Books and special issues of Journals – Deadlines January to March 2020

The Sound of the Past
A special issue of The Journal of Historical Fictions
Deadline for completed articles: 1 Januay 2020

What is the role of sound in historical fictions? How can we try to replicate  what the world sounded like in the past? What is the role of music in period dramas?  Why are contemporary musicals with historical settings so popular?  How can sound be described in historical novels?

The Journal of Historical Fictions is looking for papers on any aspect of “sound”, broadly defined  (music, mechanical sounds, songs that tell a historical narrative, voices, etc.) for a special issue  on sound in historical fictions, ‘The Sound of the Past’.

Please send completed articles of 6,000-8,000 words to mail@historicalfictionsjournal.org by 1 January 2020
(see our submission guidelines here: http://historicalfictionsjournal.org/submit.html).

We also have a rolling deadline for articles that relate directly to research and teaching questions on  historical fictions of any kind, from all scholarly disciplines, and we welcome spontaneous submissions.

(posted 21 September 2019)


Tradition(s) in the American South – Changing or Adamant?
The Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS)
Deadline for proposals: 13 January 2020

The Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS), published by the Institute of English and American Studies, University of Debrecen, Hungary is soliciting essays for a thematic bloc on contemporary Southern literature and film. As the only undisrupted periodical sequence devoted exclusively to English and American Studies in Hungary from 1963 on, HJEAS is indexed on the MLA Bibliography and has a worldwide readership due to its availability on JSTOR and ProQuest.

The Tradition(s) in the American South – Changing or Adamant? thematic bloc is looking for 6-8 essays of 6-8,000 words, which focus on post-1980 works that explicitly engage with the remembrance and/or renewal of Southern traditions in the broadest sense. In order to do justice to the variety of Southern cultures, HJEAS would be very pleased to offer a selection of essays that reflect the region’s diversity both in socio-cultural and artistic terms.

To express interest and to give HJEAS the chance to compile a selection of various topics and approaches, please send 300-350-word proposals by 13 January 2020 to the editor of the thematic bloc, Imola Bülgözdi at bulgozdi.imola@arts.unideb.hu and the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Donald E. Morse at donaldemorse@gmail.com

The thematic bloc is scheduled for publication in the 2021 Spring issue of HJEAS, therefore finished essays (MLA 7th edition) will be expected by September 2020.

For potential contributors in Central and Eastern Europe

While scholarship on notable twentieth-century literary figures of the American South is well-established in the region, the Southern literature and cinema of the past forty years have received less academic attention than they deserve. Since most post-socialist states in Central and Eastern Europe are still coming to terms with the historical traumas and violence of the previous century, which affect not only traditions as preserved in cultural memory but also the ongoing construction of new traditions, insight into how the literary and cinematic output of the region engages with Southern traditions could also shed light on the processes that have led to radical conservative views in this part of the world as well.

(posted 7 Novembe 2019)


Translation, Rewriting and Adaptation
A special issue of the Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS)
Deadline for proposals: 15 January 2020

The international journal, Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS) solicits papers on “Translation, Rewriting and Adaptation” for a special issue in 2021. HJEAS is available world-wide on ProQuest and archived on JSTOR. Scholarly essays are welcome on a wide range of related topics, such as novels adapted to film, drama productions based on films, free translations of classic drama for the Anglophone stages, continuation of novels or novels rewritten for a new kind of readership (e. g., Foe by Coetzee, The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, etc.) poetry and poetry sequences adapted for stage or performance.

Essays should be 7-10,000 words, double spaced with parenthetical citations using Works Cited following the MLA Handbook 7th edition.  A Style Sheet is available at the HJEAS website. Proposals of 300-400 words are due on or before 15 January 2020 with complete essays submitted on or before 4 September 2020. Send proposals and/or queries to Prof. Donald E Morse, Editor in Chief, Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, HJEAS@Yahoo.com

(posted 7 November 2019)


“Marine Feet and Vesuvian Eyes”: The Volcanic Aesthetics of Maria Orsini Natale
An edited volume
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2020

“The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius!” ~ Nietzsche

“I have marine feet and Vesuvian eyes, and this belonging to a universe that is land, sea, and lava, my allegiance to a world, not only is a poetic inclination but, in its instinct,
a resonant and overwhelming force” ~ Maria Orsini Natale

