Books and special issues of journals – Deadlines April to June 2020

The wonderful, the fantastic, and the preternatural and their verisimilar representation from the Gothic novel to Fin-de-Siècle Literature
English Literature: Theories, Interpretations, Contexts, published at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2020

We shall be happy to consider essays that address the representation of the marvellous, the wonderful, the preternatural, the abnormal, the monstrous, the hybrid, and in general the ‘fantastic’ and improbable in the English novels and/or prose works from the early Gothic to the long Fin de siècle. In particular, the articles should consider how writers negotiated with the ruling style of modern novel, realism, and adapted the wonderful/preternatural/monstrousetc. to the poetics and forms of mimetic presentation of events, characters, scenes, places etc. (and viceversa), and to the expectations of the reading public (when the wonderful clashed, and/or collaborated, with mimesis; when the wonderful substituted, supplemented, or integrated realistic ways of fictional representation, when mimetic expectations suppressed or supplanted implausible or illusory stories etc.).

The journal will also consider proposals for the Miscellany section of the journal on any topic, issue, subject-matter related to English literature and literatures in English.

The deadline for sending a proposal and abstract is May 15th, 2020.

To send your proposal online please refer to the journal webpage: English Literature ( ), scroll down and click on “Contacts”, open and fill in the form complete with proposed title and abstract, then click on “Submit”.
Alternatively, you may write to the journal’s director, prof. Flavio Gregori: attaching the abstract as word file.
Shortly after your submission of proposal you will receive an answer from the editors informing on how to access the journal website, where you will be able to upload the article and be updated about the peer reviewing and publication process.

The deadline for uploading the articles is September 1st, 2019.

All proposed articles will go through double-blind revision by two peers. The outcome of the revision can be accessed on your personal page within 45 days from the submission of your article.
English literature started its publication in December 2014 and is a fully open access journal. It is indexed in Scopus, ERIH-plus, MLA Directory of periodicals, Crossref, DOAJ.
More information about the journal and its policy can be read here: English Literature(

In full compliance with open-access policies, the journal applies no costs for publication of articles. The journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Contributors can keep their articles’ copyrights and are allowed to re-use their articles for further publication, provided they do not publish the same or modified version before one full year from its publication in English Literature.
English Literature’s policy is inspired by the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) ethical code.
If you have any query concerning the journal or the present call, please write to

(posted 20 March 2020)

Ireland Across Cultures
VTU Review: Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 1 (2020)
Deadline for proposals: 18 May 2020

VTU Review is a peer-reviewed journal, published by St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. The journal comes out twice a year. For details, see

Special Issue Editors: Ludmilla Kostova and Pádraigín Riggs

Over the last 20 years or so, Irish studies have established themselves as an important field of research and teaching throughout Europe and the rest of the world. This issue’s focus is on representations of Irish history, society, language and language policies, culture, literature and theatre from a comparative and transnational perspective. Special emphasis is placed on intercultural encounters and interactions and their representations.

Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

  • historically determined constructions of Irish identity;
  • ethnopolitics, nationalism, postnationalism and transnationalism;
  • the Irish language in a globalizing world; changing concepts of bilingualism;
  • Hiberno-English as a means of self-expression;
  • Celticism and its (dis)contents;
  • identity and/through religion;
  • imaging the North/South divide;
  • constructions of borders and borderlands;
  • forms of geographical displacement and their consequences;
  • Irish diasporic communities across the world;
  • cultural imports and exports;
  • experiments in literature, drama and film.

Submission deadline: 18 May 2020

(posted 15 January 2020)

Posthuman Pathogenesis: Virus, Disease, and Epidemiology in Literature, Film, and Media
A book edited by Başak Ağın & Şafak Horzum
Deadline for proposals: 18 May 2020

Since the Age of Enlightenment, which glorified reason and empirical observation as the nexus for human knowledge, and the Industrial Revolution, which brought about robust technological changes, science and scientific thinking have been increasingly placed above everything else. But from a humanities perspective, fiction has always moved one step ahead of science, dreaming of the impossible first. Science-fiction and speculative fiction, in both utopian and dystopian forms, are concrete examples of this. From Mary Shelley to Jules Verne, George Orwell, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Margaret Atwood, many authors explored what the future holds for the world in their narratives of the ‘back-then’ unimaginable. Following a similar path to the literary examples, film industry and new media genres such as music videos, computer and mobile games, and advertisements have come to shape our imagination and paved the way for the future technologies, at least before they came true.

