Science fiction today
ELOPE 15 (1), 2018
Deadline for submissions: 1 April 2018
ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries (http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/elope) is a double-blind, peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes original research of English language, literature, teaching and translation.
The spring 2018 issue of ELOPE is dedicated to the position and role of speculative fiction and especially science fiction in a world that is increasingly becoming speculative and science fictional. The globalized, digitally mediated nature of contemporary realities and, indeed, individuals, increasingly corresponds to those imagined by the literary cyberpunk of the 1980s – by the movement which with its formal and thematic properties arguably blurred the dividing line between the “mainstream” literary fiction and the science fiction genre. In the first decade of the third millennium, the extrapolations of current technologies and science typically associated with the genre seem to be moving from the temporal to the spatial axis, that is, from the futures far far away to the multiplicity of presents and realities that are parallel to ours. Jaak Tomberg attributes this collapse of futurity to the “cognitively dissonant pace of change in contemporary technocultural society” which renders imagining of ontologically different futures impossible. Approaching the issue from the perspective of postmodern theory, we can similarly ascertain that in a world in which the digital code precedes reality, the present is a priory infused with futurity, and any (literary) speculation cannot NOT be realistic. On the other hand, recent developments in the field increasingly reveal an alternative, radically different approach to futurity. In the 2014 collection of essays on contemporary science fiction SF Now, for instance, contributors acknowledge the prevalence of texts in which the future is a furtherance of the technocultural, late capitalist present; however, with regard to the social, cultural and historical relevance of the genre in the coming years, their focus is directed at the narratives in which the future transcends imaginable possibilities and inspects the potentialities of a different ontological order.
What, then, is science fiction today? What is its role? Has the collapse of futurity onto the present caused an irretrievable convergence of the speculative and the mimetic? How does that reflect on the language used? The stylistic properties? On the ways such fiction is translated? How much sense does it make to treat science fiction – or anything else for that matter – as a genre significantly different from other instances of writing in the context of the postmodern paradigm which fundamentally revels in hybridity? To what an extent do traditional definitions of the genre still apply? What can be considered cognitively dissonant and what can be considered a novum in a world that seems to have no outside? Can there be an outside, and if so what is it (would it be) like? What role can science fiction play in our imaginings of the future? And of our present? What does it have to offer? What can it teach us? These are some of the issues we would like to address in the up-coming issue of ELOPE. The editors warmly invite contributors to submit original research on these and related topics, and to provide insights from as wide a range of perspectives, approaches and disciplines as possible – not only from the seemingly primary domain of literary studies, but also from the perspective of language and translation studies, as well as ELT.
The language of contributions is English. Papers should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length, with an abstract of 150–180 words. They should be submitted electronically, and should conform to the author guidelines (http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/elope/about/submissions). Any inquiries can be sent to Andrej Stopar (email@example.com). Submission deadline: April 1st, 2018.
(posted 23 November 2017)
Brexit and the Divided Kingdom
Special Issue of the Journal for the Study of British Cultures
Deadline for proposals; 16 April 2018
Journal for the Study of British Cultures
Although it is yet too early to draw conclusions about the ongoing public debate on Brexit, Britain’s tight vote to leave the European Union has certainly been read as a manifestation of deep divisions across the country. Political scientists Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin claim in “Britain after Brexit: A Nation Divided” (2017) that “for all the country’s political parties, articulating and responding to the divisions that were laid bare in the Brexit vote will be the primary electoral challenge of tomorrow.” The divisions brought into focus since the referendum are indeed manifold: 52% vs. 48%; England vs. Scotland vs. Wales vs. Northern Ireland; city vs. countryside; liberal vs. conservative; old vs. young; high vs. low level of education; affluent vs. poor; professional vs. manual; migrant vs. non- migrant, ‘elite’ vs. ‘the people’, etc. Importantly, these rifts are multi-dimensional, intersectional, and far from neatly binary, as they cut across the political spectrum, uprooting and reorganising traditional allegiances and socio-cultural affinities. The complex motivations behind the Brexit vote thus make visible the need to critically revisit established concepts of social and cultural analysis (such as cosmopolitanism, populism, nationalism, sovereignty, etc.) and to probe their heuristic value for explaining recent social, political, and cultural developments.
This need is also borne out by the multi-faceted and contradictory reactions to the referendum across politics, the media, and culture. Somewhat paradoxically, what seems to unite many of these reactions is a deeply ingrained ‘us vs. them’ mentality. The Daily Mail decried judges who had ruled that parliament as the sovereign must endorse Brexit as “Enemies of the People”, while British author Julian Barnes criticised “an over- confident political elite” in his dissection of Tory party rhetoric for the London Review of Books. Theresa May sought to counter the social rifts in her speech on triggering Article 50 of the EU Treaty by pleading: “So let us do so together. Let us come together and work together. Let us together choose to believe in Britain with optimism and hope.”
Some literary negotiations of the referendum have attempted to represent and give voice to people across the divides. Carol Ann Duffy’s play My Country: A Work in Progress (2017), which is partly based on responses to interviews conducted by the UK Arts Councils in the British regions, includes the perspectives of Leave and Remain voters. A similar plurality marks the mini-plays Brexit Shorts: Dramas from a Divided Nation (2017), created by nine British playwrights and commissioned by The Guardian. Brexit novels such as Amanda Craig’s The Lie of the Land (2017) or Douglas Board’s Time of Lies (2017), by contrast, are satirical projections of an imagined post-Brexit Britain.
