Books and special issues of journals – Deadlines April to June 2021

Hidden Europe
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 dalhousie.review@dal.ca 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 All submissions should be previously unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are strongly discouraged.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:

(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 redazione.polifemo@iulm.it.

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:

https://ojs.lib.unideb.hu/hjeas

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.
Assistant Professor
North American Department
Institute of English and American Studies
University of Debrecen, Hungary

Works Cited

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
to:

 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)


Delving Into Urban Myths: The Works of Charles de Lint
A critical study
Deadlines for abstracts: 30 April 2021

With over seventy titles to his name and new ones in the making, Charles de Lint is among the most prolific writers of Canadian speculative fiction and a key representative of urban fantasy/mythic fiction. Given his vast literary output, several awards (including the World Fantasy Award in 2000 and the Aurora Award in 2013 and again in 2015), and a large gathering of devoted readers (if Facebook profiles such as “The Mythic Café, with Charles de Lint & Company” are any indication), it is more than surprising that his fiction has yet to become the subject of a full-length academic study. That is not to say, of course, that the academia is unaware of de Lint’s presence. The writer is briefly discussed in David Ketterer’s Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy (1992), and receives some attention in Douglas Ivison’s Canadian Fantasy and Science-Fiction Writers (2002) as well as in Stefan Ekman’s Here Be Dragons: Exploring Fantasy Maps and Settings (2013). There is also a number of individual essays published in scholarly journals and edited collections, which focus on various aspects of de Lint’s works, e.g., Laurence Steven’s “Welwyn Wilton Katz and Charles de Lint: New Fantasy as a Canadian Post-colonial Genre” (Worlds of Wonder, 2004), Christine Mains’ “Old World, New World, Otherworld: Celtic and Native American Influences in Charles de Lint’s Moonheart and Forests of the Heart” (Extrapolation, 2005), Terri Doughty’s “Dreaming into Being: Liminal Spaces in Charles de Lint’s Young Adult Mythic Fiction” (Knowing Their Place? Identity and Space in Children’s Literature, 2011), Brent A. Stypczynski’s “De Lint’s Canines” (The Modern Literary Werewolf, 2013), Weronika Łaszkiewicz’ “From Stereotypes to Sovereignty: Indigenous Peoples in the Works of Charles de Lint” (Studies in Canadian Literature, 2018), and Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun’s “Remembering the Romance: Medievalist Romance in Fantasy Fiction by Guy Gavriel Kay and Charles de Lint” (Medievalism in English Canadian Literature, 2020) to name a few. However, the lack of a full-length study devoted to de Lint alone seems a glaring omission, perhaps caused by the writer’s staggering literary output which might seem too daunting of a task for a single scholar.

Thus, we invite scholars and readers of Charles de Lint’s fiction to submit their contribution to what is intended as the first comprehensive (though surely not exhaustive) book-length study of his works, published by a reputable academic publisher. Submissions might focus on, but are not limited to, one of the following topics:

  • Charles de Lint’s position within the field of Canadian speculative fiction and urban fantasy fiction, as well as his contribution to their development;
  • his perception of the city and its aliments as exemplified by the portrayal of Ottawa, Newford, Santo del Vado Viejo, and other—both real and fantastic—urban spaces;
  • his conflation of the real and the fantastic within the urban space, including his theory of “consensus reality”;
  • his approach to socio-political problems, including violence, abuse, and trauma, illegal immigration as well as the fate of social outcasts and the underprivileged members of the society;
  • his depiction and understanding of female empowerment;
  • his depiction of artists, artistic inspiration, and the meaning of art;
  • his depiction of (fictional) Native American tribes and ethnic communities, including the question of cultural appropriation;
  • his depiction of animals and human-animal hybrid characters as vital members of the modern society;
  • his approach to religion and spirituality, including his criticism of institutional religion and emphasis on the divine hidden in the natural world/wilderness;
  • his inspirations, including the medieval and Gothic tradition as well as borrowings from different mythologies (e.g., Welsh, Celtic, Native American, etc.) to develop an original mythological system (the Otherworld and the Animal People);
  • his advice for the contemporary world in the face of the anthropocentric crisis;
  • a juxtaposition of his early and more recent works, including his children’s books;
  • a juxtaposition of his work with that of other Canadian fantasists or prominent writers of urban fantasy.

Contributors are welcome to focus on a single text or deliver a cross-sectional study of a selection of de Lint’s works. We welcome contributions from scholars of all backgrounds, disciplines, and career stages.