Germs, bacterial and viral infections, and subsequent pandemics are no exception to the meeting point of science, technology, and fiction. They are, to adopt and evolve Donna Haraway’s metaphor of the cyborg, a blend of myth and social reality. Bending the boundaries between life and death, they are the powerholders in Achilles Mbembe’s “necropolitics,” calling to mind Jacques Derrida’s words in his exploration of the animal question: “The dead-alive viruses, undecidably between life and death, between animal and vegetal, that come back from everywhere to haunt and obsess my writing” (“The Animal that Therefore I am” 406). Be they viral or otherwise, contagious diseases, therefore, constitute a problematic area of literary- and cultural-studies scholarships because they pose unpredictable challenges. Pandemics in our known medical literature, the most notorious of which include Black Death, Cholera Attack, and Spanish Flu, have often created havocs: They led to medical, social, and psychological discussions during and after their charge, yielding both negative and positive results, such as stigmatization, ostracization, delirium as well as fraternities and social bonding over the concerns of disease. One cannot help remembering, for instance, the violating impact of HIV on the homosexual communities in the 1980s and how this later gave birth to support groups. In other words, disease has always been a meddler of systems, triggering a drive to survival, and chaotic, liberating, and captivating impulses.

Literature of disease, especially science-fiction or speculative fiction – in both written and visual forms, has long focused on such viral interpolations in socio-political and environmental systems, creating both conspiracy scenarios and alternative realities whose truthfulness is only bound to the historical unfolding of the real-life examples. In the face of the current COVID-19 outbreak, we are – again – all full of doubts and questions. The answers are hidden only in time and patience. The seemingly simple symptoms of the disease at its onset, which, in certain cases, are currently reported to be non-existent, make it difficult to detect and prevent dissemination, forcing countries to take strict measures on many levels and damaging various areas of life, such as education, business, tourism, and aviation. As the spread of the zoonotic SARS-CoV2 has affected the entire planet with inconceivable numbers of infected cases and deaths all around the world, many of us, unfortunately, cannot help but wonder whether this is the “season finale” for humankind. How these anxieties over existence will shape the future politics, business, education, healthcare, science, and technology remains a mystery. Even if the global community succeeds in overcoming this macro-scale biothreat, its potential consequences on human psychology, world economies, and international politics are still unknown and incalculable at present.

Despite the bleak picture at hand, the current situation has once again proven the fact that the world, with all its beings and things, is an entangled mesh. True, the lack of unionized protocols brings about different measures in different geographical settings. And separatory attempts of administrations are required to slow down the pandemic. But one must notice that all the posthuman bodies of this planet are unified and act, ‘only by sitting at home,’ as a whole. ‘The COVID-19 going viral’ has made our lives even more digitalized, set us apart in social distancing, and yet brought us together for one goal: survival. It has made us understand one more time that, in Karen Barad’s words, every living being and inorganic thing on this planet is “a part of that nature that we seek to understand” (Meeting the Universe Halfway 26; italics in the original). This is a posthuman world and from viruses to non-organic bodies, from geological agents to complex organisms, we are one. Therefore, with the hope of being able to imagine a better future for our world, we call out to scholars from environmental humanities, posthumanities, digital humanities, medical humanities as well as those who work in the fields of literary and cultural studies, biotechnologies, and medical sciences. This edited volume invites you to send interdisciplinary proposals on how literature, film, and/or media has so far dealt with the issue of contagious diseases, with a focus on one or more of the following issues:

Theoretical and Contextual Discussions apropos Literature and Media

  • Historicity of Contagious Diseases
  • Contagious Diseases and Digital Education
  • Posthuman Ecologies of Contagious Diseases
  • Bioethics in Contagious Diseases
  • Contagious Diseases in Environmental Humanities
  • Social, Environmental, Political, Cultural, Economic Impacts of Contagious Diseases
  • Social Media and Contagious Diseases
  • Psychology during and after Contagious Diseases
  • Contagious Diseases in Medical Humanities
  • Contagious Diseases and Techno-Science
  • Contagious Diseases and Disabilities
  • Contagious Diseases and Ecophobia
  • Contagious Diseases and Materiality
  • Contagious Diseases and Monstrosity
  • Contagious Diseases and Animality
  • Contagious Diseases and Thingness
  • Contagious Diseases and Food
  • Contagious Diseases and Humor
  • Posthuman Isolation and Life/Death
  • Contagious Diseases and Posthuman Art

Contagious Diseases in Literature and Media (from the Antiquity to the Contemporary)

  • Posthumanist Approaches to Contagious Diseases in Literature
  • Posthumanist Approaches to Contagious Diseases in Film
  • Posthumanist Approaches to Contagious Diseases in Media
  • Contagious Diseases in Games, Advertisements, Music Videos, and Memes
  • Pandemics and Epidemics in Literature, Film and Media
  • Viral Illnesses in Literature, Film and Media
  • Bacterial Illnesses in Literature, Film and Media
  • Causal Inference in Literature, Film and Media
  • Epidemiology in Literature, Film and Media
  • Molecular Pathological Epidemiology in Literature, Film and Media
  • Molecular Pathology in Literature, Film and Media
  • Pathology in Literature, Film and Media
  • Pathophysiology in Literature, Film and Media
  • Salutogenesis in Literature, Film and Media
  • Blood Pathology in Literature, Film and Media

Please submit your proposals of maximum 500 words and a one-page biography to and until May 18, 2020. Full papers of accepted abstracts (6000-8000 words, including bibliography and footnotes) will be expected by October 5, 2020. We are planning to contact prominent publishing houses and are open to your suggestions.

(posted 30 March 2020)

Wall/walls: Shapes and representations of the wall in languages, literatures and visual arts
25th issue of Altre Modernità/Otras modernidades/Autres modernités/Other modernities
Deadline for abstracts: 20 May 2020

Edited by Alessandra Goggio, Peggy Katelhön and Moira Paleari
Journal website:

Keywords: Berlin Wall; border; narrative; identity; literature; linguistics; visual arts.

Thirty years after the German reunification, looking back at the construction and the fall of the Berlin Wall – two watershed events that completely changed the course of History, not only of Germany but of Europe itself – does not simply mean questioning the circumstances and the consequences of crucial occurrences at a social, geopolitical and economic level. Indeed, it also implies considering the developments of the new millennium, also about the reasons why other walls have appeared – from the Barrera between Mexico and the United States, to the boundary of the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, from the barriers erected for fear of the migrants to those that still separate peoples and cultures or that are built every day in relation to “diversities”.
Besides this historical-philosophical reflection, it is crucial to investigate the strategies and modalities of representation of the wall over the years, whether it is seen as a historical one, or, metaphorically, whether it is meant as a barrier/limit in an artistic, cultural and linguistic sense.
It is also necessary to rethink the functions of the wall in the course of History, not only as an element of division, but also as a space available for the creative act (suffice it to think of the tradition of the frescoes, of the modern urban graffiti or also the walls of prisons, which are often the only available surface of expression) or as a (transitable) border that triggers (or prevents) the development of strategies aimed at the circulation of ideas and of cultural products, for example, through translation practices.
Within these interpretive horizons, we should ask ourselves a few questions: is there a collective and recurrent imaginary of the wall? Is it possible to trace back modalities of narrative representation of the wall with respect to specific ages, generational tendencies and genres, or to perceive interactions between verbality and visuality? Is it possible to identify mappings and linguistic landscapes born around the concept of the wall? What were the functions performed by the Wall/the walls in History and what are they now? Are there any constant features? And what are the strategies adopted to overcome the wall meant not only as a physical barrier, but also as an ideal/linguistic/cultural one?