Bearing in mind that Brexit will remain an ongoing and dynamic phenomenon, the aim of the JSBC issue on “Brexit and the Divided Kingdom” is to analyse and critically assess the role of the discursive motif of ‘a divided nation’ in the context of the referendum. We are looking for contributions exploring British and European perspectives and we hope to see re-examinations of some entrenched debates about popular culture, media culture, and their relations to power. For instance: to what extent do literary/popular/media/academic reactions to Brexit respond to, and to what extent do they perpetuate divisions? Is the current public debate on Brexit conducive to bridging divides or is such a debate per se impossible in a digital world? Who is (in)audible and (in)visible within the Brexit debates? What channels are used and who are the (intended and actual) audiences? How do the postulated divisions call into question established tools of social and cultural analysis?
We invite contributions on the above and related topics, from cultural and literary studies, but also related disciplines such as political science, media studies, European history and human geography, with a view to national and transnational, present and past constellations, and to fictional and non-fictional materials. Individual contributions must address Brexit and relate it to the following or additional aspects:
- the employment, construction, and circulation of the tropes of ‘a divided nation’ in the context of Brexit,
- redefinitions of class, race, gender, age in political/literary/cultural debates about Brexit,
- Brexit and regionalism,
- Brexit and nationalism/national identity,
- academic, media, and/or cultural sector discourses on Brexit,
- Brexit in literature, drama, and the arts,
- Brexit in party politics and rhetoric,
- reactions to Brexit from outside the UK,
- discourses of populism(s) and elitism(s) in the context of Brexit,
- Brexit and migration,
- Brexit and austerity,
- Brexit and imperial nostalgia,
Please submit abstracts (300 words) and a short bio note by April 16, 2018, to all three guest editors:
- Joanna Rostek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Anne-Julia Zwierlein (email@example.com)
- Ina Habermann (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finished papers (5,000 words) will be due by August 31, 2018
(posted 28 February 2018)
Languages and international virtual exchange
European Journal of Language Policy, issue 11.2
Deadline for proposals: 16 April 2018
Intercultural exchange has always been an integral part of language learning. When students come into contact with other cultures they develop both intercultural and linguistic competence as well as a wide range of soft skills that are key to preparing for a globally interdependent world. However, study abroad is not feasible for all students – the European objective of 20% mobility in 2020 is a long way off. Virtual exchange, “technology-enabled, sustained, people to people education“ is thus a means of providing intercultural, international experience through online projects in formal or informal settings often for contexts where there is little opportunity for mobility or study abroad.
There is currently a sustained push to support and develop virtual exchange in education across Europe and beyond. In 2018, the European Commission launched the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative for youth across Europe and the Southern Mediterranean with the intention of expanding the reach and scope of the Erasmus+ programme via virtual exchange. According to the Commission, the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative “is expected to create an engaging and safe online community where young people can participate in facilitated discussions, increase their intercultural awareness and extend their competences“. The target for this initiative is to reach 8000 youth in 2018.
Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange is just one of a number of initiatives currently supporting online collaboration in higher education (see also the work of UNICollaboration[, the EVALUATE project). In school contexts, forms of virtual exchange have been implemented through eTwinning, a European project which has grown exponentially in recent years, and through the work of international organizations such as iEARN . Online international collaboration can take many forms – in class to class projects, across or within disciplines, across multiple classes with the support of external organizations, bringing students together or bringing students into contact with the diversity of people and contexts outside educational contexts, in combination with physical exchanges or not. These diverse approaches to intercultural dialogue offer a way of putting into practice a vision of the learner as ‘a social agent’ by providing safe, constructive online contexts where they can build on their pluricultural and plurilingual repertories. The challenge lies in addressing the issue of language in such a way as to maximise these opportunities and avoid linguistic hegemonies.
This edition thus aims to explore the implications of virtual exchange for language policy. It will have a particular concern for the European context but will welcome insights that can be offered by the experience of other areas of the world.
The journal invites contributions to this thematic number of the journal, planned for autumn 2019. Proposals should be sent in the form of an abstract (up to 300 words) and a curriculum vitae (up to 2 pages) to the Editor, Prof Michael Kelly (M.H.Kelly@soton.ac.uk) by Monday 16th April 2018. The final length of manuscripts should be +/- 7000 words, including references, and may be written in English or French. Articles will be required by 1st March 2019. All manuscripts will be subject to peer review and authors may be invited to make revisions.
The European Journal of Language Policy/Revue européenne de politique linguistique is a peer-reviewed journal published by Liverpool University Press, in association with the Conseil européen pour les langues / European Language Council. It has appeared twice yearly since 2009, with a record of rapid review and dissemination.
The journal aims to address major developments in language policy from a European perspective, regarding multilingualism and the diversity of languages as valuable assets in the culture, politics and economics of twenty-first century societies. The journal’s primary focus is on Europe, broadly understood, but it is alert to policy developments in the wider world.
The journal invites proposals or manuscripts of articles studying any aspect of language policy, and any aspect of the area of languages for which policies may need to be developed or changed. It particularly welcomes proposals that provide greater understanding of the factors that contribute to policy-making, and proposals that examine the effects of particular policies on language learning or language use.
The journal presents relevant policy documents and reports, particularly where these contribute to debates and decision-making on language policy in Europe and elsewhere. It invites suggestions for such documents.