This volume intends to fill a gap in the critical reception of a remarkable Southern Italian woman writer. A journalist, a poet and a writer, Maria Orsini Natale (1928-2010) lived and worked at the foot of Vesuvius, and began writing at age 69, receiving several literary recognitions. Her novel, initially written as Ottocento Vesuviano, then entitled Francesca and Nunziata, and published for the first time in 1995, was also made into a 2001 film directed by Lina Wertmüller, starring Sophia Loren and Giancarlo Giannini. The book earned her a semifinalist’s place in the Strega Prize, the most prestigious Italian literary award, and features a family from Amalfi, dedicated for generations to the white art of pasta making. More than fiction, it illustrates what in Neapolitan is called a ‘cunto’, part historical account and part allegorical tale, derived from a reservoir of collective as well as personal memories. Among other aims, the writer wishes to reveal the sacrifice that was silently paid by hard-working individuals in the thriving industrial and rural worlds of the South when Italy was in the process of unification. The passion for memories, the act of remembering and reconstructing the past, characterizes Orsini Natale’s urge to write. Her Proustian literary technique is immediately apparent in works such as La Bambina Dietro la Porta, or Il Terrazzo della Villa Rosa, where a colorful crowd of characters in a tightly-woven community are portrayed while loving and living under the shadow of Vesuvius—“’a muntagna” as the locals call it. Indefatigably devoted to celebrate and preserve cherished and ancient traditions, Orsini Natale also pays homage to the age-old heritage and multifaceted knowledge of food-making, with its related rituals (Don Alfonso 1890. Una storia che sa di favola). She particularly treasures the togetherness of breaking bread. In C’era una Notte and Cieli di Carta, as well as in other works, the sense of community, family ties, and religious feelings, heightened by the deep-seated tradition of the presepe (the Nativity scene), draw a distinctive scenario, even while echoing the Neapolitan classic by Edoardo De Filippo, Natale in Casa Cupiello. Throughout her oeuvre, Maria Orsini Natale honors the unrecognized work of many women who worked against the grain and under the weight of an oppressive patriarchal culture. The determination and willpower of such women in the Meridione of Italy serve as a mirror for the ‘volcanic’ splinter of a world that emerges in Orsini Natale’s writing, with all its intelligence and passion, its aspirations and energies, its thirst for redemption from the deadlock of history, its resilience, its creativity and strength. By engaging with different aspects of her literary production, this volume seeks to formulate a vision that characterizes authors as bound not only to a region but to a specific territory and community. Orsini Natale’s chosen self-definition as a “Vesuvian,” rather than Neapolitan author challenges the assumption that contemporary writing is a literary mode of the city, showing how the province, or the margins, and the countryside are fundamental to the development of a very distinctive and rich aesthetic.

Contributors are invited to send proposals relating to one or several of the following themes in Maria Orsini Natale’s oeuvre (but not limited to them):

  • Explorations of Vesuvian identity/volcanic aesthetics
  • Seascapes and cultural frameworks of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Texts and contexts: writing from the Neapolitan province (either as an individual author or in comparison with Michele Prisco and others)
  • Comparisons/contrasts with Elena Ferrante or other women writers from Naples/the Neapolitan province
  • Auto/biographical writing and the role of memory
  • The North-South relationship
  • Historical, political, and economic contexts
  • Writing about local traditions and religious practices and rituals (presepe, patron saint festivals/processions, funerals, washing laundry, pasta making, embroidering, etc.)
  • The pleasure of storytelling: the ‘cunto’, allegories, and metaphors
  • Etymology, culture, and meaning
  • The uses of fairy tales and fables (either as an individual author or with Sabatino Scia, La Favola del Cavallo, Favole a Due Voci)
  • Food practices, with their history and culture
  • War and/or anti-fascist sentiments
  • Emigration, genius loci, nostalgia, and/or loss
  • The literature and cultural history of ‘Il Miglio d’Oro’ (the Golden Mile)
  • Film adaptation of Francesca and Nunziata
  • Intersections between history and allegory
  • Men/ fathers and women/mothers
  • Poetic expression
  • On rhetorics and the language of the writer (uses of Neapolitan and Latin)
  • Any critical analysis from the perspective of animal studies, gender studies, or other disciplines

Please send a short bio and a 250 to 500 word abstract by January 31st, 2020 to: balzanow@wfu.edu

(posted 16 September 2019)


Shakespeare, Screen and Texts: French Theory and Critical Reception
Issue nr 15 of Shakespeare en devenir
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2019

Editors:

  • Anne-Marie Costantini-Cornède (PRISMES – Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle)
  • Pascale Drouet (University of Poitiers, CESCM)

This issue aims to explore the impact of French cinema criticism on texts and screen Shakespeare studies, applying two complementary perspectives: theory and critical reception.

The first perspective will consider the impact of the work of famous French theorists such as André Bazin, Christian Metz (Film Language: A Semiotics of Cinema; The Imaginary Signifier), Jacques Aumont, Alain Bergala, Michel Marie, Marc Vernet (Aesthetics of Film), or Gilles Deleuze (The Movement-Image; The Time-Image), whose writings are increasingly translated and resorted to in international Shakespeare studies, along with those of French philosophers like Derrida and Foucault. With regard to the textual analysis of film, there cannot be a single approach. Each filmmaker attempts to construct a personal diegetic universe according to his/her own interpretations of the model’s original themes, and each film deploys its own internal systems, which are also related to specific genres (tragedy, history, comedy, romance). The critic then has to explore such varied domains as history, philosophy, the history of ideas, sociology, psychoanalysis and aesthetics. What can such ‘tough’ theorists bring to the study of Shakespeare films in terms of critical approaches to adaptation, new readings of the plays or visions of Renaissance worlds? Is such theoretical criticism always relevant, and if so, for which kind of adaptations? The question might be considered of how these concepts are useful for understanding the ideological and aesthetic variables at play in the models, as well as for exploring new fields and issues arising from the hybrid product and the process of recreation.