Potential topics to be addressed are:

  • – the Berlin Wall in literature and other arts (figurative arts, cinema, comics, digital productions)
  • – reflections about other walls, present and past, and their literary or linguistic representation
  • – the wall as a limit/boundary/obstacle
  • – wall/walls as a stimulus for a creative act
  • – strategies to overcome physical and ideal walls
  • – wall/walls in memory, in testimonies, in documents or as a monument
  • – linguistic constructions of identity beyond the wall
  • – the metaphor of the wall in texts and corpora
  • – boundaries and linguistic barriers in discourse analysis
  • – communication beyond ‘walls’ (questions of gender, of simplification on the basis of users, social media, etc.)

The list of topics abovementioned is not meant to be exhaustive and the Scientific Committee will consider other proposals submitted by scholars who intend to collaborate in the issue of the journal, with a view to expand the investigation of the area with articulate and original research.

If you wish to contribute to Other Modernities issue 25, you are kindly required to submit an abstract (max 200 words) alongside a short CV, by the 20th May 2020.

The complete contribution will have to be submitted by 20th September 2020.
Other Modernities accepts contributions in Italian, Spanish, French and English.
The issue will be published by the end of May 2021.

We also welcome book reviews and interviews to authors and scholars who investigate the aforementioned topics.
Moreover, Other Modernities will also consider publishing non-thematic essays in the indexed section “Off the Record”, following the conditions and deadlines indicated for thematic essays in this Call for Papers.

Contributors should feel free to contact the editors to discuss and clarify the objectives of their proposals, with a view to making the issue as homogeneous as possible also from a methodological point of view. The editors can be contacted via the Editorial Board (

(posted 27 Api 2020)

The Female Detective on TV
A special issue of MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture
Deadline for proposals: 30 May 2020

For decades now, the female detective has occupied space within a genre that has been all-too-often reserved for the celebratory storylines of self-sacrificial men. She has served to break down sexist barriers placed before women within professional and personal frameworks, acting as an on-screen surrogate and inspiration for (female) spectators. The popularity of female-led TV crime drama across the world points to her success in captivating widespread audience attention.

The topic of women in TV crime drama has inspired a range of significant feminist scholarship (see for example, Pinedo 2019; Coulthard, Horeck, Klinger, McHugh 2018; Greer 2017; Buonanno 2017; Moorti and Cuklanz 2017; Steenberg 2017, 2012; Jermyn 2017; Weissman (2016; 2010; 2007); McCabe 2015; Turnbull 2014; Brunsdon 2013; D’Acci 1994). This work has examined female-led TV crime drama from a variety of angles, including transnational cultural exchanges and currencies, serial form and narrative, gender, class, sexual and racial politics, and postfeminist identities and logics.

Certain series such as The Killing (Denmark 2007-2012, US 2011-2014), The Bridge (Sweden 2011-2018, US 2013-2014), The Fall (UK 2013-2016), and Top of the Lake (NZ/Australia 2013/2017)have been singled out for how their female protagonists (Sarah Lund/Sarah Linden; Saga Noren; Stella Gibson, and Robin Griffin) resonate with viewers across transnational borders. Meanwhile, on primetime episodic US TV crime drama, Mariska Hargitay’s 21-year stint as Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (US 1999-present) – the longest running live-action TV series in American history – has turned her into a ‘touchstone figure’ (Moorti and Cuklanz 2017). Hargitay’s real-life activism, and her dedication to fighting sexual violence against women, has attained important cultural recognition, as Law & Order: SVU itself has received renewed critical consideration in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Notably, though, the female detectives mentioned in the above paragraph are overwhelmingly white. What shifts occur in the genre when a non-white female actor helms the main role as detective? What new possibilities, for example, are opened up by the emergence of black  female legal investigators and detectives on network series such as ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder (US 2014-2019) and online TV series such as Netflix’s Seven Seconds (US 2018)? And to what extent is TV crime drama able to meaningfully engage with issues of intersectionality and the precariousness of social justice in twenty-first century society?

This special issue seeks to build on the existing body of feminist writing on women in TV crime drama, through a further investigation of  the figure of the female detective at this critical juncture for feminist television studies.  What new feminist visions of the female detective have emerged with changes in industrial practices and the growth of online streaming and niche television? How does the female detective of streaming TV compare to the images of the female detective found in the middlebrow crime dramas of linear TV? In an era of networked media in which popular feminism and popular misogyny (Banet-Weiser 2018) are more intertwined than ever before, what notions of empowerment are articulated through the figure of the female detective? To what extent does the female detective enable an exploration of central issues regarding female subjectivity and political resistance against systemic forms of violence?