Articles and other items will be accepted in either English or French. Abstracts of articles will be provided in both languages. Materials may be derived from or refer to texts in other languages. Further details including authors’ guidelines and code of conduct, can be consulted at:
(posted 16 March 2018)
English Studies and Digital Humanities
Representations in the English-Speaking World
Deadline for proposals: 18 April 2018
Representations in the English-Speaking World is the Journal of the CEMRA research group, Grenoble-Alpes University, France
In the last decades, digital Humanities have become ubiquitous both in France and abroad. Manifestoes have been drafted, research teams gathered, chairs created, projects funded. Taking a moment to look back on the transformation of a field whose very definition is itself controversial might thus prove useful. Oxymoron for some, genuine revolution for others, ephemeral utopia, pragmatic choice or inevitable and lasting evolution, the digital humanities are far from a consensual area.
However, at the heart of the various etymological and epistemological debates or sometimes parallel to them, digital humanities’ initiatives have been multiplying and English studies, i.e studies exploring the production and analysis of texts created in English, have been no exception.
Consequently, this issue of Représentations dans le monde anglophone proposes to gather feedback from researchers from the various disciplines of English studies in France and abroad in order to map out this digital migration of contemporary research at the level of its instruments, its objects, its fields of study and its methods (Bourdeloie 2014).
To comply with the editorial line of the journal, this issue aims in particular at carrying out a reflection on the relationship between practices and discourse in the field of the digital humanities. Indeed, in its most frequent representation, research in the digital humanities is associated with notions of modernity, openness, objectivity, reliability, or even representativeness, but this vision coexists with other forms of representations, less canonical and sometimes more critical of the transformations related to this gradual digital migration in science at different stages of the research process, from the generation of corpora to the dissemination of results. Authors are therefore invited to present their projects whilst at the same time assessing their practical experience against their initial representations and expectations.
Please send your abstracts (500 words approx.), in English or in French, before April 18 , 2018 to Geraldine Castel at the Grenoble Alpes university (Geraldine.email@example.com).
(posted 4 April 2018)
Multi/Inter-culturalism and identity negotiation
Summer 2018 issue of the ESSE Messenger
Deadline for submissions 1 May 2018
Identity and the redefinition of identity have become of major significance in the modern world. On the one hand, multiculturalism is perceived as a form of identity politics that tends to advance the interests of particular groups and to determine the cultural values, norms and assumptions through which individual identity is formed. In addition, interculturalism is frequently regarded as a form of acceptance of differences in an atmosphere of interest, tolerance, self-realization, and support for cross-cultural dialogue.
In light of this, the aim of this issue will be to discuss the perceived (im)balance between dominant host cultures and transnational / immigrant cultures and also the ways in which identity may be regarded as a reflexive self-concept, self-image or outer perception derived from gender, cultural, ethnic values, and individual socialization.
The deadlines for submissions is 1 May 2018.
The submissions should be sent to the ESSE Messenger Editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org
All contributions sent to the ESSE Messenger should observe the ESSE Messenger Editorial Code and Stylesheet.
Details at: https://essenglish.org/messenger/contributors/calls-for-articles/
(posted 16 January 2018)
Negotiating Aging and Ageism in English-speaking Literatures, Theatre and Performance Arts
Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS)
Deadline for proposals: 1 May 2018
Scholars and Ph.D. students in literary, theatre, and performance studies are invited to offer abstracts of prospective papers for a special block of essays Negotiating Aging and Ageism in English-speaking Literatures, Theatre and Performance Arts to be published in the Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS), an MLA indexed, JSTOR archived, and ProQuest-available journal of the Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Debrecen, Hungary. Publication is planned for 2019-2020.
Many societies in the world today are challenged by the phenomenon of an aging population with its special problems and needs. In the last couple of decades, studies of aging have emerged within the humanities assuming that age is as important a marker as gender, class, race, ethnicity and ability for the understanding of communal and personal identity. Critics agree that age is not only a biological fact but is also socially constructed and performative by nature. Valerie Barnes Lipscomb contends: “Because any age can be performed, viewing age as performance contributes to the broadening of the field of aging studies . . . combating the marginalization of criticism regarding either childhood or old age, the ‘marked’ ends of the life course.” HJEAS welcomes proposals of how the joint subjects of age, aging and ageism are negotiated, portrayed and/or represented subversively in literature, theatre, and/or performance arts.
Proposals of about 400-500 words together with a brief CV should be sent to the block editor before 1 May 2018. Contributors will be notified about the decision regarding their proposal by 20 May 2018. Accepted papers are due via e-mail by 1 September 2018 and should follow the house style of HJEAS, conforming to the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook using parenthetical citations keyed to a Works Cited section. Papers should be 6,000-7,000 words. Each paper will be submitted for blind review by two peer readers.
Editor of the special block: Dr. Mária Kurdi, professor emerita, University of Pécs, Hungary
E-mail address: email@example.com
Snail-mail address: University of Pécs, Department of English Literatures and Cultures, Institute of English Studies, 6, Ifjúság St, 7624 Pécs, Hungary
(posted 10 February 2018)
History-changing events of the 21st Century in Drama and Fiction
Call for chapters for an edited book ((working title)
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2018
Although only nearly two decades have passed in the twenty-first century, history seems to be moving faster than it used to back in the days. The historical and political events precipitate, the technological advancement seems unstoppable and rather difficult to keep up with, borders are erased or redrawn, the politics of inclusion flourishes in Europe, while America is building a wall to keep immigration at bay and fights a wave of violence which should, at least, prompt them to reconsider the possession of weapons. Russia asserts their power, either through direct involvement or by press and political manipulation in the neighbouring countries. China is the ascending star, the twenty-first century hyperpower, while Europe “is going to have to learn to live with terrorism”, as Francois Hollande, President of France, says. The structure of EU is redefined after Brexit and, foreseeably, after the warning formulated against countries such as Poland, Hungary and, more recently, Romania. And so on.
