A special issue of The Dalhousie Review
Dedline for submissions: 1 April 2021
The Dalhousie Review is currently soliciting submissions of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction that explore the complexities of historical and contemporary European identities and that present European life in ways that may be unfamiliar to contemporary readers:
- POETRY: Poetry submissions may consist of up to five poems and in any style.
- FICTION: Fiction submissions may be up to 8,000 words in length, and no submission may consist of more than one story.
- NON-FICTION: Non-fiction submissions may be up to 4,000 words in length, and no submission may consist of more than one essay.
Submissions are invited from both established and emerging writers, although we are particularly interested in publishing work by emerging writers who have begun to establish themselves in Europe but are not necessarily well-known in Canada. While we welcome submissions from countries in western Europe (France, Germany, Italy, etc.), we are also interested in publishing work from smaller countries in central and eastern Europe (including Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, etc.) as well as work from Europe’s western edge (such as Iceland and the Faroe Islands).
All submissions should be saved in a single file (.doc or .pdf format) and sent to email@example.com by no later than April 1, 2021. The file should include a cover letter that contains your contact information (name, mailing address, and email address) and a short biographical note. All submissions should be previously unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are strongly discouraged. For more information, please contact guest editor Jerry White (J.White@USask.Ca) or visit our website.
Please note that The Dalhousie Review is an English-language journal, so works in other languages will need to be published in translation. However, we are committed to publishing poetry in its original language (in facing translation), and we welcome inquiries from translators as well as writers.
(posted 2 October 2020)
After Nineteen Eighty-Four: British Dystopias, from 1984 to the present day
A special issue of Sillages Critiques
Deadline for proposals: 1 April 2021
Sillages critiques is an open access peer-reviewed journal devoted to the arts and literatures of anglophone cultures. It is the e-journal of the VALE : Voix Anglophones, Littérature et Esthétique research centre based at Sorbonne University. The journal is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography, Worldcat Directories and DOAJ.
1984 is the date in the future when the action in Orwell’s premonitory novel was supposed to take place. When people in the real world of 1984 came to realise that history had caught up with that originally fictional date, worried interrogations started to emerge as to whether Orwell’s fiction had actually come true. Whether we now lived in the dystopian world that the novel had foreseen, i.e. in the world of Big Brother – a world of omnipresent surveillance screens, greedily confiscated power structures, constant linguistic revisionary tactics, and ruthlessly utilitarian biopolitics. Orwell’s striking modernity was apparent to everyone, ordinary citizens and journalists, sophisticated literary critics and astute political thinkers, and of course shrewd artists of all sorts, including film directors and novelists. We did indeed live in ‘Dismaland’, as Banksy’s 2015 anti-amusement art installation (featuring fifty other dystopian artists) would much later make clear.
It was evident that the dystopian streak tapped by a discouraged, dying novelist in the dreary post-WWII period had not been exhausted. Far from it. As a matter of fact, the genre seems to have been continuously gaining momentum, and it will come as no surprise to anyone that today’s younger generations enjoy watching series or reading novels that deal with dystopic political or post-apocalyptic situations. Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots (2009), Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror (2011-), Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From (2017), or Sophie Mackintosh’s The Water Cure (2019), constitute the most obvious body of recent evidence of a revival. Not to mention the thriving dystopian cinema industry, from Michael Radford’s 1984 (1984) and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002), Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men (2006), or Yórgos Lánthimos’s The Lobster (2015). Nor did well-established novelists hesitate to test their skills in the genre, including such widely diverse British writers as P.D. James (The Children of Men, 1992) Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go, 2005), Will Self (The Book of Dave, 2006), or Jeanette Winterson (The Stone Gods, 2007).
What are the contemporary forms of dystopia in Britain? Have topics changed? Perspectives been modified? Is there such a thing as a British posterity of Orwell?
Sillages Critiques is calling for papers in English on contemporary British dystopias, from 1984 to the present day. We are aiming to publish a special issue dealing mainly with contemporary British literature, but articles on British painters, series or films will also be most welcome. The expected date of publication is September 2022 at the latest.