We hope to open further debate on the subject of the female detective in all her guises. Staying true to MAI spirit, we are seeking papers written from intersectional and multivalent feminist perspectives. We hope this issue not only examines the figures and representations of  women crime investigators on the screen, but also situates their work in related social, cultural and political contexts.

Our definition of the female detective is broad and inclusive. She can, but doesn’t have to be a private eye or a police professional, just as long as she pursues social justice or truth.

While analyses of current and recent examples seem to be an obvious priority as far as contribution to the field knowledge of visual culture analysis, we also welcome papers on female detectives from the past.

In particular, we would like to encourage authors to consider submitting articles on the following titles:

  • Seven Seconds
  • How to Get Away with Murder
  • Marcella
  • Spiral
  • Unbelievable 
  • Killing Eve
  • Safe 
  • Top of the Lake 
  • The Fall
  • The Bridge 
  • Veronica Mars
  • Southland
  • Fargo
  • Prime Suspect 
  • La Mante 
  • Castle
  • The Killing 
  • Broadchurch
  • Lucifer
  • Elementary 
  • The Wire
  • The Closer 
  • Happy Valley 
  • Jessica Jones
  •  Absentia
  • Tatort 
  • The Bletchley Circle
  • Collateral
  • Suspects
  • Witnesses
  • Loch Ness
  • Cagney and Lacey

We recognise that there are many more titles of interests, and the list could run quite long. If you wish to propose a paper on any other TV title, please get in touch with the editors to discuss your suggestion:

We plan to publish this issue in the first half of 2021.

The editorial team includes: Tanya Horeck (Anglia Ruskin University, UK), Jessica Ford (University of Newcastle, Australia), Anna Backman Rogers (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Anna Misiak (Falmouth University, UK)

300-word Abstracts due: 30 May 2020

4000-6000-word Full Papers due: 1 December 2020

Please consult the MAI submission guidelines before submitting:

Please send your abstracts and forward responses to this call to

(posted 7 April 2020)

Technologies of Feminist Speculative Fiction
A collection to be edited by Sherryl Vint and Sümeyra Buran
Deadline for proposals: 30 May 2020

We are seeking additional chapters for a collection entitled Technologies of Feminist Speculative Fiction to provide for more well-rounded coverage of the topic.
This collection is focused on the range of new speculative texts by women and about issues such as gender identity, reproductive control, and biopolitical governance that have appeared in the past 5-10 years. In particular we are interested in papers that analyze novels that engage with questions of how technology today can create new resources for female emancipation and feminist critique and those that, conversely, theorize the intersections between technology and new forms of social control over women’s bodies and the process of reproduction.
We are particularly interested in papers that address these topics through frameworks of antiracism and decolonialism, queer and trans theory, and ableist critique. Possible novels to consider include—but of course are not limited to—Meg Ellison’s Road to Nowhere series, Naomi Alderman’s The Power, Bina Shah’s Before She Sleeps, Maggie Shen King’s An Excess Male, Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks and Annalee Newitz’s The Future of Another Timeline. We also welcome submissions on non-print media.
Please send paper proposals of 500 words to Sümeyra Buran ( by May 30, 2020.

(posted 11 May 2020)

The short fiction of A. S. Byatt
A special issue of Journal of the Short Story in English/ JSSE 78 (Spring 2022)
Deadline for abstract submissions: 1 June 2020

Although mostly renowned for her lengthy realist novels, A. S. Byatt has had a sustained practice of short fiction writing which materialized into five collections of short stories and two novellas published as Angels and Insects. In addition, she regularly publishes short stories in the press: among her most recent ones, “Sea Story” was published in the Guardian on 15 March 2013. She has frequently been solicited to appear on the judging panels of short story prizes like the Sunday Times short story award or the BBC national short story award. However, apart from Celia M. Wallhead’s 2007 A. S. Byatt: Essays on the Short Fiction, Byatt’s short stories have not been studied per se. Thus a special issue devoted entirely to her work with the short form was called for.