In this hectic and maddening course of history, what is left of arts? Of literature? Have they lost the battle with reality or are they readjusting to it? Is the elusive postmodernism still on the table, with its many guises and metafictional manifestations or has it paved the way for more straightforward approaches and went to rest in the vault of history of culture? Is realism taking over the cultural paradigms of the new millennium or has it left room for fantasy, dystopias and Sci-Fi to step in and utter well-concealed truths and post truths? Have arts and literature remained representational only or are they trying to climb up the social ladder and acquire more and more socio-political significance? And so forth.
These are some of the questions this book is going to try to answer. The envisaged structure is that of a collection of 10-12 individually-authored chapters, each focusing on events of major importance in the twenty-first century and their reflection in fiction and drama. The papers have to be original, unpublished, and not submitted for evaluation elsewhere. The topics enumerated above are, by no means, exhaustive, yet a connection with the general theme should be obvious.
Contributors are invited to submit proposals (500-800 words), outlining their corpus, premises, objectives, methods and prospective bibliography, to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Deadline for proposals: May 15th, 2018
Following the editorial review and preliminary acceptance, the selected authors are expected to submit their first drafts by September 11th, 2018. The chapters should not exceed 7,000 words, including endnotes and list of references. Insert in-text references. Chicago Manual of Style is preferred. The drafts will be peer-reviewed and returned with annotations and suggestions to their authors by the end of November 2018.
The final paper is expected to be delivered electronically, as editable document, by the end of February 2019.
(posted 27 February 2018)
Racial Passing: New Historical and Aesthetic Perspectives
Call for articles for a publishing project
Deadline for proposals: 21 May 2018
Proposals should include a 400-600 word long abstract and a short bio-bibliography and should be sent by May 21st, 2018 to Hélène Charlery (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Aurélie Guillain (email@example.com). The final versions of the articles should be sent by October 1st, 2018.
Is racial passing really passé? The theme of passing was a popular one in narrative fiction and the cinema until the late 1950s in the United States, especially in the 1920s and 1930s, when the increasingly impersonal character of urban life could make it easier to lie about one’s ancestry—or omit to mention it (Webb 1847, Harper 1893, Johnson 1912, White 1926, Larsen 1929, Hurst 1933, Kazan 1949). In South Africa too, some passing narratives reveal the tensions and dilemmas associated with mixed-race identities (Millin 1924).
The racial impostor who is passing for white is following the rules defining racial and social roles and s/he is simultaneously challenging them, embodying a racial identity that cannot be fixed or even stabilized. Novels and films dealing with racial passing have been the focus of renewed attention since the 1990s with the development of studies of the mixed race category (Sollors 1987, 1997) and the rise of gender studies: Judith Butler’s seminal essay in Bodies that Matter articulated the transgression of racial frontiers with the queering of gender boundaries (Butler 1993) and helped to broaden the implications of the act of passing. Scholarly studies focusing on the shaping of whiteness and “white invisibility” (Dyer 1997, Jacobson 1998) have also deepened our understanding of racial passing. We welcome articles adopting these theoretical angles to interpret fictions that have been little studied or aspects of more canonical works that may have been overlooked.
We also welcome articles raising the question of the ethical and political significance of racial passing. At the turn of the 20th century, W.E.B. Du Bois already regarded those who chose to pass for white as somewhat treacherous individuals who failed to show an oppressed racial group the loyalty it so badly needed, and from the late 1950s onward, overt and collective forms of rebellion seem to have replaced the invisible, solitary transgression committed by the racial impostor. Yet one may ask the question of whether racial passing can be, or has ever been, regarded not only as transgressive but also as subversive, including from a political perspective.
We also welcome articles with a regional or transnational perspective; studies of racial passing and its representations in South Africa or in the West Indies would be of particular interest. Considerations on regional specificities (e.g. the case of Louisiana) are also welcome.
We may also wonder if racial passing has truly become passé. In the United States for instance, after the Loving vs Virginia ruling of the Supreme Court in 1967 (which made the legal interdiction of inter-racial marriage unconstitutional), one could think that racial passing would become a thing of the past. And yet for the last twenty years, many contemporary authors have been reverting to the topos of racial passing – proposing hybridized and highly self-reflective versions of the historical race novel (Senna 1998, Roth 2000, Whitehead 2000, Powers 2004, Wicomb 2006). Some have even captured the comic and aesthetic potential of reverse passing, showing white individuals posing and posturing as black men, with an equally acute sense of historical recapitulation and irony (Mansbach 2005). Contributors are invited to propose either close studies of particular texts or films or more general surveys of the contemporary passing narrative.