250-500 words proposals accompanied by a short presentation of the authors (mentioning notably their status and affiliation) should be sent to the prospective editors before April 1st, 2021. Authors will then be informed of the results of their submission before the end of the month.
The final texts will be expected to be of approximately 5000 words, to be handed in no later than September 30th, 2021 to the prospective editors:
- Cecile Beaufils: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jagna Oltarzewska: email@example.com
- Frédéric Regard: Frederic.Regard@sorbonne-universite.fr
- Claire Wrobel: firstname.lastname@example.org
(posted 15 January 2021)
The (B)end of (Hi)story: beyond postmodern narrative
A special issue of Poli-femo
Deadline for proposals: 15 April 2021
Between the fifties and the eighties, postmodernism took shape as the intellectual and creative interface of late capitalism, supported by a «cultural logic» imbibed with «senses of the end of this or that»: «the end of ideology, art or social class», the end of the novel, the end of criticism etc. This is what Fredric Jameson stated categorically in Postmodernism, Or The Cultural Logic Of Late Capitalism (1984), crystallizing once and for all a «legitimizing narrative» based on a «philosophy of history» (Jean-François Lyotard) aware of its statute not only of posterity, but also posthumous with respect to modernism. Shortly after, the fall of the Berlin Wall led to proclamations of the «end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of western liberal democracy as the final form of human government» (Francis Fukuyama, The End of History?, 1989). What is certain is that, while the novel and “mimetic” forms of literature and other languages not only have never ceased to prosper, but have actually become global, it was the postmodern episteme itself that rapidly turned towards its end, progressively being reabsorbed into a vaster episteme (John Arquilla, The (B)end of History, 2011), in which the before and the after of the end of history have started to communicate with one another again using a new, creole language, whose vocabulary was waiting to finally be compiled and systematized. «Post-postmodernism needs its own label», Linda Hutcheon claims resolutely in The Politics of Postmodernism (1995). The literary and audio-visual narratives emerging from this new episteme has been swinging like a pendulum for over thirty years between the anti-referential and self-reflexive fluidity that deconstructs regimes, identities and cultures, depriving them of the traditional narrative patterns of realism, and the attempt to reposition that fluidity within new narrative patterns, arising from the mediation between the disenchanting derealization of postmodern and the enchanted realism of modern. This momentous attempt at mediating made by contemporary narratives, which some have suggested calling metamodernism (cf. Metamodernism. Historicity, Affect and Depth after Postmodernism, ed. by R. van den Akker, A. Gibbons, T. Vermeulen, and F. Vittorini, Raccontare oggi. Metamodernismo tra narratologia, ermeneutica e intermedialità, both published in 2017), and others surmodernité, trans-postmodernism, hypermodernism, post-millennialism, remodernism, digimodernism, auto-modernity, altermodernism, cosmodernism etc., marks a historic threshold which has still only partially been explored.
Poli-Femo therefore urges researchers in various disciplines related to the field of narrative, seen from a radically comparative and intermedial point of view, to present contributions:
- that represent the broadest range possible of current thinking on the transition of the global narrative beyond postmodernism;
- that contribute to defining the characteristic traits of metamodernism, with a focus on the restoration of modern mimetic devices;
- that analyze concrete examples of narratives that can be placed beyond postmodernism;
- that propose comparisons between metamodern narratives belonging to different media and languages.
Other proposals for study on the subject put forward by those intending to collaborate in the publication will be thoroughly examined by the Scientific Committee, in order to widen the field of exploration undertaken in this issue of the Magazine. Contributions will be accepted in Italian, English and French.
To this end, the Editorial Board propose the following deadlines, with an essential preliminary step being the sending of an abstract (min. 10/max. 20 lines) and a short curriculum vitae of the proposer, by the absolute deadline of 15th April 2021 to email@example.com.
Authors will receive confirmation from the Editorial Board of acceptance of their contributions by 30th April 2021. Contributions shall be delivered on 1st September 2021. All contributions will be subject to a double blind peer review.
The issue, edited by Prof. Fabio Vittorini and Dr. Andrea Chiurato, will be published in December 2021.