The issue proposes to address the question of realism and the ‘plausible’, or ‘verisimilitude’, as linked with the notion of a ‘cinema of transparency’ (Bazin, What is Cinema, or Aumont et al.), the issues of cinema, narration and identification (Metz, also taken up by Aumont et al., Gauldreault and Jost, Vanoye), the impact of borrowings from Hollywood codes (Deleuze and the Movement-Image), and pictorial techniques (Pascal Bonitzer), as well as such figures of abstraction or ‘dream-images’ (Deleuze and the Time-Image, ‘deterritorialized’ spaces blurring of limits between the real and the imaginary) such as are prone to define a metaphysical, conceptual cinema. Is such criticism better adapted to specific genres — on the assumption that generic classification itself is regarded as relevant for films?

As regards French theory (the first perspective), one might choose to examine how these concepts operate in texts and in ‘based-on’ Shakespeare films. One could draw examples from textual micro-analyses, adopt a comparative approach or take examples directly from films: ‘classics’ (Olivier, Welles, Kozintsev), foreign or period films (Abela, Kaurismäki, Kurosawa), basically narrative-based versions, but also those which borrow from Hollywood codes (Radford, Parker, Branagh, Nunn), modernisations (Luhrmann, Loncraine, Brozel) or avant-garde and ‘essay’ films (Jarman, Greenaway, Almereyda, Pasolini, Godard). This perspective, then, will reveal personal, mixed approaches, as well as global trends, ranging from fairly ‘straightforward’ narrative or transparent cinema to more symbolical conceptual forms.

As regards critical reception (the second perspective) — but the two perspectives do not have to be ridgidly separated — authors may want to focus on the specifically French critical reception of Shakespearean films (Branagh’s or Stoppard/Madden’s Shakespeare in Love, for instance) by specialised, but widely read, journals like Positif, Cahiers du cinéma or Les Inrockuptibles, and the stances — sometimes very critical indeed — adopted in these. Are such critics ‘tough’ purists, even more demanding in their expectations than Shakespeare scholars themselves, and could this precisely relate to a form of French theoretical heritage? This second perspective will also accomodate directors’ or actors’ points of view and/or personal experience, with regard to both production and critical reception.

Papers may discuss, among other questions:

  1. Aesthetic issues or features as linked to the process of re-mediation and adaptation from page or stage to screen
  2. Critical coincidences: Jack Jorgens’ concept of a ‘realistic’ mode of representation and Bazin’s question about what ‘realism’ is in Shakespeare films? Possible links betweene Jorgens’ ‘filmic-poetic’ mode and Deleuze’s ‘thought-image’?
  3. (Logical) borrowings between comedy, romance and Hollywood conventions, such as the slapstick and screwball comedy (Branagh, Nunn): attempts at and / or limits of such transfers?
  4. (Logical) mirror effects, inter-texts and inter-media: from the meta-theatrical to the meta-cinematic (Tempest versions)?
  5. Does a Shakespeare play need a minimal story and minimal narrative fluidity? Does a post-modern, systematic deconstructive or ‘de-narratized’ stance enhance or weaken the ‘Shakespearean’ dimension? (Jean-Luc Godard’s King Lear)?
  6. Are statements such as ‘This is Shakespeare!’ or ‘This is Shakespearean!’ relevant as applied to films? Does there exist a ‘Shakespearean’ genre in films? Can there exist such a thing as a phenomenology of the Shakespeare film?
  7. Filmmakers’ and actors’ experiences and points of view. How do filmmakers, scriptwriters and actors react to critics?

Deadlines:

Contributors are requested to send a title, an abstract and a biographical notice by late January 2020, to Anne-Marie Costantini-Cornède (PRISMES EA 4398 – Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle) and Pascale Drouet (University of Poitiers, CECSM UMR 7304): amccde@gmail.com, pascale.drouet@univ-poitiers.fr, shakespeareendevenir@univ-poitiers.fr

Completed papers, in English or in French, should be sent by late June 2020 along with an abstract both in English and French, a biographical notice and a list of 5 or 6 keywords, to Anne-Marie Costantini-Cornède (PRISMES EA 4398 – Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle) and Pascale Drouet (University of Poitiers, CECSM UMR 7304): amccde@gmail.com, pascale.drouet@univ-poitiers.fr, shakespeareendevenir@univ-poitiers.fr

(posted 15 October 2019)


Age and Performance: Expanding Intersectionality
A special issue of Theatre Research in Canada/ Recherches théâtrales au Canada
Deadine for abstracts: 1 February 2020

Guest Editors: Benjamin Gillespie (Graduate Center, CUNY), Julia Henderson (University of British Columbia), Núria Casado-Gual (University of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain)

As aging populations continue to expand rapidly, generating what Robert N. Butler has called the “longevity revolution,” cultural awareness is growing about the systemic cultural inequities restricting and repressing older people. The expanding field of humanities-based age studies has begun to explore how normative cultural expectations surrounding age (frequently translated into assumptions about how to “act one’s age”) not only pose limits on older people, but also condition perceptions (and prejudices) about all ages across the life course. In comparison to other aspects of identity such as gender, sexuality, race, or ability, age often remains ignored. In the words of age studies pioneer Margaret Morganroth Gullette, age is “entrenched in implicit systems of discrimination without adequate movements of resistance to oppose them” (15). Elinor Fuchs, one of the first scholars to explicitly incorporate an age-studies perspective in theatre research, contends that “the dividing line between youth and age is constantly elusive,” precisely because age, contrary to other markers of identity, is an overtly dynamic category based on two contradictory principles: change and continuity (70).

