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.


Imagineering violence: the spectacle of violence in the early modern period
A special issue of the Journal of the Northern Renaissance
Deadline for propsals: 30 October 2019

Guest editors: Karel Vanhaesebrouck (Université Libre de Bruxelles) & Kornee Van der Haven (Ghent University)The early modern period witnessed an explosion of the representation and performance of violence. In European cities, renaissance and baroque theatre staged gruesome and passionate plays, while in the streets, during religious festivals and public entries of sovereigns, state and church conjured up violent images of subjection and suffering.The book market added to this spectacle of violence, as the early modern period saw the development of an advanced material infrastructure for the production, distribution, consumption, and appropriation of such imagery.

A fast-growing body of texts and prints registered violent episodes of the past and the present. On a daily basis, the public could study in detail the techniques used in battle, to torture martyrs, or to execute criminals. How can we explain this apparent fascination for violence? What effects and affects did these scenes aim to arouse? What relationships were evoked or enforced between the audience and the depicted or enacted scenes? What groups were depicted as violent, and with what specific violent practices and qualities were they associated?

This special issue aims to analyze early modern techniques of representing violence and their transformations over time. We invite proposals from all relevant fields of studies, including, but not limited to, history, theatre studies, art history and visual culture studies, literature, book history, emotion and sensory studies, the history of ideas, and cultural studies. We specifically invite articles that cover the technical and performative aspects of the depiction of violence, whether in print or painting, on stage, in the anatomical theater, the scaffold, or elsewhere. What regimes of representing and staging violence can we trace?

We assume that by zooming in on the concept of violence, we are forced to rethink traditional boundaries, between secular and religious realms, between East and West, between baroque and classical styles, between theatricality and spectacle, and between the public and the private sphere. Violence engages audiences in complex ways: it provides strong embodied experiences, can fascinate or repulse, exploit the curiosity and the desires of the public of consumers, install a breach with daily life, or turn reality into a stage.

Papers could explore how the development of an advanced market for violent imagery could drive spectators into new realms, getting caught in new technical loops by advanced visual means, and rethinking their own position towards the institutions in power. Authors may also exploit the cultural (social/gendered/religious) distinctions enforced by these visual regimes: which groups were depicted as violent, and how were these distinctions made into embodied experiences?

Submitted articles should be around 6,000 – 8,000 words, including all references and bibliographical material, and should be sent to northernrenaissance+iv@gmail.com. If you plan to submit a significantly shorter or longer paper, please contact the editors beforehand. We welcome informal inquiries from authors considering submitting work: these should be addressed to karel.vanhaesebrouck@ulb.ac.be and Cornelis.vanderHaven@UGent.be.

The deadline for submissions is 30 October 2019.

All essays should be double-spaced, in 12 point Times New Roman, and have paragraphs clearly numbered. When using images, pictures, or sound files, it is the responsibility of the author to secure copyright permission from the relevant copyright holder. Each image or sound file should be accompanied by a caption. JNR follows the Style Guide of the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA). For any further information please refer to http://www.northernrenaissance.org/information

(posted 2 August 2019)

Brexit and Academia
A special issue of Volume 25 of EJES (2020)
Deadline for proposals: 31 October 2019

The outcome of the 2016 referendum and the consequences the United Kingdom and Europe are currently facing in its aftermath will have a deep effect on various sectors within academia. It will not only affect research funding, the recruitment of talents and cross-border collaborations between academics on the continent and in the United Kingdom, but also have an impact on student and staff exchanges. Above all, however, Brexit and the debates surrounding the referendum posit new challenges to the role of academics in a renationalising Europe: the Vote Leave campaign was driven by an anti-establishment, anti-supranational, and anti-European rhetoric that did not stop short of academia.

The short- and long-term implications of Brexit on academia and the relationship between British and EU universities are hard to predict, but need to be addressed. While some universities have already reacted to the looming Brexit by founding research networks to support the exchange with researchers from the UK (such as the BritInn-network at the University of Innsbruck) or by establishing strategic partnerships with research institutions in the UK, more initiatives are needed to further support long-term collaboration post-Brexit.

