compulsory as anyone who was sedentary was likely to turn into a pilgrim: vagrants and beggars who transgressed the social order always found a protective threshold and a right of passage in medieval society. Hospitality was the ultimate gift, a gift that transcended the laws and materialized in the food or horses often bestowed upon the guest when he departed. This is what leads Schérer to posit that “hospitality has and is an economy, in the full sense of the word, because it constantly reestablishes the production and circulation of a flux that would otherwise petrify and impoverish itself” (126).

In contemporary society, however, this ultimate gift of the self—whereby hospitality stands out as “more than human, always engaging the divine [since] it is a god who is welcomed, a god bought by gifts, a mysterious Other” (Schérer 129)—is ruthlessly shattered. Developing Derrida’s concept of “hospitality, hostility, hostpitality” (45), Ana Manzanas Calvo and Jesús Benito Sánchez demonstrate that “hospitality […] can cannibalize the Other in a radical act of incorporation that apparently dissolves limits and demarcations” (84). Such is the case in the garden of evil in George Saunders’s “The Semplica-Girl Diaries” (2012), in which inanimate immigrants hanging on a line exemplify the cruel devitalization and “commodification of the Other” (Manzanas Calvo and Benito Sánchez 178). Hospitality violently, albeit surreptitiously, transforms the guest into a ghost, not unlike Oedipus who, Derrida shows, “presents himself as a spectre” (654) in the last abode where he is to be secretly buried.

This process of disincarnation takes the form of fierce linguistic, economic, and political processes of dehumanization, on both personal and state-orchestrated levels. The exiled Egyptian poet Edmond Jabès imagines a dialogue between hostis and hospes in which the latter asks: “What do you come to do in my country?” He insists that “your attachment to my homeland does not justify your permanent presence amongst us […] Stranger, you will always be a foreigner to me. Your place is your home and not here.” Seeking refuge in the hospitality of language, the guest ripostes: “Your country is that of my language” (Jabès 51). Linguistic (in)hospitability harkens to another etymological derivation of the verb hostire in the Latin hostia—the victim meant to alleviate the gods’ wrath. This root gave birth to the French word hostie, whose English translation, wafer, derives from a different origin, but still conveys the same idea: the ultimate selfless gift as a compensation for death and absence through a displaced form of presence.

Such is the ultimate meaning of Oedipus’s cryptic burial in a place where he does not belong and where he is not to be physically located, a place that he nevertheless keeps haunting. Though spectral and intangible, his presence is most acutely real in the very tears of Antigone. Her grief imparts visibility and reality to what is denied any visible existence: “Antigone asks something clear: that he see her at last, […] and see her weep. More specifically: she commands him to see her tears. The invisibility, the placelessness, the illocality” (Derrida 115).

These preoccupations are particularly resonant in the context of the Mediterranean space, where Anglophone writers have often seen a Promised Land that was soon to be denied or corrupted “by the specter of inhospitality” (Manzanas Calvo and Benito Sánchez 55). Whether we think of what Hakim Abderrezak reads as a story of the “Mediterranean seametery and cementery” (149), or of Cypriot artist Christoforos Savva renegotiating “his seemingly marginal positionality” as a modernist and avant-garde artist who disputes Western paradigms of modernity and tradition (Danos 78), we realize that artists and writers embedding their work in the Mediterranean always confront the dialectics of hospitality, and that the stereotyped vision of a fundamentally hospitable Mediterranean is at odds both with ancient laws and modern practices. Lawrence Durrell’s experience of hospitality in the Greek islands, for example, shows a world of “fragmentation, instability, and connectivity […] that opens up new connections” (Keller-Privat 47-48) by shattering and redefining common understandings and practices of hospitality. As “The Middle Sea” or the “Mare Nostrum” which has repeatedly been the stage of strong economic and colonial strife, the Mediterranean powerfully brings to the fore the ontological difficulty that lies at the heart of the praxis and ethics of hospitality. For, as Derrida reminds us, “what is difficult are the things that don’t let themselves be done [faire], and that, when the limit of difficulty has been reached, exceed even the order of the possible” (127). How does the Mediterranean invite us to rebuild new forms of artistic and literary forms of hospitality that challenge these boundaries? Antigone’s tears remind us that “there is no hospitality without memory. A memory that did not recall the dead person and mortality would be no memory. What kind of hospitality would not be ready to offer itself to the dead one, to the revenant?” (144).