In a conversation with Cees Noteboom from 2011, Byatt said that “writing a short story is closer to writing a poem than to writing a novel” because “if you get a word or a sentence wrong in a short story, you somehow destroy the whole fabric”. Finding the right word is consistent with Byatt’s overall preoccupation with precision, especially in her descriptive art, while the notion of the text as a fabric relates to her conception of writing as weaving, as exemplified in the story “Arachne”. In the same conversation, she has said that she hated the word “epiphany” which points to the modernist legacy in the apprehension of the short form as a psychological sketch. Instead Byatt likes to multiply twists and pursue various lines of ideas in one and the same story. Even when they revisit the (fairy) tale, her stories often convey a sense of the ordinary as transformed by craft. This is the case in such stories as “Art Work” (The Matisse Stories), “Raw Material”, or “Body Art” (Little Black Book of Stories). Stories also give her the opportunity to engage with her favourite ekphrastic and taxonomic activities. Narrating how art transforms the everyday, Byatt furthermore indulges in fantastic writing, something the realist novel does not allow, except when embedding short forms within its frame. In the short stories, her exploration turns ontological when she depicts outlandish female beings like a “Stone Woman”, a Lamia, a Fetch, a jinx … Is there a Byattan short story? How much are her stories motivated by narrative drive and representative of what she herself has termed “self-conscious realism”? These are some of the general questions that this special issue aims to explore.

Contributors are invited to deliberate the critical and poetic engagement of Byatt with short fiction. The focus can be on specific stories, a single collection or on her whole work. Suggestions below are not restrictive:

  • Taxonomy and description
  •  Intertextuality and intermediality
  • New female ontologies
  • The everyday
  • The sensory and corporeality
  • Appropriation of the short story form
  • (True or metaphorical) metamorphosis

Proposals of 400 to 500 words should be sent by 1 June 2020 along with a bibliography, and a short bio-bibliography. Completed articles will be due by 30 January 2021.

Please send all queries and proposals to the guest editors:

(posted 2 August 2019)

Humor, creativity and lexical creation
e-journal Lexis, Journal in English Lexicology, 2021
Deadline for proposals: 15 Jun 2020

The e-journal Lexis, Journal in English Lexicology, is planning to publish its 17th issue devoted to “Humor, creativity and lexical creation” in 2021. Co-editors: Lucile Bordet (University of Lyon (Jean Moulin Lyon 3) & Frédérique Brisset (University of Lille) will be happy to receive your abstracts up to 15 June 2020 at the following address:
Please clearly indicate the title of the paper and include an abstract of no more than 5,000 characters as well as a list of relevant keywords and references. All abstract and paper submissions will be anonymously peer-reviewed (double-blind peer reviewing) by an international scientific committee composed of specialists in their fields.
Papers will be written preferably in English or occasionally in French. Analyses may rely on various domains of linguistics, such as semantics, phonology, lexicography, morphology, stylistics, etc. Comparative studies involving translation are welcome too. All theoretical frameworks are welcome.

You will find the complete CFP and submissions process details on the Journal website :

(posted 23 May 2020)

Podcasting’s Listening Publics
To be publishd in Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies
Deadline for abstract submission: 30 June 2020

Co-editors: Dario Llinares (Brighton), Alyn Euritt (Leipzig), Anne Korfmacher (Köln)

“Listening is essential to the engagement with most of our media, albeit that the act of listening which is embedded in the word ‘audience’ is rarely acknowledged. It is a no less curious absence in theories of the public sphere, where the objective of political agency is often characterized as being to find a voice – which surely implies finding a public that will listen, and that has a will to listen” (Lacey viii).