Scholars working within cultural age studies have started to address age as a point of intersection across many disciplines. However, as Valerie Barnes Lipscomb affirms, “theatre has lagged behind, focusing more on theatre projects with older people than on theorizing age” (193). This special issue seeks to understand theatre’s role in, and potential for, reinforcing and resisting ageism as well as the so-called narrative of decline that favours a negative view of old age (Gullette 2004) . Expanding theatre and performance research to incorporate age-studies perspectives will illuminate the constructedness of age and increase our understanding of the diverse phenomenon of aging and its performative qualities. As Michael Mangan demonstrates in his monograph Staging Ageing: Theatre, Performance and the Narrative of Decline, many of the concerns shared by theatre scholars and artists, including issues of empathy or subjectivity in drama and performance, are inherently involved in perceiving age identity (though such perceptions often remain unconscious).

Foregrounding the intersections of theatre, performance, and cultural age studies, this will be the first journal special issue to focus specifically on the role of age in Canadian theatre and performance. The issue will explore age identities across the life course and investigate ageism and its resistance through questions of temporality, aesthetics, embodiment, difference, language, performance, and performativity.

Article submissions may engage with some of the following questions:

  • Following the work of Kathleen Woodward and Anne Davis Basting, how do perfomative renderings of aging and theatrical casting practices help us read the aging      body on and off stage?
  • How do performances of gender, sexuality, race, and ability intersect with age performance and performativity?
  • In what ways do live theatre and performance challenge us to spectate age differently in relation to other cultural forms such as film?
  • How are stereotypical representations of aging overcome by the work of contemporary playwrights, theatre companies, directors, or actors?
  • What new understandings of age and across life course emerge out of theatre and performance practices?

Submissions of 300-word abstracts should be sent by February 1st 2020, by email to: ageperformancetric@gmail.com, copied to the TRiC editorial office at tric.rtac@utoronto.ca. TRIC/RTAC is a bilingual journal, and we welcome submissions in both English and French. For detailed submission guidelines see: http://tricrtac.ca/en/for-authors/. The issue is scheduled to appear in November 2021.

(posted 4 December 2019)


Speaking Margins, Talking Mainstream: Strategies of Inclusivity in Popular Culture
Kultura popularna
Deadline for proposals: 28 February 2020

“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?” Supreme Leader Snoke

The opening lines of the 2014 teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens were followed by the first unmasking of a black stormtrooper which became a subject of immediate controversy for a certain group of fans, some of whom also voiced objections against a strong female lead in the sequel trilogy. And yet with the success of Captain Marvel, Steve Rogers passing his shield to Sam Wilson, Natalie Portman soon to portray Thor (not a “female Thor” – Thor) and with the inclusion of LGBTQI characters in major narratives across all media, a change can definitely be felt.

Kultura popularna seeks articles critically addressing what could arguably be termed as the inclusive turn taking place in the 21st century mass and popular culture, and the various forms of backlash against the shift. We invite discussions of particular textual and discursive formulations as well as analyses of broader cultural practices. Contributors are encouraged to examine intra- and cross-cultural dynamics, and while the focus of the issue remains on the recent developments, historical perspectives tracing back specific current tensions are also welcome. The issue is open to inter- and transdisciplinary investigations addressing, but not limited to the topics below:

  • emergence and role of non-normative protagonists in popular/superhero narratives
  • manifestations of the fourth wave feminisms and the #metoo movement
  • theorizing intersectionality in the 21st century
  • new racial discourses and popular culture
  • inclusivity in/and culture industries
  • market value of inclusivity
  • repetition with a difference: reboots, returns and adaptations
  • rejects and abjects as the agents of change
  • posthuman narratives and territories
  • technology as a vehicle of inclusion
  • non-normative voices and embodiments in the mainstream
  • new strategies of normative violence
  • backlash against demarginalization
  • sex and the mainstream

Deadline for sending articles: 28 February 2020.

Reviews of recent academic works relevant to the scope of the CfP will also be considered for publication.

Texts should be sent to kulturapopularna@gmail.com. Submissions (25 000 – 30 000 characters for articles, 2000-4000 characters for reviews) should be accompanied by a short biography of the author (3-4 sentences). Article submissions should additionally include an abstract (ca 200 words) and 5-7 keywords. Please limit the footnotes to a minimum and, if necessary, use endnotes instead. Otherwise, follow the 8th ed. MLA stylesheet. Submitted articles should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Selected articles will be published in the 4/2019 issue of the journal.