Hospitality, therefore, is not a given fact of social praxis, or an innate ethical urge. Rather, it is a way of being in the world that is constantly reconstructed through past narratives, voices, and art works. These reconstructions “recall the dead and the mortal” in order to foster a boundary-crossing impetus that defies the laws. The process of reconstruction takes various forms and crosses linguistic boundaries through the appropriation of the Other’s language, words, and images, forging a committed type of heteroglossy (Paddington). It is always a reconstruction that challenges political and national forms of belonging. How then can the Mediterranean be considered as the ideal locus for re-membering hospitality? How does it operate as a creative node of hospitality that links the sea and the hinterland? How does it implement a radical connectivity between lands and people? How would it corroborate Jabès’s assumption: “Abiding by the unformulated imperatives of hospitality somehow implies learning our dependence upon others” (70)? May we read Anglophone Mediterranean explorations in the poetry, fiction, and travel books it has nurtured as the place where “the boundless hospitality of the book” (67) is redefined and reasserted—remembering and transcending the memory of all those who, in the wake of Odysseus, brought nothing with them but the fluidity of time and space, and the intimate knowledge that we are all transient guests on earth?

Papers may focus on the displacement and resemanticization of Mediterranean and Biblical narratives of hospitality in Anglophone literature and the arts. The Mediterranean may also be envisaged as a locus of displaced, unexpected hospitality for early modernist female writers. Anglophone writers taking shelter in the Mediterranean also experience the “limits of difficulty” in the hospitality they are granted: an indomitable sense of estrangement lies at the heart of a new belonging, notably in works that contribute to the re-membering of a hospitality that is constantly endangered. The specific locations of hospitality—pilgrims’ hospitals, hospices, convents, and, later on, hostels and hotels—also play an important role in the narratives redefining the contours of the Mediterranean, where early travelers navigated between hostility and hospitality, and where modern ones often stand out as precarious guests. The hospitality that writers and artists have sought, received, and rebuilt on Mediterranean shores, particularly in the tightly woven artist colonies that spanned the Near and Middle Easts in the twentieth century, may also be envisaged as a hermeneutic tool for the critique of our present-day “sick hospitality” (Manzanas Calvo and Benito Sánchez 107). From that perspective, the Mediterranean may be considered as the locus of a newly founded commonality whereby, as Andrew Benjamin argues, “centrality would be attributed to relationality. Being-in-common […] marks the primordiality of relationality, and thus what counts as human being needs to be incorporated within a relational ontology” (29).

Historical, mythological, ethnographic, visual, literary, cinematic, and intermedial approaches are all welcome provided that they define and articulate a concept of hospitality, its relation with memory, and the confrontations and reunions that substantiate the emergence and deployment of new forms of commonality within the Mediterranean space.

Manuscripts will be rigorously edited prior to submission to the press. We are also applying for funding for a symposium that will offer all contributors the opportunity to meet at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès in Spring 2020 ahead of publication.