(posted 18 December 2020)
Ecofictions for an Endangered World: The Legitimacy of Hope
A special section of HJEAS proposed for Spring 2022
Deadline fo proposals: 15 April 2021
Over the last few years, discourses on eco-social crises in the wake of the sixth mass extinction, on the extensive human appropriation of the ecosphere leading to ocean acidification, soil contamination and deadly zoonotic spillovers—such as the current Covid-19 pandemic—have duly been couched in dire terms of systemic collapse. Cultural images of the demise of modernity (be that second or third modernity, based on fossil fuel growth economies) abound, yet obsession with growth is invariably and universally hailed alike by capitalists, socialists or fascists (Daly 8). Sustainability professionals apprehend near-term, climate-induced social collapse, so Jem Bendell provides us a map of deep adaptation “to navigate this extremely difficult issue.” Historians (such as the contributors to The Ends of the Earth) address the intertwined destiny of humans and the environment within a contracting world, in which the earth has been turned into a factory, even a toy we could quickly blow up (Worster 17, 20). The environmental crisis signifies the concatenation of several other crises, those of society, culture, and the individual (Eckersley 7-32). In the aggregate, we seem to have every reason to plunge into gloom and despair.
Yet, at the same time, we live in an age of inevitable hope even if it evolves from crisis and loss. Indeed, the legitimacy of hope is exactly what the editors of the prospective special section of the Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies (HJEAS) seek to address here. In accordance with this goal, we invite ecocritical contributions to the special section which elaborate on the theme of Ecofictions for an Endangered World. We assume with ecocritic Lawrence Buell that the “environmental crisis involves a crisis of the imagination the amelioration of which depends on finding better ways of imaging nature and humanity’s relation to it” (2); so we acknowledge the value and importance of the literary imagination. Guided by Cornelius Castoriadis, we believe that beyond the constricting nature of the symbolic and conceptual intermediaries whereby our structures of reality are established, the social imaginary also functions as the creative core of the socio-historical and psychic worlds; thus we endorse the creative potential of the social imaginary to initiate change even toward concrete utopias.
Based on all of the above, we invite essays committed to environmentally-valenced literary and cultural studies on English, Irish or American literary or filmic narratives that
- challenge the current dysfunctional global system fostered by cornucopian fantasies of unlimited expansion in the face of limited natural resources and imminent environmental collapse;
- map out socio-ecological transformation from crisis into communities of survival, indeed of wellbeing;
- “plot a path to benign degrowth” (Dobson 155);
- foreground the possibilities of collective hope by living in loss through “making oddkin” so that “we become with each other or not at all” (Haraway 4);
- explore nowtopian and utopian experiments and guerilla narratives to expand our understanding of what is possible and conceivable at this point;
- consider the role of the environment in colonial and postcolonial fictions;
- theorize hope and optimism;
- engage with Black, indigenous, feminist and queer visions/imaginations.
Contributors are encouraged to tap into and also make innovative use of the existing literature of ecocriticism, including considerations of eco-narratology (as pioneered by Ecocriticism and Narrative Theory in English Studies).
Proposals of 200 words are welcome by April 15, 2021, to which we will respond by April 30, 2021. The publication of the HJEAS issue with the special section Eco-fictions for an Endangered World: The Legitimacy of Hope is planned for Spring 2022. Should we receive a large number of substantial proposals, we might consider publishing the articles as an edited volume of the HJEAS Books series to be published by the University of Debrecen.
The journal is very open to this themed block proposal and will work with contributors during these especially difficult pandemic-dominated months.
Submit proposals: https://ojs.lib.unideb.hu/hjeas/about/submissions
HJEAS seeks to publish the best of Hungarian and international scholarship in all the fields covered by English and American Studies, including but not limited to literature, history, art, philosophy, religion, and theory. HJEAS issues are available on JSTOR, ProQuest and EBSCO, and listed each year in PMLA Annual Bibliography.
More information about HJEAS, submission guidelines, and style sheet, please consult:
Eva Federmayer, Dr. Habil.
Doctoral Program Gender in English and American Literature
School of English and American Studies
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Dorottya Mozes, Ph.D.