As podcasting moves through its adolescence, a period of flux in which reformations of the technological and industrial organisation are having fundamental effects on the next phase of its evolution, the ways in which it encourages listening and reception practices are also undergoing fundamental development. The nature of this development depends on the communities, listening publics, and audiences the podcasts serve and/or participate in. As Spinelli and Dann have noted about podcasting, it always implies a relationship between creators and listeners but “while individual listening might be the moment in which a podcast ‘happens’ in some sense, it is possible, and indeed necessary, to consider larger formations of podcast audiences” (13). For Spinelli and Dann, podcast audiences are “much more ‘knowable’ than the radio audience, and the interaction (particularly in fandom) [is] more intense” (13-14). Who are these developing and changing “knowable” podcast audiences and how do they interact with podcasting? What do they listen to, how do they listen and why? Are audiences really knowable in the way Dann and Spinelli suggest and what might this tell us about audio communication practices in the digital age?

In order to understand the complexity, diversity and listening engagements of podcasting’s audiences, this themed section aims to expand the interdisciplinary range of contemporary podcasting studies by including work in literary studies, fan studies, gender studies and disability studies, as well as submissions that critically engage with race. We also explicitly encourage research on podcasts outside the US and Britain.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Podcast reception and connectivity in times of crisis
  • How podcast listeners find new content, including the development of taste cultures, content aggregation networks, and platform-specific algorithmic recommendations
  • Podcast participation and “prosumer” medial engagement (cf. Alvin Toffler, The Third Wave)
  • The development of genres, forms, and narrative practices within podcasting that encourage specific types of listening practices and audiences
  • Podcast fans and fan podcasts, podcasting and fandom audiences
  • Podcasts within niche culture, podcasting and marginalisation
  • Podcasts and community-building practices
  • Communal vs. private, on-demand listening
  • The rise of right-wing politics podcasts and their listenership
  • The role of voice (both politically and aesthetically) in podcasting reception
  • How podcasters imagine their listenership and cater their content to specific listening publics
  • Marketing discourses of attention and engagement
  • Cultural values associated with (podcast) listening

Please submit a 300-word abstract and short author bio in an email with the subject “Participations Themed Section Podcasting Publics_Euritt, Korfmacher, Llinares” to For more information about Participations as well as submission guidelines, visit their website at Unfortunately, we are not in a position to provide extensive copy editing services. If you are in need of such services, please arrange for them before submission of your draft.


  • Abstracts Due: June 30th, 2020
  • Decisions to Authors: July 10th, 2020
  • Full Submissions: Novembe 13th, 2020 (new extended deadline)

(posted 6 April 2020, updated 22 June 2020)

Language, discourse and gender identity
Summer 2020 issue of the ESSE Messenger
New extended deadline: 30 June 2020

Guest editors:

  • Dr. Isil Bas, Istanbul Kultur University, Turkey
  • Dr. Maria Socorro Suárez Lafuente, University of Oviedo, Spain

On account of the current situation, the editors of the Summer 2020 issue of The ESSE Messenger have jointly decided to extend the deadline of the issue.

Identities are constituted and reconstituted by language, which gives the illusion that linguistic organization reflects a definitive sense of belonging in a neatly structured world. Since mid-twentieth century, however, language has increasingly started to be suspected, as its neutrality has constantly been under attack by theoreticians who see it as reflecting and strengthening hierarchical social orders that oppress certain groups and individuals that fall outside the established norms. Gender scholars, especially, now approach language as a “discourse” that either fits or subverts the aims of patriarchy. They claim that gender discourse has been barely unalterable for centuries, when subversion was fairly easy to silence and invisibilize. But in the last half century gender discourse acquired a name and a presence and marked the way for minorized groups to form and voice their different identities and in Bronwyn Davies’s words “multiple ways of being.” (1990:502)
The upcoming Messenger issue will concentrate on both the role of language in creating gendered identities and alternative “discourses” that envisage the existence and possibility of plural and variable existences and worlds that challenge traditional sexed and gendered polarities.
To that end we seek articles that address:

  • Language as marker of gender identities
  • Language as reflection of cultural patterns of dominance and subordination
  • Use of language to construct dominant gender ideologies through history.
  • Use of language to suppress the gender discourses through history.
  • Gender-Appropriate Language
  • Positioning in Gender communication
  • Analysis of gender discourse to express personal identities.
  • Possibility of linguistic “sex change”


(posted 14 May 2020)

Discourses of and about Conspiracy Theories
An edited volume
Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2020