References

  • Abderrezak, Hakim. “The Mediterranean Seametery and Cementery in Leïla Kilani’s and Tariq Tenguia’s Filmic Works.” Critically Mediterranean: Temporalities, Æsthetics, and Deployments of a Sea in Crisis, ed. yasser elhariry and Edwige Tamalet Talbayev. New York: Palgrave, 2018, pp. 147-161.
  • Benjamin, Andrew. Place, Commonality and Judgment: Continental Philosophy and the Ancient Greeks. London: Continuum, 2010.
  • Danos, Antonis. “Mediterranean Modernisms: The Case of Cypriot Artist Christoforos Savva.” Critically Mediterranean: Temporalities, Æsthetics, and Deployments of a Sea in Crisis, ed. yasser elhariry and Edwige Tamalet Talbayev. New York: Palgrave, 2018, pp. 77-110.
  • Derrida, Jacques. Of Hospitality. Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to respond. Stanford : Stanford University Press, 2000.
  • Eells, Emily, Christine Berthin, and Jean-Michel Déprats, eds. L’Étranger dans la langue. Paris: Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, 2013.
  • Elhariry, Yasser, and Edwige Tamalet Talbayev, eds. Critically Mediterranean: Temporalities, Æsthetics, and Deployments of a Sea in Crisis. New York: Palgrave, 2018.
  • Gifford, James. Personal Modernisms: Anarchist Networks and the Later Avant-Gardes. Alberta: The University of Alberta Press, 2014.
  • Goethals, Helen, and Isabelle Keller-Privat, eds. Le Pays méditerranéen en profondeur/The Mediterranean and Its Hinterlands. Toulouse: Presses Universitaires du Midi, 2018.
  • Grassi, Marie-Claire. “Passer le seuil.” Le Livre de l’hospitalité: accueil de l’étranger dans l’histoire et les cultures, ed. Alain Montandon. Paris: Bayard, 2004, pp. 21-34.
  • Jabès, Edmond. Le Livre de l’hospitalité. Paris: Gallimard, 1991.
  • Keller-Privat, Isabelle. “Lawrence Durrell’s Mediterranean Shores: Tropisms of a Receding Line.” Critically Mediterranean: Temporalities, Æsthetics, and Deployments of a Sea in Crisis, ed. yasser elhariry and Edwige Tamalet Talbayev. New York: Palgrave, 2018, pp. 45-64.
  • Le Blanc, Guillaume, and Brugère Fabienne. La Fin de l’hospitalité: Lampedusa, Lesbos, Calais… jusqu’où irons-nous? Paris: Flammarion, 2017.
  • Manzanas Calvo, Ana, and Jesús Benito Sánchez. Hospitality in American Literature and Culture. Spaces, Bodies, Borders. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  • Montandon, Alain, ed. Le Livre de l’hospitalité: accueil de l’étranger dans l’histoire et les cultures. Paris: Bayard, 2004.
  • Paddington, P. L. “L’hétéroglossie ponctuelle.” L’Étranger dans la langue, ed. Emily Eels, Christine Berthin, and Jean-Michel Déprats. Paris: Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, 2013, pp. 57-71.
  • Raffestin, Claude. “Réinventer l’hospitalité.” Communications n°65. L’hospitalité. Paris: Seuil, 1997, pp. 165-177.
  • Saunders, Georges. “The Semplica-Girl Diaries.” The New Yorker. 15 October 2012. https:// newyorker.com/magazine/2012/10/15/the-semplica-girl-diaries.
  • Schérer, René. Hospitalités. Paris : Anthropos, 2004.
  • ———— Zeus hospitalier. Paris: La Table Ronde, 2005.

(posted 1 October 2018, updated 9 January 2019)


Epistemocriticism of Victorian and Edwardian Literature
Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens 90 (Autumn 2019)
Deadline for proposals: 15 January 2019

Issue number 90 of Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens (http://journals.openedition.org/cve) will be entitled “Epistemocriticism of Victorian and Edwardian Literature” and will be published in the autumn of 2019. It is meant as a tribute to Annie Escuret who was professor at Université Paul Valéry–Montpellier 3 for many years and the director of this journal from 1997 to 2013, and it will also stand as a continuation of issue 46, “H. G. Wells : Science & Fiction in the 19th century”, which was edited by Annie Escuret in October 1997, when she took up the direction of the journal and brought it to its renowned standard.

That issue proposed the then innovative approach of epistemocriticism: Eliot, Dickens, Meredith, Hardy and Wells were studied in the light of her favourite contemporary French theorists—Michel Serres, Henri Atlan, Michel Foucault, Michel Pierssens, Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers—as well as that of Anglophone scholars, such as Gillian Beer (Darwin’s Plots), Sally Shuttleworth (George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science), George Levine (Darwin and the Novelists), Gerard Holston (Thematic Origin of Scientific Thought : Kepler to Einstein), or Peter Morton (The Vital Science : Biology and the Literary Imagination). It was thus that issue 46 meant to capture the relationships between science and fiction and more generally the encounters between oeuvres and knowledge. Such encounters are at the core of the epistemocritic perspective which consists in analyzing the uses a text makes of scientific knowledge and how it in turn produces knowledge itself. Indeed, more than any other period in human history, the 19th century witnessed the extensive development of science and literature, with the growth of the realist / naturalist novel, but also the advent and rapidly growing hegemony of a vast number of sciences and a new episteme.

Sciences are certainly many and varied, and to the well-known and established sciences, the 19th century added some of the most illustrious – or notorious – pseudo-sciences, namely J. K. Lavater’s physiognomony, Franz Josef Gall’s phrenology, Cesare Lombroso’s criminal anthropology, as well as graphology, pathognomy, craniology, which were often used to dubious ends. However, this was also a century which most particularly witnessed much more seriously-oriented scientific developments, such as those of economics, thermology, thermodynamics, cosmology, physics, chemistry, electricity, magnetism, geology, biology, psychology, sociology, medicine, heredity, evolutionism, determinism, eugenics, physiology. The 19th century can boast the advent of sciences concerned with the living world, a potentially fertile connecting ground between sciences and literature. Thanks to widespread theories of the living world, cultural representations of living organisms diffused widely and influenced historical, political and social thinkers; simple analogies, such as grafting, invention, cross-breeding are just as many scientific concepts that found their way into the literary works of Victorian and Edwardian authors, who were both witnesses and actors in this most fertile period.