This special issue on Brexit and Academia aims at scrutinizing the consequences of Brexit for the European research landscape, future collaborations between colleagues from Europe and Britain, and academia as a whole from a wide range of different (trans-)disciplinary perspectives.

Papers might address, but are not limited to,

  • analysis of the referendum campaigns, the subsequent Brexit-negotiations, or the future relationship between the UK and the EU;
  • the specific challenges faced by researchers involved in cross-border projects;
  • the impact of Brexit on the arts, humanities, and sciences and possible solutions;
  • the consequences, challenges, and possible solutions for higher education institutions;
  • the impact on different areas within politics, the economy, culture, and society that will have a lasting effect on academia;
  • the role of academia for maintaining collaboration and exchange in post-Brexit Europe
  • possible solutions for universities and research institutions to further support collaboration between researchers from Europe and the UK

Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for full essays (7,500 words), as well as a short biography (max. 100 words) should be sent to sibylle.baumbach@ilw.uni-stuttgart.de and Andreas.Maurer@uibk.ac.at by 31 October 2019.

Main Editors:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sibylle Baumbach, Department of English, University of Stuttgart
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Maurer, Department of Political Science, University of Innsbruck

The EJES website:http://essenglish.org/ejes

(posted 20 May 2019)


The book-to-film debate in the age of visual commodities
Winter 2019 issue of The ESSE Messenger
Deadline for proposals:: 1 November 2019

‘An adaptation is a derivation that is not derivative – a work that is second without being secondary. It is its own palimpsestic thing.’ (Linda Hutcheon)

‘Did you read the novel?’ – ‘No, but I saw the film.’ This is a dialogue that often takes place today. Besides being common, this short conversation is also very revealing about the relation between the printed text and its visual representation as a film or TV series. And, obviously, it couldn’t be otherwise in a world dominated by TV sets, computers, tablets and smart phones with video facilities incorporated, and by video games, rock videos, home cinema, and many other appliances that reproduce images. More than that, the new commercialism could not but take advantage of such a reality and turn everything into commodities and try to extract profit from them. Novels about Harry Potter or Games of Thrones would probably not have achieved such rocketing success if they hadn’t subsequently had their visual adaptations. J.R.R. Tolkien might still be resting on dusty library shelves surrounded by his Middle-earth if he hadn’t been (re)discovered by film makers and adapted for the silver screen.

Today’s reality is that every day we have to face a flood of adaptations, not only in the domain of cinema and television but also in that of virtual reality, thematic parks, clothes, mugs, pens, and household and furniture objects, an impressing array of accessories, etc. We live in a world where everything is adaptable and, in fact, today we become more and more aware of the practice of watching adaptations. Paraphrasing Linda Hutcheon with her fundamental A Theory of Adaptation (Routledge, 2006) — quoted extensively in this Rationale — we can say that anyone who has ever experienced an adaptation (and who hasn’t?) has his or her own theory of what an adaptation means, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

Watching book adaptations tends to replace the reading of novels, or, on the contrary, to accelerate the selling of the books, when the viewing precedes the reading experience, because the watchers want to compare the adapted text with the film. The responsibility of producing and receiving an adaptation of any kind becomes even more noticeable in the case of novels that are part of the literary canon.

Though films may have their limitations, being unable to dig into the depths of psychology or emotional consciousness, or to render the nuances of voice and tone in spite of good acting on the part of the performers, if understood as cultural translation, the process of adaptation becomes a distinctive, individual work of art. Each adaptation is the product of a cultural context through which various worldviews are expressed, and therefore the adaptation can be contradictory once it has been taken out of its own cultural background. Its existence is not only conditioned by the cultural context that created it but it stays alive within such a context.

What film makers have to decide when they start out on a project of adaptation is not only what to adapt but also how, namely whether their aim is to merely recreate visually the story of the book or to depart from it and offer their own creative vision of that particular story. This double nature of any adaptation is what Linda Hutcheon refers to when she states in A Theory of Adaptation (6) that ‘[a]n adaptation’s double nature does not mean, however, that proximity or fidelity to the adapted text should be the criterion of judgment or the focus of analysis. For a long time, “fidelity criticism,” as it came to be known, was the critical orthodoxy in adaptation studies, especially when dealing with canonical works such as those of Pushkin or Dante. Today that dominance has been challenged from a variety of perspectives […] and with a range of results.