Kultura popularna [Popular Culture] is a peer reviewed quarterly published since 2002 by the SWPS University in Warsaw. Since 2012 all articles have been available in open access.

https://kulturapopularna-online.pl/resources/html/cms/FORAUTHORSINFO

(posted 28 October 2019)


Religion in South Asian Fictions
Call for chapters for an edited book
Deadline for abstract submissions: 28 February 2020

To be edited by Sk Sagir Ali, Goutam Karmakar and Nasima Islam

Concept Note:

In today’s polarised world, religion is seen as a primary cause of social division, conflict and war, while others have argued that this is a distortion of the true significance of religion, which when properly followed promotes peace, harmony, goodwill and social cohesion. The rhetoric of the ‘war on terror’ and the ‘clash of civilizations’ has promoted a geopolitical enemy. This has been accompanied by a shift towards a more ‘muscular’ liberalism. Secularization and cultural pluralism have dethroned the sacred. It has also destabilized the ‘structure of power’ with the concept that of the sacred was there to uphold a society rooted in a single source of religiously mandated authority. With the emergence of individualism with religion and culture, identity is now as much a matter of individual ‘feeling’ as it is about collective conceptions of the ‘sacred’, whether secularized or not.

The proposed edited book “Religion in South Asian Fictions” will trace the genealogy of South Asian Anglophone writing through blasphemy, the consequence of the complex forces and historical trajectories that go by the name of ‘secularization’. It will provide an account of the reception of South Asian Anglophone writing with the changing conceptions of racial Others and cultural difference, particularly with respect to minority writers. The consumption of these texts will also act as a form of cultural translation.

If you are interested in contributing a chapter of 5,000-6,500 words (including footnotes and Works Cited), submit an abstract of approximately 500 words and a brief bio no later than February 28, 2020. Send e-mail submissions to SK Sagir Ali (skali661@gmail.com) and Goutam Karmakar (goutamkrmkr@gmail.com), using the subject line “Proposals for Religion in South Asian Fictions.”

Editors:

SK SAGIR ALI  is an Assistant  Professor, Co-ordinator (PG) of the Department of English,  Midnapore College (Autonomous), West Bengal and an Assistant  Professor (Guest)  at Vidyasagar University,  (Evening Section) West  Bengal. Besides English literature, he has a passion for South Asian Literature and Critical Theory. He is pursuing his doctoral work at the department of English, Jadavpur University. He has published a book titled Literary  Theory: Textual Applications with Atlantic Publishers in 2017 and another book with Routledge will be published in the month April. He is also a Panel Reviewer for Muse India.

GOUTAM KARMAKAR is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Barabazar Bikram Tudu Memorial College, Sidhu-Kanhu-Birsha University, West Bengal, India. His essays, research papers, book reviews and poems have been published in many reputed International Journals. He has taken interviews of many notable Indian poets writing in English. Apart from organizing one international conference in India, he has presented papers in many international conferences in India, England and European countries. He has edited four critical books on Indian poetry in English. He seeks interest in Indian Writings in English, Marxism and Post Marxism, Ecocritical Studies, Dalit literature, Mythology, Folklore and Culture Studies

NASIMA ISLAM is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Acharya Girish Chandra Bose college under the University of Calcutta. She has done her M.Phil from Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC). Her PhD work concerns the Postcolonial Censorship studies. Her broader research interests include analysis of rural Bengali Muslim Sphere of West Bengal, New social movements and various civil society initiatives, postcolonial gender question, queer studies, Dalit literature, and minority literature.

Contributions:

Deadline for abstract submissions: 28 February 2020
Deadline for full manuscript submissions: April 2020
(Minimum word limit: 4000 words, MLA 8th Style of Writing)

(posted 7 January 2020)


The City Speaks: Re-presenting Urban Spaces in Indian Literature
Call for chapters for an edited book
Deadline for abstract submissions: 28 February 2020

Edited by Subashish Bhattacharjee and Goutam Karmakar

The city has been a zone of contention for a considerable amount of time in literature—a producer of narratives as well as a consumer. These cities have embodied their characters and their narratives in a way that is reflective of the city’s topology, genealogy, and living archaeology. Literature, therefore, often serves to excavate the cities through its representations, and is also, in turn, unearthed. Rather than visualising the city as a null-space that exists horizontally to frame the literary work, the cities in literary works across its myriad cultural and national histories have turned more serpentine, more transgressive, and have moved in unpredictable trajectories. These cities can be utopias or dystopias, safe havens or places of terminal oppression, but they are functional mechanisms that are more often than not an intricate aspect of the text/performance itself. Within this extensive histori-‘city’, the urban space in Indian literature/s has arrived at a crucial point, a point of intervention that requires these adaptations to be evaluated from a subjective perspective, informed with the nuances of critical theorisation, rather than as mere set piece. But not merely in the area/s of literary creation, the burgeoning sphere of media studies surrounding urban spaces/spatialities in India has led to the mushrooming of such developments as the Sarai programme (CSDS and the Raqs Media Collective), and its consequent research output that is accessible through their site, and Vinay Lal’s 2-volume The Oxford Anthology of the Modern Indian City besides a whole host of other works that discern the Indian city as the host-space, the ground zero for a fomentation of change, a site of evolution and dissemination of radical thought. And this radical thought courses through the literary works that feed on the cities. While such a commentary poses the risk of being elitist and exclusive in nature— by keeping the rural space outside its deliberation—but, historically, India has a stronger literary tradition of rural spaces than a similar correspondence with urban spaces. The Independence, followed by the Emergency, and thereafter the liberalisation of the economy finally pushed the attention of writers towards the urban centres as more than mere props. Therefore, even if we are to casually remark on the status of Narayan’s Malgudi as contentious towards an urban-representative literary state, it is indeed a more deliberate attempt to ingratiate the city within the story until it is no longer so—Narayan fleshes out Malgudi progressively while it corresponds to a native tradition of rural-urban narrative, and acts more in line with a rural-revivalist narrative. But the more recent developments have been more decisive in this regard. An Anita Desai novel that chronicles the city, In Custody, for example, cannot be mistaken for anything else. And that is still an older example, which is an evolutionary progression on the semi-/pseudo-rural narrative genetically embedded in the likes of Narayan or Raja Rao.