North American Department
Institute of English and American Studies
University of Debrecen, Hungary
Bendell, Jem. “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.” IFLAS Occasional Paper 2. July 27th, 2018. https://mahb.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/deepadaptation.pdf Accessed 05 Jan 2021.
Buell, Lawrence. The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1995.
Castoriadis, Cornelius L’Institution imaginaire de la société [The Imaginary Institution of Society], Paris: Seuil, 1975.
Daly, Herman E. Steady-State Economics. Washington: Island Press, 1991.
Dobson, Andrew. “The Politics of Post-Growth.” John Blewitt and Ray Cunningham, eds. The Post-Growth Project: How the End of Economic Growth Could Bring a Fairer and Happier Society. London: Green House Publishing, 2014.
Eckersley, Robyn. Environmentalism and Political Theory: Toward an Ecocentric Approach. Albany: State University of New York, UCL Press, 1992.
Haraway, Donna J. Staying with the Trouble. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2016.
James, Erin et al. “Ecocriticism and Narrative Theory: An Introduction.” English Studies, vol. 99, no. 4, 2018. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0013838X.2018.1465255 Accessed 20 May 2009.
Worster, Donald, ed. The Ends of the Earth. New York: Cambridge UP, 1988.
(posted 13 January 2021)
Representations of Happiness
JOURNAL OF PHILOLOGY AND INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION, Vol. 5. No. 2 / July 2021
Deadline for contributions: 30 April 2021
In times of pandemic and world-wide socio-economic crisis, we evoke Giorgio Boccacio’s Decameron and the example provided by his characters and invite contributors to conceive papers on the concept of happiness, its various representations as well as its dark counterpart, the unhappiness. We welcome submissions from different fields of expertise, including literature, visual arts, cultural studies, gender and identity studies, philosophy, religion, anthropology, psychology, linguistics, among many others and propose topics such as:
- Theoretical approaches of (un)happiness;
- Types of happiness;
- The eternal quest for happiness;
- Ways of achieving happiness;
- Collective vs individual happiness;
- Social happiness: utopia vs dystopia
- Happiness in empires and colonies;
- Mythological representations of happiness
- God / Divinity and the expression of supreme happiness
- Materialism / Consumerism / Social status and happiness;
- Mass media and the projection of happiness
- Human ages and the stages of happiness
- Family and its old / new ways of expressing happiness
- The connection between happiness, love and passion;
- Passions and addictions as forms of happiness
- Happiness and mental or physical sickness, disability
- Finding happiness in extreme conditions: wartime and pandemic
- Happiness in seclusion: extermination camps, prison, hospital, monastery
Please note that the above topics are not exclusive and all contributions on the proposed theme are warmly welcomed. Likewise, the journal section titled Miscellaneous may include papers that are not related to the present theme.
Contributions should be sent by 30th April 2021
- Adela Catana: firstname.lastname@example.org (English and Romanian)
- Andreea Preda: email@example.com (French and Romanian)GUIDELINES FOR CONTRIBUTORS:
We invite our collaborators to submit original articles that have not been published, under review or accepted elsewhere. It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure the originality, authorship, accuracy, complete references, coherent organization and legible appearance of their works.
- Languages: English, French,
- The page-limit for articles: no more than 12 pages, works cited
- The margins: left – 25 mm, right – 25 mm, top – 25 mm, bottom – 25 mm, header and footer –15
- Paper setup: A4, 1,15 space between lines, 20 mm margins, justified;
- Title of the article: Caps, Times New Roman 14 Bold, Centred, at 50 mm above the text;
- Author’s name, scientific title and academic affiliation: Times New Roman 12 Bold, under the title, at 2 lines distance;
- Abstract: Approximately 250 words in English, Times New Roman 11, italics, two lines below the author’s name, in English;
- Five Keywords under the abstract, in English (TNR 11);
- Text of the article: one line below the keywords, in English, Times New Roman, 12, justified;
- No endnotes (footnotes only): font size 10, numbering: continuous; No Page Breaks in the document; All graphic elements set in line with the text;
- Bibliography/ Works Cited: at 2 lines distance from the end of the paper; single column format, Times New Roman 12, italics, under the bibliography. Sources must be quoted according to the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers;
- Biodata: 2 lines distance from the end of the Bibliography; Times New Roman 12; justified;
- All papers will be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word
Submitted papers are subject to PEER REVIEW and will be evaluated according to their significance, originality, technical content, style, clarity, and relevance to the conference theme.