And, […], when a film becomes a financial or critical success, the question of its faithfulness is given hardly any thought.’

But, for Hutcheon, what is of further interest when adapting a novel is not so much the act of deciding between fidelity or creativity as the fact that ‘the morally loaded discourse of fidelity is based on the implied assumption that adapters aim simply to reproduce the adapted text […].

Adaptation is repetition, but repetition without replication.’ (7). The result is what she sees as the urge to consume and erase the memory of the adapted text or to call it into question and problematize it. This is the case when the dictionary meaning of ‘adaptation’ as a process of adjusting, altering or making suitable becomes almost literal.

Starting from this theme and context, the December 2019 issue of the ESSE Messenger invites contributions concerned with what Hutcheon suggests as ‘distinct but interrelated perspectives’

  • of a contemporary process of adaptation:
    1. as a formal entity or product, an announced and extensive transposition of a recognizable particular work;
    2. as a process of creation, an interpretive act of appropriation which involves both (re-)interpretation and then (re-)creation;
  • as an extended intertextual engagement with the adapted work, with the stress on its process of reception, when adaptations are perceived as palimpsests which make our memory of other works resonate ty repetition with

Work Cited: Hutcheon, Linda. A Theory of Adaptation. Routledge, 2006.

(posted 25 July 2019)


Feminist Responses to Populist Politics
An issue of Volume 25 of EJES (2021)
Deadline for proposals: 31 December 2019

Guest editors: Mónica Cano Abadía (University of Graz), Sanja Bojanić (University of Rijeka), Adriana Zaharijević (University of Belgrade)

‘Populism’ is as slippery a term as the political soil it rhizomes in. During the last decade, it has been tested in political reality on numerous occasions and with varying outcomes. The distinction between right and left populisms has also become a staple in everyday academic, policy, and civil society discourses. On the left or the right, populisms often act as a bogeyman, as a threat to politics as usual, and as a sure sign that the world is, yet again, out of joint.

But are these misgivings of any substance? Perhaps the world is actually disjointed. It may be that populisms, left or right, fill in the cracks and fissures that have been lain open for only a short period of time, one that coincides with decades of sustained feminist efforts to change the world for the better. Despite the gains, much of what has been won is now being brought to a halt – and it seems that populisms play their share in this stoppage. It is therefore vital to ask what feminist responses to populisms could be. Can the answer to this question be reduced to the issue of political allegiance, or is it a matter of needing to adjust to new political realities? Would this imply then embracing these realities as well? What is the role that populisms now play in shaping the relationship between radical and mainstream feminisms? If we claim that feminism has always been populist to a certain extent, then we have to have a clear notion of the populus at its core. Alternatively, we might categorically posit that feminist populism is a contradiction in terms and therefore also reject the possibility of left populist feminisms.

This special issue addresses feminist visions of politics as a different answer to populisms’ challenges. We wish to mark ambivalences and name conceptual reasons for why it is insufficiently daring or even reactionary to place feminist emancipatory strategies close to politically divisive contemporary tendencies. Instead, we call for a return to notions of feminist resistance and resilience – notions that put an emphasis on agency, change, and hope in the face of the grave challenges we are faced with around the world. The following topics may be addressed:

  • What does ‘feminist populism’ refer to?
  • To what does feminist resistance to populism refer?
  • How does feminist resilience function?
  • What are the consequences, challenges and possible solutions that feminist resilience can bring about in civil society and institutions?