(posted 16 March 2018)
Frankenstein Revived: Essays on the International Reception, Translation and Recasting of Mary Shelley’s Novel
A collection of essays
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2018
Edited by Jorge Bastos da Silva (University of Porto, Portugal) and Katarzyna Pisarska (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Poland)
Upon its publication in 1818, Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus was praised as showing “uncommon powers of poetic imagination” by no less a reviewer than Walter Scott. Five years later, R. B. Peake’s dramatization, Presumption!, was exposed in the press as embodying “the very horrid and unnatural details” of the novel. The rich history of the reception of Mary Shelley’s story over the following two centuries has swayed between the two extremes of fascination and revulsion. Frankenstein and his creature have become a pervasive myth of modernity as Shelley’s work has been translated into many languages and adapted into several media. As the work has been made available in many different contexts and for different readerships/audiences, its motifs have become cornerstones of science fiction, and, indeed, of ongoing debates about the achievements and the ethics of science in general. While revising the classical tale of Prometheus and the biblical story of Adam and Eve, Frankenstein itself has arisen as a powerful narrative paradigm for interrogating the meaning of life, the relationship between humanity and God, the borderline between nature and artifice, the promise(s) and dangers of technology, and a range of other topics.
This peer-reviewed collection of essays aims to examine the international reception and impact of Frankenstein. It will encompass studies of the criticism, the translations and the recastings of the plot, its characters and its themes, as the novel has been adapted into film, the theatre, and comic books. It will also examine other forms of rewriting or recreating, such as prose retellings for young readers, the ways in which Frankenstein has been refashioned in more episodic forms like political caricature, and other aspects of material culture.
We invite contributions of essays (6000-8000 words) consistent with the volume rationale outlined above. Prospective contributors should send an extended abstract (250-300 words) to both editors’ e-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 31 May 2018. Contributors will be notified of editorial decisions before 15 July 2018. Complete chapters should be sent to the editors by 30 November 2018. The collection is due to be published by a global publisher in 2019.
(posted 27 February 2018)
Owen Barfield in Contemporary Contexts: Exploring his Thoughts and Influence
A book to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing UK.
Deadline for submissions of topics/abstracts: 1 June 2018
Editor Contact (for prospective contributors): firstname.lastname@example.org
The chief purpose of the book is to present fresh scholarship on the work and ideas of the British philosopher, critic and poet Owen Barfield (1898-1997) by addressing the nature, range, potential, application, relevance and significance of his thinking across diverse domains in contemporary contexts.
Called “the first and last Inkling,” “Heidegger disguised as an English solicitor” and “one of the most neglected important thinkers of the twentieth century,” Owen Barfield was an acknowledged influence on several twentieth century figures, including J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Gabriel Marcel, W.H. Auden, Saul Bellow, T.S. Eliot, David Bohm, Howard Nemerov, Walter de la Mare and Harold Bloom.
Reflecting his output, the book contains work by scholars of different disciplines exploring aspects relating to religion/theology, philosophy, literary theory/criticism, economics and science.
Additional chapters are now sought – if you are interested in contributing, please contact email@example.com for furhter information, or send suggested topics/short abstracts.
Deadline for submissions of topics/abstracts: June 1st 2018
(posted 16 April 2018)
Canada, a refuge from the United States?
Études Canadiennes/Canadian Studies Nr 85, December 2018
Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2018
Following the great success of the TV series The Handmaid Tale’s, adapted from Margaret Atwood’s novel, this issue of Études Canadiennes / Canadian Studies will explore the way Canada may be perceived as a refuge from the United States, and maybe even as the true embodiment of the American Dream. This issue will welcome papers in the fields of history (for example, on the underground railway or the draft dodgers), of political science (for example, on Justin Trudeau’s Canada as the refuge of American democracy and diversity face to Donald Trump’s United States), of literature and the arts (what type of refuge, if any, do the dystopian works of artists such as Catherine Mavrikakis, François Blais, Yen Chen and others offer?)
The editors would like to receive proposals (250 to 300 words) which provide a working title and a brief overview of the article’s aims, along with a short biographical note (100 words), to be sent to : firstname.lastname@example.org
cc to: email@example.com
Deadline for submitting a proposal is June 1st, 2018. Selected proposals will receive a go-ahead shortly afterwards. Full articles (about 8000 words) will need to be submitted by September 1st, 2018. After a double peer-review process, selected articles will be published in a printed form in the December 2018 paper issue of the journal, followed by an online publication one year later on http://journals.openedition.org/eccs/
(posted 16 March 2018)
A diachronic approach to Ian McEwan’s fiction : from sensationalism to ethical writing
An edited book
Deadline for proopsals: 20 June 2018
This call is for contributions to an ongoing book project on Ian McEwan’s œuvre. We are specifically looking for chapters that examine the earlier part of his literary output – his stories in First Love, Last Rites and In Between the Sheets as well as his novels and novellas The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers, The Innocent – and some of his more recent work: Saturday, On Chesil Beach and Solar.
Abstracts (approximately 400 words long) should be sent to Drs Armelle Parey (firstname.lastname@example.org) AND Isabelle Roblin (email@example.com) by June 20th, 2018 for an answer by July 10th.
If the proposal is accepted, the chapter will have to be sent by October 8th, 2018 so that we can get back to you in January 2019.
(posted 4 April 2018)
Journalism and Experientiality
Thematic issue of Recherches en Communication
Deadline for submission: June 29, 2018
Languages: English and French
Paper submissions are invited for a thematic issue of Recherches en Communication, which will explore the interplay between journalism and experience in narrative and literary forms of journalism.