For more information, feel free to check our website https://jpic.mta.ro/
(posted 18 December 2020)
Myth and 21st cent. Environmentalism. Literary and Artistic Practices for Saving the Planet
An edited volume
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2021
Myth and the environment have shared a rich common cultural history travelling as far back as the old times of storytelling and legend (Love 2003; O’Brian and White 2017, Schama 1996). From native American oral narrative where animals, humans and other beings interact, to Genesis in the Bible or the Darwinian theory of evolution, we can trace a rich array of elements which qualify as myth in different cultures. All of them, almost constantly have effects on the environment. From animals to “supernatural events,” the liminality of myth exhibits transition and transformation.
Ecological concerns have been present in literature and the arts for a long time, but the urgency and crisis of the present moment demand us to take action now. Fiction and art practices raise awareness and become a rallying cry in support of conservationism, sustainability, and reparation in order to regain livable conditions for the whole planet. Traditional accounts of myth have enhanced our relations and understanding of the environment. The anthropological, philosophical and sociological study of myth, together with the scientific evaluation of climate change damage, deserve further study in order to grasp the interactions between “science and culture” in a continuum rather than as worlds apart.
We seek contributions that engage the urgent need to act upon the deterioration of the planet across literary and artistic practice from the second half of the 20th century up to now in the crucial dialogue among the environment, science and myth. From classical views on the wilderness, to ecological ideas, environmentalism and current activism against climate change, including but not limited to cultural ecology, ethnobiology, animal studies, ecosophy, environmental philosophy and climate fiction. From Rachel Carson’s work to Vandana Shiva, to current dystopia, post-apocalyptic fiction and ecopoetics, and engaging with the legacy of land art, performance and current interventions, with names such as those of Alice Adams, Richard Long, Christo, Mendieta, Joan Jonas, Tomás Saraceno or Pedro Reyes.
Ecocritical, new materialist, performative, green and (anti)global warming perspectives are welcome. Chapters should be between 7,000-9,000 words and reflect upon the current status of myth and the environment/environmentalism. We welcome 500-word proposals which address, but are not limited, to the following:
- Myth and conservationism, sustainability, and reparation
- Myths of rebirth, new mythologies and cosmologies and revisionist mythmaking
- Ecosophy, environmentalism, ecocriticism and myth
- Nature, science and the sacred
- New Bucolic Literature Current iconographies of environmentalism and/or environmental issues
- Environmental dystopias, climate fiction, Afrofuturism, Post-Anthropocene and Ecocene approaches
- Gender, myth and the environment
- Feminist mythmaking and the environment
- Ethnicity/race/indigeneity, myth and the environment
- Ethical readings of climate fiction and environmental literature and art
- Environmental activism and eco-citizenship in literature and the arts
- Environmental education and ecoculture and children’s literature
- Environmental aesthetics
Deadline for proposals: May 31, 2021
Please, send your proposals as Word files to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions should include author’s name, affiliation and email address, a tentative title, 5 keywords, and a 200-word cv.
Notification of acceptance: June 30, 2021
Full chapters (between 7,000 and 9,000 words) will be expected by January 31, 2022.
Selected essays will be compiled in a volume that will be published by a top international publisher.
(posted 15 December 2021)
Phraseology and Paremiology in English
Lexis – Journal in English Lexicology (2022, issue 19).
Deadline for abstracts: 15 June 2020
Editors: Ramón Martí Solano (University of Limoges, France) and Aleš Klégr (Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic).