Detailed proposals (up to 800 words) for full essays (7,500 words), as well as a short biography (max. 100 words) should be sent to all of the editors by 31 December 2019: Mónica Cano Abadía (monica.cano-abadia@uni-graz.at), Sanja Bojanić (sanja.bojanic@uniri.hr), Adriana Zaharijević (zaharijevic@instifdt.bg.ac.rs)

The EJES website: http://essenglish.org/ejes

(posted 20 May 2019)


Disseminating Knowledge: The Effects of Digitalized Academic Discourse on Language, Genre and Identity
An issue of Volume 25 of EJES (2021)
Deadline for proposals: 31 December 2019

Guest editors: Rosa Lorés Sanz (Universidad de Zaragoza), Giuliana Diani (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia)

Recent decades have seen a substantial evolution in discursive practices, particularly those associated with institutions, the sciences and the economy. This state of affairs has been enhanced by the appearance of digital platforms, which have made of the web a privileged access platform both for knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination in an increasingly globalized society. This scenario is also characterized by the use of English as the international language of communication, most users being non-native speakers of the language. Thus, the spread of electronic platforms as well as the use of English as a vehicle of international communication have led to the emergence of new discursive practices or the adaptation of existing ones to the digital mode.

Digital affordances, and the immediacy, visibility, and connectedness they bring along, have changed the way we communicate and project our identities. They have also changed the way we approach texts as objects of analysis. This special issue aims to become a forum for some of the latest contributions to this topic. Proposals from different analytical approaches are welcome. These approaches might include computer-mediated discourse analysis, pragmatics, intercultural rhetoric, genre-based analysis, corpus studies or multimodality. The following topics may be addressed:

  • Are digital genres in academic settings modelled on traditional genres in paper format? Or, rather, is the digital mode generating new genres? What are their rhetorical and discursive features?
  • How is identity constructed and represented in digital academic discourse?
  • In which ways has the use of English as a Lingua Franca in the academic world been influenced by the use of digital platforms? To what extent do culture and discipline affect the shaping of academic web-mediated discourse?
  • How do verbal and visual modes interact in academic digital contexts? Which new methods of approaching discourse are needed to understand web-mediated texts?

Detailed proposals (up to 800 words) for full essays (7,500 words), as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to both editors by 31 December 2019: Rosa Lorés-Sanz (rlores@unizar.es) and Giuliana Diani (giuliana.diani@unimore.it).

(posted 20 May 2019)


Formal Intersections between Narrative Fiction and Other Media
A special issue of Lublin Studies in Modern Languages and Literature, Vol. 44, no. 2 (2020)
Deadline for contributions: 31 December 2019

A special issue guest edited by Grzegorz Maziarczyk and Wojciech Drąg

The new millennium has seen a resurgence of literary narratives which combine a variety of semiotic modes, such as “image, writing, layout, gesture, speech, moving image, soundtrack and 3D objects” (Kress, Multimodality 79). Some of them situate themselves in the tradition of postmodernist experimentation (represented by such authors as B.S. Johnson, William H. Gass and Raymond Federman), while others aspire to break out of the avant-garde niche and reach a wider audience. As demonstrated by the examples of Douglas Coupland’s Generation X, Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, multimodal novels are capable of gaining the status of bestsellers. They have succeeded in appealing to a broader audience because most readers are used to the multimedia environment of print, film, computer etc. By drawing on readers’ experiences with other media, contemporary fiction is becoming increasingly hybrid. It has productively engaged with the computer (digital/electronic literature), videogames (interactive fiction), touchscreen devices (Reif Larsen’s Entrances and Exits), photography (works by W.G. Sebald and Steve Tomasula), painting (Tom Phillips’s A Humument) and sculpture (Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes). A synthesis of text, image, sound and video, Tomasula’s TOC: A New-Media Novel may be a harbinger of how fiction will evolve in the decades to come.

We invite original articles examining various aspects of the formal interaction between narrative fiction and one or several other media, including collage/montage, illustrated and tactile works, altered books, card-shuffle novels, electronic fiction, fragmentary writing and other kinds of formal experimentation. We also welcome articles that interrogate the ways in which literary devices and conventions are incorporated/transformed/subverted in other media. We are particularly interested in analyses of Anglophone works published in the second half of the twentieth century and post-2000. The articles should be 25-30,000 signs (with spaces) in length and should follow the house style of Lublin Studies in Modern Languages and Literature as set out in the guidelines for the authors (https://journals.umcs.pl/lsmll/about/submissions#authorGuidelines).

Contributors are requested to submit their works by email to Grzegorz Maziarczyk (grzegorz.maziarczyk@kul.lublin.pl) and Wojciech Drąg (wojciech.drag@uwr.edu.pl) by 31 December 2019.

(posted 26 July 2019)