Please send your proposals to Luc Bouvard by January 15th, 2019 at the latest.

luc.bouvard@univ-montp3.fr

Your article may be in French or in English. Please abide by the « instructions to authors » posted on the CVE website at the following address.

https://journals.openedition.org/cve/157 for articles written in French.

https://journals.openedition.org/cve/158 for articles written in English.

(posted 29 June 2018)


Our City or An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Leicestershire
Submissions in a book about Leicestershire edited by Jon Wilkins, published by Dahlia Publishing
Deadline for Submissions: 31 January 2019

I was reading my favourite Francophile crime writer, Cara Blacks “Murder in Saint Germain”. Her hero, Aimee Leduc scoots around Paris solving crimes. Paris is the key, the second most important character in her books. Aimee’s partner Rene, mentions Georges Perec and his writing in the story. Perec spent three days in St Sulphice, Paris, watching Paris and its people which resulted in a creative wonder that is “An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris”.
Inspired by Perec’s work, I would like to invite writers and non-writers to help craft Leicester’s own version of “An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris.”
In particular, I would like to read pieces on the following topics: the city, the county, its people, places of interest, social history, sport or food.
You can use the city as a backdrop for your story, or turn it into the main character. It could be set in the past, present or future. It can be a ghost story set in the city, a short story about your love of Leicester City FC, a poem about one of the green spaces, there are no hard and fast rules, but it must capture the spirit of Leicester or Leicestershire. It should show your LOVE of the city.
Submissions invited include: • Fiction 2,000-4,000 words • Poetry 50 lines maximum • Short Story 2,000-4,000 words • Flash fiction 100-500 words • Creative non-fiction 2,000-4,000 words • Essay 2,000-4,000 words We welcome contributions in your mother tongue, accompanied by an English translation. • Each contributor will receive two complimentary copies of the anthology, scheduled to be published by Dahlia Publishing in October 2019. • You retain individual copyright of your contribution. Please send completed submissions, along with a short bio to leicesterstories@btinternet.com You will be given the opportunity to read your work at the launch event. Deadline for Submissions: 31 January, 2019.
Jon Wilkins

(posted 11 September 2018)


 ‘My Soul is a Witness”: Reimagining African American Women’s Spirituality and the Black Female Body in African American Literature
A special issue of Religions
Deadline: 15 February 15 2019
Edited by: Carol E. Henderson, Vice Provost for Diversity, Professor of English and Africana Studies, University of Delaware
Katherine Clay Bassard declares nearly twenty years ago in her formative text Spiritual Interrogations, that in order to more fully consider the multiple ways Black women have spiritually represented themselves as sacred subjects in African American literature, one must consider a variety of religious traditions that help to shape these religious experiences, including but not limited to Christianity, Islamic, African and neo-African traditional religions, among others. More importantly, the practice of examining black women’s intertextuality (what Bassard terms spiritual interrogation) supports ways of reading that provide a richer understanding of the ways in which the sacred and secular, the spiritual and political serve as lens through which to consider African American female subjectivity in all of its nuanced complexity.
This special issue seeks creative and thoughtful essays that explore the ways in which writers reclaim, reimagine, and in some ways create the black female body in African American literature using the theoretical, social, cultural, and religious frameworks of spirituality and religion. Of key importance to this collection is black women’s agency and self-advocacy—acknowledged and affirmed in prose, poetry, essays, speeches, written plays, or short stories. Whether it is Indigo (Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo) conceiving a world with her dolls that shepherds her through her rite of passage to womanhood, Baby Suggs declaring in her “fixing ceremonies” in the Clearing that “in this here place, we flesh,” (Beloved),  Mattie Michael healing herself and other Black women and their communal trauma in her bathing rituals (Women of Brewster Place), or Florence at the altar (Go Tell It On the Mountain), authors have sought to discuss the tensions of a lived and imagined existence pivoting the sacred and secular through concepts such as forgiveness, redemption, political freedom and social liberation, passion, alienation, motherhood, sex, marriage, among others.
If you would like to submit an essay for consideration in this special e-book collection, please follow the special link at the head of this CFP for more information.
Religions is an international, open-access scholarly journal, publishing peer reviewed studies of religious thought and practice. It is indexed in A&HCI (Web of Science), ATLA Religion Database and in SCOPUS, which gave it a Citescore of 0.51 and listed it among the top 6% of the 371 religious studies journals SCOPUS surveyed in 2016. PDF downloads per month = 59,700+/-.

(posted 21 August 2018)