Submissions—abstract (max. 400 words) and a CV (1 page)—should be sent to weronika.laszkiewicz@wp.pl and sbszerszun@gmail.com

The deadline for abstracts is 30 April 2021

The deadline for full articles (5000-8000 words, MLA style) is 30 November 2021

Weronika Łaszkiewicz, PhD, University of Białystok, Poland
Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun, PhD, University of Białystok, Poland
To learn about our previous publications, please find us on Academia.edu

(posted 29 January 2021)


Zadie Smith
An edited volume
Deadline: 10 May 2021

Editors: Nurten Birlik and Noémi Albert

Nurten Birlik (METU – Middle East Technical University, Turkey) and Noémi Albert (University of Pécs, Hungary) are working on an edited volume on the works of Zadie Smith. Papers have already been submittd on White Teeth, on the short stories, and on NW, by several colleagues from Turkey, the US, Germany and Britain. Further papers are welcome on The Autograph ManOn Beauty and Swing Time, or  any of Smith’s other works

The deadline for the 150-word abstracts is 10 May 2021, notifications of acceptance will be sent by 24 May 2021. Papers should be submitted before 31 July 2021.

Abstracts should be sent to the following email address: noemi.albert916@gmail.com

(posted 26 March 2021)


Green Hardy
Essay submissions for FATHOM, the French e-journal for Thomas Hardy studies
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2021

FATHOM website: https://journals.openedition.org/fathom

“Wessex”, as Thomas Hardy explained, is “a partly real, partly dream-country”, a rural world in which nature plays a prominent part. In D. H. Lawrence’s words, “this is a constant revelation in Hardy’s novels: that there exists a great background, vital and vivid, which matters more than the people who move upon it” (Lawrence 70). Some of Hardy’s novels and poems have been said to belong to the pastoral tradition, but would they fall into the category of green poetry (as opposed to “nature poetry”), or green fiction, in the sense used by Terry Gifford? Was Hardy post-Romantic, or could he be viewed, like Wordsworth, as a promoter of “Romantic Ecology” (Bate 2013)? This issue invites contributors to re-assess Hardy’s writings in the light of eco-criticism and to ask the question: how green was Thomas Hardy?

What this immediately poses is the question of “nature”/“Nature” (Williams 184), a cultural construct in both spellings. If we accept that “the ‘natural’ is the cultural meaning read into nature” (Williams, “Garden” 2), it seems difficult to conceive of nature as unmediated by language. Could we go as far as to say, in that perspective, that “there is no nature” (Liu 38)? Even more problematic would be the task of the poet trying “to engage poetry with more than human life”, which would mean “stepping over language”, resisting the logic of substitution – of the word for the thing itself – so as to give access to the real of natural life (Skinner 105). How can poetry or poetic fiction “step over” language? How far does Hardy’s work illustrate Leonard Skigaj’s theory of “poetic reference”, which aims at taking the reader “beyond the printed page to nature, to the referential origin of all language” (Skigaj 38)?

Reading Hardy’s texts in such a perspective would require questioning language as a process of signifying substitution. Is it possible to go beyond the limits of language, beyond the conception of language as primarily metaphorical? As human beings, we are “mortified” by language, which substitutes words for the real thing. Could it be that language mortifies nature too? When the poet says “a flower”, his utterance turns the flower into an absence, for the flower is, in Mallarmé’s words, “the one absent from every bouquet”. Language deprives the world, both human and non-human, of absolute enjoyment. But Mallarmé’s sentence says something more: “I say: a flower! And […] there arises musically, as the very idea and delicate, the one absent from every bouquet” (1). Indeed, as the poet says the words, something real, some new-born flower, arises musically from the humus of language. Is it not possible for language, especially poetic, to convey scraps of an inaccessible enjoyment? Going beyond the symbolic, which views language as a signifying tool, is what Lacan did when he invented the concept of “lalangue” (translated as “llanguage”, Lacan 1998, 138), which serves purposes different from those of communication. Any form of literary writing tries to go beyond the “symbolic appropriation” (Rigby 2016, 29) of nature as it attempts to approach the unsymbolizable real.

In George Eliot’s words, “a patent de-odorized and non-resonant language, which effects the purpose of communication as perfectly and rapidly as algebraic signs” may be a perfect medium of expression to science, but it “will never express life, which is a great deal more than science” (Pinney 287–288). Then, could it be argued that Hardy’s resonant poetic language expresses “life” in all its forms, whether human or non-human, and that it effects a return to the literal? Is this not a form of resistance to the logic of substitution? As he focuses on “the vibratory intensity” of life (Estanove 2), on “packets of sensations in the raw” (Deleuze 39), Hardy decenters human experience, takes it away from the “symbolic appropriation” of nature. Thus his writing approaches the real of natural life: the human, animal, plant, and even mineral worlds – like for instance the famous embedded fossil in A Pair of Blue Eyes, which was once a living creature, but is now staring at Knight with its eyes “turned to stone” (Hardy 1872, 209).