The double nature of narrative literary journalism-as informational and experiential-has been recognized by leaders in the field for some time. Pulitzer-prize winning reporter and journalism professor Tom French, for one, has described narrative journalism as an attempt to help the public understand news questions from within, by recreating what it feels like to live inside these news questions – be they healthcare, war, or natural disasters. Similarly, writer and former director of the Nieman program on narrative journalism Mark Kramer explains that literary journalism “couples cold fact and personal event, in the author’s humane company,” allowing readers to “behold others’ lives, often set within far clearer contexts than we can bring to our own. The process moves readers, and writers, toward realization, compassion, and in the best of cases, wisdom” (Kramer 1995, 34).
Hence, one could say that the meaning of these journalistic narratives primarily lies in what narratologists call their experientiality, their “quasi-mimetic evocation of real-life experience” (Fludernik 1996, 12). Following Marco Caracciolo (2013), experientiality is understood as both “the textual representation of experience” and “the experiences undergone by the recipients of narrative.” It refers to the way a narrative stimulates different cognitive parameters through which humans engage with real-life experience: embodiment, intentionality, temporality and emotional evaluation. By recreating felt experience and activating these parameters, narrative and literary journalism does not merely try to entertain or move us, but works to deepen our understanding of the news and the world we live in. Monika Fludernik proposes that degrees of narrativity correspond with levels of experientiality (1996, 28), which invites investigation about how readers engage cognitively, emotionally, ethically and politically with narrative and literary journalism.
This thematic issue aims to broaden our knowledge of both the strategies employed by journalists to create vicarious experience for readers within literary journalistic texts, and the way readers process and react to such texts. The differences between reading fiction and non-fiction largely remain to be explored in fields such as cognitive narratology, reader-response theory, neuroscience, psychology, ethnography and literary studies.
In the case of first-hand reporting by journalists, it may also be interesting to question how writing such stories changes the experience of the reporters and how this might become part of the story.
Considering the recent evolutions of journalism, the study of experientiality should not be limited to the written text, but should also concern more innovative forms of narrative/literary journalism, such as multimedia, transmedia and interactive narratives.
For this thematic issue, all submissions investigating the relationship between narrative/literary journalism and experience are welcome. This includes, but is not limited to, papers addressing questions such as:
- How does experientiality translate in works of literary journalism?
- How does the experiential dimension of these texts transform journalists’ reporting and writing practices?
- How do readers actually react to such texts?
- What is the role of empathy in narrative literary journalism?
- To what extent can literary journalism generate pro-social behavior?
- What kinds of expectations do readers bring to this genre and how are these created?
- Are there qualitative differences between the experience of reading fiction and non-fiction?
- What kinds of relationships exist between the aesthetic and the experiential in literary journalism?
- What kind of experience can multimedia, transmedia and interactive journalistic narratives create?
Article submissions must meet the instructions for authors of the journal (http://sites.uclouvain.be/rec/index.php/rec/about/submissions#authorGuidelines) and be uploaded on the journal’s website (http://sites.uclouvain.be/rec/index.php/rec/about/submissions).
(posted 29 March 2018)
Experiments in short fiction: between genre and media/La brièveté et l’expériment: entre genre et media
IL LI 23, Fall 2018
Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2018
Editors : Elke D’hoker and Bart Van den Bossche
Short narrative texts have a long and ancient lineage in the Western literary tradition: from ancient folk tales and myths over fables and novellas to short stories and flash fiction in recent times. Over the course of the centuries, short fictional texts have formed genres and traditions with a remarkable stability, yet at the same time they frequently have been the locus of experimentation, border crossings and generic hybridity, often in tandem with the spread of media and the development of new contexts of publication and dissemination. In modern literature, it suffices to think of the importance of short fiction for the development of fantastic literature, the illustrated prose poems of the Decadents, the short fiction experiments in early 20th-century avant-garde periodicals, or the short stories dramatized for radio in the mid-twentieth century. In recent years, the arrival of new media – websites, blogs, twitter and facebook – have similarly given rise to new experiments in short fiction. Hyper fiction, twitter fiction, microfiction, and nanofiction are only some of the forms that have been developed in response to these new media.
This special issue aims to investigate these and other short fiction experiments as they have emerged since the late nineteenth-century in different literary traditions. It will explore the formal, generic and intermedial aspects of these short fictional texts – from microfiction to the novella – and the way they create meaning. As Paul Zumthor famously argued in “Brevity as Form”, brevity is not just a matter of length. Rather it “constitutes a structuring model” in which formal constraints enable creativity and invention. One of the central questions of this issue is therefore how writers work with the limits imposed by brevity in a variety of genres and forms: from the constraints imposed on newspaper stories to the 140-character limit of the Twitter story, from the generically hybrid novella to the epigram-like microfiction, from Felix Fénéon’s faits divers to Teju Cole’s “Small Fates”. The question how short a story can possibly be has often been debated – think of Hemingway’s famous “For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never worn” – but has received new urgency given the many platforms for nanofiction and microfiction that have emerged in recent years. At the other end of the spectrum, the question of length is also debated with regard to the novella: what distinguishes a novella from a short story and a short novel? And how is the same story changed when its length or format is changed; when it migrates from newspaper story to novella, from serialized Twitter story to complete short story. In this and in many other instances, the contexts of publication also have an impact on short fiction experiments, as these contexts – whether magazine, newspaper, story collection, twitter feed, website or blog – shape the production and reception of short fictional texts to an arguably greater extent than in the case of the stand-alone novel and, hence, need to be taken into account in any study of short fictional texts.