From a representational aspect, cities act as a space provide shelter, comfort, longing for a home, nostalgia, opportunity, fantasies, myth, fear, crime, alienation, enchantment, disease, corruption, excitement, claustrophobia, disorder and threat to socio-political, religious and economic system. Cities become the universal setting in contemporary Indian literature stretching from the development of the modern urban space in India from the turn of the last century, and poets, dramatists, writers of fiction and non-fiction, graphic novelists, travel writers and other documenters from India began to focus on two different aspects as central to the identification of urban literature where the role and impact of cities had started to being vividly portrayed and projected. However, it should be noted that certain cities in India come to exist also, and largely, due to their religious congregation and, therefore, famous Indian epics like The Mahabharata and The Ramayana can be seen to feature socio-cultural and religious bases of, sometimes historical, and, mostly, mythologically re-envisioned, Indian cities like Ayodhya, Varnavat, Hasthinapur, Indraprastha, Kurukshetra, Takshashila, Gokul, Vrindavan, Mathura, Kashi, Magadh, Manipur, Pundru Desh, and Cuttack. The development of a more characteristic narrative concerned with the idea of “Indian literature” culminated in the parallel development of a new canon of writers who, among other things, chose to view the cities of the day and age with a more sceptical perspective, or at least a vision that is propelled with objective inquiry. While poets such as Nissim Ezekiel, A K. Ramanujan, Keki N. Daruwalla, Shiv K. Kumar, Vikram Seth, Jayanta Mahapatra, A. K. Mehrotra, R. Parthasarathy and Bibhu Padhi depict images of filth, squalor, disease, terror, loneliness, landscapes, temples, rituals, pollution, socio-political and religious corruption of Bombay, Cuttack and Delhi, in prose fiction Bombay becomes the narrative setting for Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses, The Ground Beneath Her Feet and The Moor’s Last Sigh, Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games and Love and Longing, Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance, Family Matters and Such a Long Journey, Kiran Nagarkar’s Ravan and Eddie, Shashi Deshpande’s That Long Silence, Shashi Tharoor’s Show Business: A Novel, Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis, and Anita Desai’s Baumgartner’s Bombay to name a few—and all these Delhis and Mumbais/Bombays, Kolkatas/Calcuttas and Madrases/Chennais are as different from each other as is permissible from within a factual framework. They are the author’s/poet’s kin, their imagination, and driven by their idea of a container that works to contain and also to allow the narrative to spill over and possess these cities. Dramatists like Mahesh Dattani, Nissim Ezekiel, Manjula Padmanabhan, Girish Karnad, Vijay Tendulkar and Dina Mehta discuss the notion of spatiality and the nature of urban space in their drama and through an appropriation of language, culture, architecture, design, and question the traditional, conventional, the ‘folk’. Similarly, there is an immense spurt in graphic narratives that contain, as their centre, the urban space, the city, and its map acts as the frame on which the artist is able to flesh out her/his characters and narratives. Graphic novels such as Sourav Mahapatra and Vivek Shinde’s Mumbai Confidential, a crime noir, Vishwajyoti Ghosh’s Delhi Calm, which deals with a Emergency era revisioning of Delhi, or Sarnath Bannerjee’s graphic novels—Corridor, The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers, The Harappa Files, and All Quiet in Vikaspuri—are works that conform to such a model.

Indian poets, dramatists, short-story writers and novelists not only use cities to showcase the problems posed by cities but also depict how cities give birth to images, experiences and realities of society and these writers show how cities and the characters of their works intermingle to create a larger literary structure of subjectivity. Their works represent the sounds, spaces, and places of cities, and those cities not only reflect human emotions and spirit but also the gradual development of society and its constituents. By adopting and exploring certain theoretical concepts of Western urban thinkers such as Henri Lefebvre, Georg Simmel, Manuel Castells, Walter Benjamin, Louis Wirth, Edward Soja, Steve Pile, Katia Pizzi, Max Weber, David Harvey, Richard Lehan, David Seed, Michael Jaye, Diane Levy and Ann Watts, and bringing into perspective more of localised thought from thinkers such as Ashis Nandy, Arjun Appadurai, Ravi Sundaram, as well as the impressive output from the Sarai programme, a truly unique and contentious presentation of Indian literature is possible, projected against a seemingly monolithic, and now obtusely homogenous Western qualification of urban literatures, especially if said study can involve a more intense engagement with a wider perspective of Indian sociological and philosophical thought.