CFP in English: https://journals.openedition.org/lexis/4553
Phraseology, and English phraseology in particular, is probably one of the most progressive areas of contemporary linguistics. Within four decades or so it has moved away from the fringes of linguistic interest to which it was long relegated due to the assumed unsystematic nature of its object of study to step into the spotlight together with corpus linguistics (Gray & Biber ). While what Granger and Paquot  called the “traditional approach to phraseology” was mostly concerned with the narrow field of fixed idioms, their collection and description, the advent of the distributional or frequency-based approach based on language corpora and intertwined with corpus linguistics has completely reconceptualized phraseology and further broadened its scope (see Burger et al. ). It has shown that speech is largely composed of prefabricated, more or less fixed multiword expressions (MWEs), variously labelled as collocations, lexical bundles, (continuous and discontinuous) n-grams, formulas, etc. Central among the goals of phraseological research are the extraction, identification and description of MWEs and the analysis of their discourse functions and exploration of phraseological register variation. Whether focusing on selected multiword units or the whole set of these expressions in a corpus, register, type of text, etc., the approaches are either corpus-based or corpus-driven. The discovery of phraseological units of one type or another in every kind of discourse is something linguistic theories have had to come to grips with. Phraseology is the bedrock of Systemic Functional Linguistics (Ding ), but it also stimulated new directions in Cognitive Linguistics (Fillmore et al. ). The recognition that idiomatic expressions are productive, not (necessarily) fixed structures which permeate ordinary language, is at the core of such cognitive theories as Usage-Based Construction Grammar. The range of contemporary phraseological studies is exemplified by the EUROPHRAS 2017 and 2019 proceedings (Mitkov ; Corpas Pastor & Mitkov ) and more recently by Corpas Pastor & Colson . In addition to methodological issues of identification and extraction, the papers explore a multitude of other aspects, typologies, patterns and networks, computational representation, cognitive modelling and processing, disambiguation, (semantic and pragmatic) interpretation, to name but a few.
A similar rensaissance has been experienced by the subfield of phraseology, paremiology. Transcending the stage of traditional non-linguistic approaches focusing especially on the collection and categorization of proverbs, paremiology has been firmly incorporated into linguistics (Norrick , ). Taking stock of the present-day situation are such works as Mieder  and especially Hrisztova-Gotthardt and Varga . In fact, paremiology as the study of proverbs as phraseological multiword units is ever more profiting from language corpora and corpus linguistics just as the rest of phraseology (see Steyer ).
The n°19 issue aims for contributions reflecting the current trends in phraseology exploration, addressingexclusively English phraseology and paremiology and leaving aside contrastive aspects and comparisons with other languages. The following broad areas of research are suggested for the papers with no restrictions upon other related topics:
- methods of phraseology extraction and identification,
- representation and modelling of phraseological units,
- interpretation, processing and disambiguation of phraseological units,
- discourse functions of phraseological units,
- phraseological units and register variation.
How to submit
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 key-words 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.
Manuscripts may be rejected, accepted subject to revision, or accepted as such. There is no limit to the number of pages.
Abstracts and articles will be sent via email to email@example.com
• November 7 2020: Call for papers
• June 15 2021: Deadline for sending in abstracts to Lexis
• July-August 2021: Evaluation Committee’s decisions notified to authors
• November 152021: Deadline for sending in papers (Guidelines for submitting articles:https://journals.openedition.org/lexis/1000)
• November and December 2021: Proofreading of papers by the Evaluation committee
• January 2022: Authors’ corrections
• February 1 2022: Deadline for sending in final versions of papers
(posted 13 November 2020)
The short fiction of Edward P. Jones
A special issue of The Journal of the Short Story in English (N°80, Spring 2023)
Deadline for proposals: 21 June 2021.
Edward P. Jones, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Known World in 2004, is also known for « his commitment to the short story, the literary genre in which he is clearly very comfortable » (Graham 2006). The Washingtonian’s two collections to date, Lost in the City (1992) and All Aunt Hagar’s Children (2006), testify to his distinctive voice and vision, and have earned him the PEN/Hemingway Award (1993) and the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction (1994) as well as the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the art of the short story (2010). Today Jones, who has taught creative writing at the Universities of Virginia and Maryland and at George Mason University (VA), teaches at George Washington University in D.C.