We invite articles addressing these questions in different literary traditions from the late nineteenth century onwards. Articles of about 6000 to 8000 words in length can be written in both French and English. Deadline for submissions is 30 June 2018, but we would like you to get in touch with the editors with a proposal before submitting the full article. Proposals and articles should be sent to Elke D’hoker (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Bart Van den Bossche (email@example.com). The articles will be sent out for double blind peer review.
(posted 22 February 2018)
Reference and Referentiality
issue 11.1 of the webjournal L’Atelier
Deadlinef or proposals: 30 June 2018
Additional information about the journal and its editorial policy can be found at http://revues.u-paris10.fr/index.php/latelier
Papers can be in English or in French. Length: 30,000 to 55,000 signs.
Detailed proposals (300-500 words are to be sent to Isabelle Alfandary (firstname.lastname@example.org) Priyanka Deshmukh (email@example.com) et Juliana Lopoukhine (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 30 June 2018.
The full papers will be expected by 15 December 2018.
What, if anything, does literature talk about? Aristotle’s theory of mimesis poses the question of the referential relationship between an object and its representation, between the world and language. If, for Saussure, language puts an end to the world with the advent of the sign, is it still possible to say that writing consists in describing, or even giving shape to the world, to the experience of the world? In literary criticism, the referential prism postulates the preexistence of a stable system of references—places, events, characters, historical and cultural context—as part of the reading pact that the literary text might make use of in order to become the metonymical space of a historical time. But does this referential prism still hold in the face of the radical power of language, and in the face of what this power does to the world?
This issue of L’Atelier not only seeks to examine writing as mediation, as that which happens to the world, and has the capacity to transform or even generate the world, but also as that which is itself created within the world and by the world. One of the goals of this issue will be to think about how the assumption that a literary work mirrors the world is called into question by that which escapes specularity, or in other words, by everything that happens to the text during the process of poiein, by everything that makes the referent disappear, replacing it with an intransitivity or an autotelism of language. Metaphors, images, the figurative, the implicit, translation, polysemy, hermetism, the instability of signs, subjectivity, modality, affect, experience, the indeterminate, the possible, the imaginary, the fabled, are some of the processes or modes that displace the referential system and reveal its illusion.
Above all else, perhaps, the question of referential relation subtends the problem of a relationship to time insofar as the existence of a referential network presupposes the existence of an object prior to writing. There lies between writing and referent a gap that can neither be determined nor overcome—a gap that might perhaps be a difference or a différance, endlessly calling into question the postulate of a stable relationship. This irreducible gap begs the question of how certain literary genres relate to history—for instance, how fiction or poetry singularly record history or displace it. At the same time, it calls for an investigation into the narrow referential relation that characterizes such genres as the realist novel, the naturalistic novel, the historical novel, literature of commitment or dissent, literary reportage, biography, autobiography, or even crime fiction.
To examine referentiality is to rethink the very idea of artistic context, “movements,” or “modes,” and to question the empirical perspective upon which the field of cultural studies relies. More broadly, this issue seeks to question the hermeneutical approaches that favor thematization and a reading of literary texts as documents or as a breeding ground for cultural, historical, and geographical references. It also aims to challenge those approaches for which processes of representation are not so much singular as they are restricted by the context of artistic production, be it that of the avant-garde and that of the most radical modernism.
(posted 29 March 2018)
A special issue of the French Review of British Studies
Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2018
“England has changed. These days it’s difficult to tell who’s from around here and who’s not. Who belongs and who’s a stranger. It’s disturbing.” (Phillips, 2003:3) The first lines of A Distant Shore (winner of the Commonwealth Prize in 2004) written by the British Caribbean scholar Caryl Phillips introduce a debate on the issue of British identity in a context of globalized immigration. The author is a British citizen who left England many years ago to settle in the United States, after reaching the conclusion that he would not find his place in a country riddled with numerous contradictions.
Phillips, who was formerly Professor of Migration Studies at the R. Luce Institute, is also a talented chronicler who frequently contributes to The Guardian. He represents an emblematic example of the cosmopolitan Britishness chosen by some citizens from “selected” immigration backgrounds. All the same, he feels linked to the community of Windrush generation members who participated in the historical effort of reconstruction in England, and whose degree of belonging to the nation has been recently put to the test, as evidenced in the political turmoil created by the latest Home Office scandal.
As surprising as it may seem, this paradox is but an illustration – among others – of the complexity of societal dynamics which influence the diverse political and cultural spheres of the United Kingdom today. It is a central axis of the present project to understand their nature and scope. How can one assess the adhesion of individuals and social groups to the multi-ethnic and multicultural British nation of our times? Where should their identity be inscribed on the canvas of composite identities, some of which might either be regarded as tokens of tolerance and inclusion, or be considered (by others) as potential threats for the cohesion of the nation?
Such questions will probably raise some interest in a community of researchers who are more and more aware of the political, social and economic problems that have affected the United Kingdom for many years and whose evolutions were followed in recent scientific literature (Dunt, I., 2018 ; Clarke, H. D. et alii, 2017, Hannan, D., 2017 ; Espiet-Kilty, R., 2016 ; Révauger, J.-P., 2016 ; Puzzo, C., 2016, among others). These interrogations are all the more relevant as the UK‟s fringe location seems to make Brexit quite a complicated matter. In a more and more globalized context, such notions as „national identity‟ or „frontier‟ shape the orientation of the profound mutations which are transforming the lives of Great Britain‟s and Northern Ireland‟s people. An in-depth study of the consequent transformations impacting the feeling of belonging has become a matter of some urgency.