The present study proposes to study attempts to examine the diverse aspects of urban sensibility and materiality and socio-political, cultural, moral, ethical, religious and economic changes that are connected with the notion of city spaces that make an appearance, visibly, in works of Indian literature. Generally, areas of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Gendered Cities
  2. The Anthropocene City
  3. Mapping/Portraying the City
  4. Urban vs. Rural or Urban-and-the-Rural
  5. The Urban Industrial Complex in Literature
  6. Imaginary Cities/The Fiction of Fictional Cities
  7. Colonising/Decolonising Cities
  8. The City and Mythology
  9. Histori(y)-city(-ies)
  10. Travel in and about the City
  11. The City and Diaspora
  12. Crime and the City
  13. Migration and the City
  14. Utopian/Dystopian Cities
  15. The City and Nature/Seasons in the City
  16. City and the Culture of Dissent
  17. The City and Memory
  18. Gothic Cities/Uncanny Cities/Strange Cities

Contributors may direct their queries and chapter proposals (within 500 words along with their short bio-biblio) to indianurbanities@gmail.com. The last date for the submission of proposals is February 28, 2020. Completed essays (within 6000 words, excluding works cited and notes), written in accordance with MLA style sheet of formatting, are to be submitted within April 30, 2020.

Subashish Bhattacharjee is an Assistant Professor of English at the Department of English, Munshi Premchand Mahavidyalaya, India. His research focuses on ambient architecture, architectural philosophy, and visual cultures. His recent books include Queering Visual Cultures (Universitas, 2018, edited) and New Women’s Writing (CSP, 2018, co-edited with G.N. Ray).

Goutam Karmakar is an Assistant Professor of English at Barabazar Bikram Tudu Memorial College, India. His essays, research papers, book reviews and poems have been published in many reputed international journals. He has taken interviews of many notable Indian poets writing in English. Apart from organizing one international conference in India, he has presented papers in many international conferences in India, England and European countries. He has edited four critical books on Indian poetry in English. His interests lie in Indian Writings in English, Marxism and Post Marxism, Ecocritical Studies, Dalit literature, Mythology, Folklore and Culture Studies.

(posted 7 January 2020)


Seaside Resorts, the Coastal Experience and Their Representation in the Arts
HJEAS (the Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies) 2021 spring issue
Deadline for proposals: 1 March 2020

HJEAS (the Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies) 2021 spring issue will be dedicated to the British seaside resorts with a rich history of reflection across the arts.

Since the Victorians discovered the seaside as relief from congested and dirty cities, places like Bournemouth, Brighton, Blackpool, Margate, Newquay, Swanage, and Whitley Bay became centres of the British tourist industry. Offering an escape of varied length to crowds of people of different social classes and education levels in pursuit of the idea of relaxation, the coastal experience has inspired authors including Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Bram Stoker, Alfred Tennyson, Virginia Woolf, L.P. Hartley and Graham Green, John Banville, Iris Murdock, and Colm Tóibin. These authors explored different manifestations of the liminal be they the contact and conflict between the land and the sea, nature and culture, respectability and hedonism.  At the same time, architects sought to fulfil the desires of the general public with bathing machines and pavilions, lidos, sun terraces, promenades, piers and highly popular amusement parks, like the Dreamland of Margate or the Pleasure Beach of Blackpool. By the first half of the 20th century seaside resorts became spectacles in their own right with short term tourism booming, especially during the two world wars when they (in WWII especially west coast resorts) attracted visitors from all over the country. A similar transformation occurred in Ireland with the Skerries, Ballybunion and Tramore.

Even before coastal towns  turned into tourist magnets, the scenic views were captured by the creativity of celebrated British, Irish and American painters including William Turner, Paul Nash, David Cox and Beryl Cook (UK) , John Faulkner, Paul Henry, Sean Keating, Jack B. Yeats, Norah McGuinness and dozens more (Ireland). Before new trends in tourism set in, including cheap overseas travel, the construction of resorts around the Mediterranean, the postwar glory of British seaside resorts were also captured by celebrated photographers, such as Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn and Simon Roberts, to name a few, who documented in affectionate and humorous images the eccentricities of this uniquely British experience and national tradition. These photographs immortalized the material culture and the experience of holidaymakers enjoying fish ‘n’ chips, donkey rides, and deck chairs as never seen before. Beside photography, filmmakers have also used the visual medium as a mirror of the changing reality of seaside resorts which, since the 1970s saw a gradual decline in popularity. While belonging to different genres and having distinctive styles, film like Bank Holiday (1938), Brighton Rock (1948), Carry on Girls (1973), Quadrophenia (1979), Bhaji on the Beach (1993) Last Resort (2000) and VS. (2018) mirror the changing perceptions of the resorts. Some of the best known British playwrights, including John Osborne with The Entertainer and Harold Pinter with The Birthday Party have chosen seaside resorts as the backdrop of their plays. In Ireland the sea is never far away and playwrights from G.B. Shaw and J. M. Synge to Lennox Robinson and Deidre Kinahan had set their plays there. More recently reality television series, CBS’ Murder by the Sea, has exploited the dubious reputation of these resorts for hosting some of the most remarkable murder cases of British criminal history.