Ed. by Ruth Breeze, Massimiliano Demata, Virginia Zorzi and Angela Zottola

Conspiracy theories (CTs) seem to be having a growing influence on public opinion in many countries.  A CT is “an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who attempt to conceal their role” (Sunstein & Vermeule 2009). In other words, conspiracy theorists lay out a distorted representation of the world in which we are constantly being exploited and oppressed for the benefit of powerful groups. CTs are fed by misinformation and fake news and find a very favourable terrain in the Internet and especially in social media, where Facebook and Twitter have had a major role in spreading CTs and misinformation.  While CTs are not new, the current age of “post-truth” or “the death of truth” has given new impetus to a set of increasingly powerful and popular counter-discourses opposing the hegemonic mass media, political institutions, the “elites” and official science.

CTs construct a counter-reality and a set of alternative explanations of complex problems, ranging from health issues (e.g. 5G, anti-vaxxers), weather control and climate (chemtrails, climate change deniers), economy and the state infrastructure (the New World Order, the “deep state”). Those who believe in CTs oppose the validity of mainstream science, the discourse of “official” media and state institutions, and employ discursive strategies based on highly emotional language and the construction of conflictual social identities.

CTs are also used as political tools, and are routinely used by some political parties as part of their agenda based on finding scapegoats for social or economic problems (Richardson 2013; Ter Wal 2017; Wodak 2020).  Populist parties and leaders use CTs as a means to mobilize people against the elite or an outside enemy and explain the elite’s oppression of the people (Bergmann 2018; Bergmann and Butter 2020).  The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has witnessed the rise of numerous CTs which supported accounts and explanations about the pandemic outside (and against) official science and mass media, even though most of them lack any hard evidence and often consist in totally exaggerated or implausible claims, which have been used with political motivations, for example to attack China.

Discourses of and about Conspiracy Theories aims to fill an important gap in the literature: CTs have attracted considerable attention from political scientists (e.g. Uscinski 2019), but there has been little extensive research done on the actual discourses and language of CTs, or those opposing them, by using the approaches developed by Discourse Analysis or Critical Discourse Analysis.  We are looking for chapters focusing on the discourse of the currently most popular CTs (including those about the COVID-19 pandemic)  as elaborated by three groups of social actors:

  1. the “manufacturers” of CTs
  2. the “supporters” of CTs
  3. the “opponents” of CTs

The focus of single chapters may be national, transnational or comparative.  Issues may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Discursive strategies of Self-Legitimization and Delegitimization (i.e. CTs attacking official media, institutions or science, or viceversa)
  • Online discourses
  • Emotions and violence in language
  • Argumentation
  • Humour in or against CTs
  • Multimodal strategies in discourses of and against CTs

Abstracts for chapters (200 words plus references) should be received by 30 June 2020. An international publisher has expressed strong interest in this volume, and we will submit the full proposal to them after selection of abstracts. Confirmation of acceptance will be by 15 July 2020, and chapters will be due by 31 December 2020.  We plan to have the book published by early 2022.

Please send abstracts to:


Bergmann, Eirikur (2018) Conspiracy and Populism. The Politics of Misinformation. London: Palgrav
Bergmann and Butter (2020) “Conspiracy Theory and Populism”, in M. Butter, P. Knight (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories. London: Routledge.
Jessika ter Wal (2017) “Anti-Foreigner Campaigns in the Austrian Freedom Party and Italian Northern League: The Discursive Construction of Identity * in R. Wodak and A. Pelinka, The Haider Phenomenon. London: Routledge, pp. 213-230.
Richardson, J. (2013) “Ploughing the same Furrow? Continuity and Change on Britain’s Extreme-Right Fringe.” In R. Wodak, M. KhosraviNik, B. Mral, B. (eds.) Right-Wing Populism in Europe. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 105-119.
Sunstein, Cass R., & Vermeule, Adrian (2009). Conspiracy theories: Causes and cures. Journal of Political Philosophy 17, 202–227.
Uscinski, J. E., ed. (2019) Conspiracy Theories & the People Who Believe Them. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wodak, R. (2020) “Ruth Wodak on How to Become a Far-Right Populist”, Social Science Space, March 2, 2020.

(posted 2 June 2020)