To penetrate the deepest strata of British identity, we propose to combine the methods of research in civilization with a multi-disciplinary approach. In order to best understand the mutations in identity that have operated since 1948, we envisage relating perceived or established identities with the sentiment of belonging, which is more personal. We will solicit different contributions from the humanities, with a view to anchoring the investigation process in an interdisciplinary praxis. In so doing, we intend to confront social reality, collective representations and institutional discourse so as to attain the most comprehensive vision possible of phenomena related to identity mutation in the United Kingdom. Contributors should feel free to rely on sociological fieldwork data, or to study the general trends of social phenomena which emanate from contemporary British cultural production, in all its diversity.
Contributions might explore how political discourse can reflect the uncertainty generated by the issue of belonging to the national family. This question is at the centre of the current reflection on collective and individual identities in Europe (Balibar, E., 2003); as such it provides food for thought by articulating the debate around a central question: what does it mean to be and feel British today? Such a feeling is liable to cover different semantic nuances depending on the context.
First, it can refer to the Britishness experienced by nationals respectful of laws and institutions who can trace their affiliation to the nation through history and genealogy. In this lot, there are some citizens who belong to old families of British descent whose names, social status and achievements bolster their firmly-rooted feeling of belonging, this mental construction being most of the time ideologically oriented. Then, it can be synonymous with “experiencing the same feelings as the British”, and thus express some form of proximity with the British model, without implying a real kinship. A documentary shot by the BBC in 2015 about the population of young migrants settled in Oldham supports these views. This short film showed that if the majority of Asian residents in this town had no difficulty in saying they felt British they seldom acknowledged living as good neighbours with the British whites of the region, with whom they seem to share very little, apart from a shared access to public facilities. Under such circumstances, the ideal of “building a common house” announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in the aftermath of the 2014 attacks would seem hardly attainable. It even seems reasonable to conclude that multiculturalism and communitarianism may be converging towards the kind of ghettoization (Wievorka, 1998) that by Alibhai-Brown deplores (2003, 2007).
But personal commitment also plays an important part in integration, especially for those who decide to integrate the social fabric against all odds and wring out of their predicament a real success story. This is the case of many Britons of mixed ancestry, or of the proactive hyphenated British driven by the will to overcome ethnic boundaries, like the Minister Sajid David, currently Communities Secretary in Theresa May‟s government. In a gesture reminiscent of Thackeray‟s commitment to Britishness, David proposed the taking of a “British values oath” (Puzzo, 2016) for those who were on the wrong side of the line.
A third possibility is that of cosmopolitanism. The journey of some individuals is, in this respect, quite an enlightening testimony. Phillips, for instance, was born in St Kitts in 1958 and brought to England at “the portable age of twelve weeks” (1987: 2). He belongs to the first generation of migrants who left the Caribbean for Britain at the request of the Colonial Office so that they could reconstruct the country, as early as 1948. They expected to improve their economic and cultural condition. Phillips‟s fiction and essays speak to the hearts and minds of those for whom nations and nationalism represent “dual phenomena, constructed essentially from above, but which cannot be understood unless analysed from below, that is, in terms of the assumptions, hopes, needs, longings and interests of ordinary people, which are not necessarily national and still less nationalist” (Hobsbawm, 1990: 10). Taking the case of second- or third-generation Black and Asian Britons as well as that of continental Europeans settled in England will also throw into relief some meaningful divergences, especially in terms of attitude towards British cultural institutions.
In the light of this, one cannot relate to such concepts as national identity or agency without appraising a cross-disciplinary and contrastive approach of the yearning for belonging, or conversely, of the “shame and rage”1 which inform the identity problems brought to the fore by such thinkers as Stuart Hall, Caryl Phillips, Zadie Smith, Paul Gilroy and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. If some aspects of music, cinema, drama and cultural policy-making, seem to celebrate a positive and inclusive vision of hybridity, the same views are not necessarily as popular in the ultra-conservative political groups that advocate narrow parochialism and present otherness in a threatening light. What, one might ask, is the ultimate frontier between Britishness and otherness? Where is it located?
An interdisciplinary perspective on sociology anthropology and political science seems to offer a good opportunity of handling complex but revealing variations, such as those occurring from one generation to another. Out of this will emerge occasions for innovations in the field of sociocultural interactions. We thus hope to bring in a diversity of historical, sociological, artistic and literary contributions to the debate on the formation of national identity, as well as elements of political science, to explain the processes at work in the mutation of Britishness over the last 70 years. In so doing, we plan on confronting a variety of materials concerning the evolution of interethnic and socio-cultural relations from one generation to another, and expect to take advantage of the plurality of views to study the complexity of identity mutation processes.
The following potential axes of study do not constitute an exhaustive list:
- the conceptualization of Britishness in the political debate;
- the formation of new digital identities;
- the representation of the British Other in essay-writing, fiction and the visual arts;
- the evolution of the nation-state from a historical perspective;
- the mapping of geocultural identities in a transnational context;
- Britain, Europe and the Brexit
- the place of foreigners in British institutions.
Articles must be between 30 000 and 42 000 signs maximum long (5 000 to 7 000 words maximum including spaces, footnotes and bibliography). They may be written in English or in French.
Deadline for submission of proposals (maximum 500 words): June 30, 2018. Authors will be informed of the decision in July 2018. Articles on selected proposals should be completed by the end of December 2018 for submission to peer review.
Submissions should be sent to: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
(posted 23 May 2018)