While music has always featured strongly among the entertainment mix of seaside resorts (promenade and military bands, music-hall, variety), the recent upsurge of festivals and similar events are part of the strategy to rebrand these places. The Boardmasters Festival in Newquay, the Tunes on the Sands (Devon) and the Victorious festival in Portsmouth are part of the British music festival circuit, and offer intense experience similar to the numerous festivals with a thematic focus on watersports, seafood, family activities, nature, the new arts, cinema, sand sculpture, folk culture, maritime heritage, etc.

HJEAS welcomes articles that engage critically with relevant aspects of the seaside resorts and the holiday experience, mapping its spatial, cultural and social construction since the 19th century to the present. Editors seek submissions that include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • coastal resorts in literature,  screen media, and the fine arts (both in high and popular culture)
  • the seaside experience and the photographer as flâneur
  • resort architecture: the politics and aesthetics of seaside space (case studies, styles, historical trajectories)
  • spatial varieties and dominant topics: different approaches in the representation of British, and Irish resorts on their north/south/east/west coastlines
  • resort towns as other spaces (heterotopia, liminality, hybridity, Disneyfication)
  • seaside nostalgia, retro and other strategies of cultural memoralization
  • the seaside resort and subcultures
  • gender, class and ethnicity in representations of coastal resorts
  • the holiday atmosphere: carnival, humour and exoticism
  • representation of the seaside resort through binaries: the high and the vulgar, respectability and hedonism, fun and boredom
  • seaside experience, modernism and postmodernism
  • fashion, sunbathing and morality at seaside resorts
  • the semiotics of food in coastal tourist centres
  • correlations between the tourism industry, the experience industry, and the cultural industry
  • holidaymakers and locals: the supply and demand chain of the holiday experience
  • the international dimensions of coastal resort representations (comparative case studies)

Please submit your proposal (200-250 words) and a min-bio before 1 March 2020. After the decision on acceptance, full articles are to be submitted by 31 August 2020. Preferred length of articles is between 4000 and 6000 words and should conform to the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook in all matters of style and citation.

Please send your proposals to the following email addresses: hjeas@yahoo.com, ehmazierska@uclan.ac.uk, gyorizs@yahoo.co.uk

(posted 1 January 2020)


The New Humanities in the ‘Post-University’
Word and Text
Deadline for abstract submissions: 30 March 2020

In States of Shock: Stupidity and Knowledge in the Twenty-First Century, the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler asserted that, irrespective of the historical period to which it belongs, the educational system has a unique vocation: forming ‘a type of attention’ that was initially called logos and, later on, reason. The university has the mission of forming this type of attention and also, as Mark Taylor pointed out in Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities, ‘a responsibility to serve the greater social good’: to cultivate ‘informed citizens who are aware of and open to different cultural perspectives and are willing to engage in reasonable debate about critical issues.’

According to Stiegler, in the twenty-first century ‘logos has become a technologos’ and our societies increasingly profit-driven, two joint tendencies which had also a significant impact on the reorganization of the University as a corporate commodified workplace representative of the ‘capitalocene’. In order to respond to the challenges of the allegedly posthuman digital age, humanities have also mutated into ‘new humanities’ or ‘posthumanities’ whose role, beyond adapting to and engaging with new ways of life, should be to remain vigilant and critical of the marketization of higher education.

Set squarely in the age of technology and technomania that enslave contemporary homo technicus through tele-technologies, this anniversary issue will look into the pragmatic search for socio-political, cultural and educational remedies that must be put forward from within an institution under threat. Taking into account (among others) Bill Readings’s The University in Ruins, Thomas Docherty’s For the University: Democracy and the Future of the Institution, Frank Donoghue’s The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities, Stefan Collini’s What Are Universities For?, Jacques Derrida’s ‘The University without Condition’ (in Without Alibi) and rejecting the already hackneyed idea that the Humanities are in a crisis, this issue will enquire more positively into what role they can acquire within the academic institution still called ‘University’ in the 21st century.

We invite contributions related, but not limited to, the following:

  • new humanities and new disciplines in the humanities in the 21st century
  • the development of ‘posthumanities’ as critical and disciplinary reflections on the posthuman
  • ‘remedial humanities’
  • humanities and techno-science or tele-technologies
  • AI and the new humanities
  • digital humanities now and in the future
  • the role of media technologies in the university
  • the impact of international rankings on academia

We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, ranging across critical theory, literary and cultural studies, linguistics, as well as other disciplines in the humanities and the sciences. Contributors are advised to follow the journal’s submission guidelines and stylesheet, which can be downloaded from the journal’s website at http://jlsl.upg-ploiesti.ro/. The deadline for abstract submission is March 30, 2020. Please send 500-word proposals to the journal editors, who will answer any queries you may have. Articles selected for publication must be submitted by April 30, 2020. All submitted articles will be blind-refereed except when invited. Accepted articles will be returned for post-review revisions by June 30, 2020, and will be expected back in their final version by September 30, 2020 at the latest.

Proposals and articles should be sent as attachments to wordandtext2011@gmail.com and to the editors to anionescu@sjtu.edu.cn and milesi@sjtu.edu.cn.

(posted 17 January 2020)