The reader is affected by the special resonance of Jones’s stories. They are set in D.C. in the 20th and 21st centuries and center on African American Washingtonians, most of them originally from the South. The city in which the characters live, one of neighborhoods rather than monuments and museums, and the focus on day to day experience, creates an intimacy with the text. And, as Neely Tucker has pointed out, Lost in the City and All Aunt Hagar’s Children echo one another : « There are fourteen stories in Lost, ordered from the youngest to the oldest character, and there are fourteen stories in Hagar’s, also ordered from the youngest to the oldest character. The first story in the first book is connected to the first story in the second book, and so on. To get the full history of the characters, one must read the first story in each book, then go to the second story in each, and so on » (Cited in Wood 51). Jones presents a complex world – he often « alternate[s] between back story and front story » (Graham 2008), delving into the misdeeds of the seemingly good and casting a gentler light on unsympathetic characters. He digresses or effects deictic shifts to provide unexpected information – abrupt shifts beyond the story being narrated, which, as Christopher Gonzalez notes, « broaden the storyworld in which his characters reside, so that each individual story, while tightly yoked to each of the others, also pushes against and extends the spatial and temporal boundaries set by the story cycles in their entirety (Wood 201). Moreover, Jones’s otherwise simple style, which integrates southern folk expressions, can be haunting. It was inspired, he says, by the Bible : « I was moved by the poetry but it also occurred to me that the world of those people had come through clearly and movingly even though the various writers had told the Biblical stories in an almost reportorial fashion – no overwhelming, intrusive emotional insertions » (Cited in Wood 29).
In the growing body of commentary on Jones, a special issue on his short stories should find a place of choice. Jones, who turns 70 this year, has been the subject of many interviews and articles. Among others, the JSSE published Daniel Davis Wood’s article « To See the Lives of Others Through the Eyes of God: The Affectivity of Literary Aesthetics in the Short Stories of Edward P. Jones » in 2016, and most recently, Jones’s work was discussed on p.1 of the New York Times Book Review, in A.O. Scott’s series « The Americans » (« Edward P. Jones’s Carefully Quantified Literary World », August 16th, 2020). Wood edited a collection of critical essays on Jones’s complete oeuvre, Edward P. Jones: New Essays, in 2011, and James W. Coleman published Understanding Edward P. Jones, on his life and work, in 2016. Although there has been one M.A. thesis on Jones’s short stories, Richard Kermond’s « Evil and Suffering in the Short Stories of Edward P. Jones » (2010), no other volume exclusively devoted to his short fiction has been published so far.
The aim of this issue of the Journal of the Short Story in English (N°80, Spring 2023), is to further the critical appreciation of Jones’s art by laying stress on his imaginative and transformative power. We will apply to his short stories his statement about Alice Walker’s « The Flowers » – « In the end, I say simply, a story should be about some change, large or small, in the universe of a person or people » (Cited in Wood 36) – and concentrate on instances of change. The questions of how Jones’s cycles, and individual stories, thematically and stylistically illustrate personal and historical change, as well as of Jones’s creative licence with facts, will be broached. Conversely, the issue will explore the effect of recurrences in forms, figures, and settings, and the nature of Jones’s authorial voice.
Topics contributors might discuss include, but are not limited to, the following:
- History and creation
- Renewing the Southern tradition
- Fate and its twists
- Capitalism and progress
- Work and dreams
- Authority and rebellion
- Mothers and children
- Lovers and spouses
- Peer groups, cronies, friends
- Detail and essence
- The fleeting and the lasting
- The poetry of the everyday
- The city
- The uncanny and the supernatural
- Humor and tragedy
- Goodwill and indifference
- Ineffectiveness and agency
- Hesitancy and eloquence
- Variety and repetition
Proposals of approximately 300 words should be sent by June 21, 2021 along with a short bio-bibliography. Completed articles (not to exceed 6,000 words) must follow the MLA Style Manual and include an abstract in French (not to exceed 250 words). Submissions will be peer-reviewed and are due by 31 January, 2022.
Please send all queries and proposals to the guest editor, Amélie Moisy, Université Paris Est Créteil, Créteil, France (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(posted 9 November 2020)