In Hardy’s poetic texts (whether in poetry or prose), is it the human speaker’s voice that we hear, or is the poetic voice open to the “non-human”, merging with “the unconscious poesy of the earth” (Rigby 2004, 102–103)? When the voice makes us hear nature’s own rhythms and cycles, does it become one with nature? Does it become what Jonathan Bate calls “The Song of the Earth”? What if language were not the exclusive privilege of men? In The Woodlanders, Hardy reverses the positions of men and nature in their linguistic confrontation: nature writes and speaks its own language, human beings are the “spectators” attempting “to read its hieroglyphs as ordinary writing”, lending an ear to “the tongue of the trees and fruits and flowers themselves”, in the hope of understanding it. The “point of view” then, is not that of men inscribing their linguistic codes upon nature: it is that of “the seasons” which, like a “conjuror”, perform magic tricks on men, “artifices” meant to confuse them. But some exceptional human beings, such as Giles Winterborne and Marty South, are capable of an “intelligent intercourse with Nature” (Hardy 1887, 249), they understand its language, and they form an “organic community” (Devall 67) with Nature.

Deleuze and Guattari, in A Thousand Plateaus, follow a logic not alien to the Lacanian concept of lalangue when they write that literature means “over-spilling the limits of the signifying system” (Deleuze & Guattari 115), breaking “through the wall of the signifier”. And they add: “it is through writing that you become animal” (187). Indeed, it is “through the voice” that one becomes animal (4). Then is Hardy’s writing a way of “becoming-animal”? This raises the crucial question of animals in Hardy’s work, a subject which has already been explored (West 2017, West 2018), and which requires a distinction between two conceptions of the relation between humans and non-human animals: the idea, favoured by Deleuze and Guattari (and derived from Darwin’s Origin of Species), of an ontological continuity between men and animals; and the fundamentally different concept of human autonomy, which implies the acceptance of the gap between humans and animals. That conception, embraced by Derrida, recognizes the radical otherness of animals, makes an encounter possible between men and animals, and is a pre-requisite for an ethic of care to oppose the exploitation of animals (Cohn). Whether Hardy’s approach was more Deleuzian or Derridean is open to questioning.

We welcome essays on any of Thomas Hardy’s writings (novels, short-stories, poems, etc.).

Proposals of 300 words with a short bio are due by May 15, 2021. Final papers (about 6000 words) are due by October 31, 2021.

The FATHOM stylesheet is available at :
https://journals.openedition.org/fathom/483?file=1

Please send the submissions to:
peggy_cordon@hotmail.com
Annie.Ramel@gmail.com
isabelle.moragon.gadoin@univ-poitiers.fr

Selected references

Bate, Jonathan, Romantic Ecology, London: Routledge, 1991.
Bate, Jonathan, The Song of the Earth, London: Picador, 2000.
Buell, Lawrence, The Environmental Imagination, Cambridge, Mass., and London: Harvard UP, 1995.
Buell, Lawrence, Writing for an Endangered World, Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard UP, 2001.
Cohn, Elisha, “‘No insignificant creature’: Thomas Hardy’s Ethical Turn”, Nineteenth Century Literature 64.4 (2010): 494–520.
Coupe, Laurence (ed.), The Green Studies Reader, London: Routledge, 2000.
Deleuze, Gilles and Parnet, Claire, Dialogues II (1987), trans. H. Tomlinson & B. Habberjam, Columbia UP, 2007.
Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix, A Thousand Plateaus, trans. B. Massumi, Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987.
Devall, Bill and Sessions, George, Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered, Layton (Utah): Gibbs Smith, 1985.
Dryzek, John. S., The Politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses, 3rd edition, Oxford: OUP, 2013.
Estanove, Laurence, “Hardy’s Humanity: ‘A Strange Respect for the Individual, an Extraordinary Respect’”, FATHOM 4 (2016), https://journals.openedition.org/fathom/690 (accessed 9 Feb 2021).
Garrard, Greg, Ecocriticism, London: Routledge, 2004.
Gifford, Terry, “The Social Construction of Nature”, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 3.2 (1996): 27–35.
Glotfelty, Cheryll and Fromm, Harold (eds), The Ecocriticism Reader, Athens, Ga.: U of Georgia P, 1996.
Hardy, Thomas, A Pair of Blue Eyes (1872), Oxford & New York: The World’s Classics, 1985.
Hardy, Thomas, The Woodlanders (1887), Oxford & New York: The World’s Classics, 1985.
Hochman, Jhan, Green Cultural Studies, Moscow, Ida.: U of Idaho, 1998.
Hoffmeyer, Jesper, Biosemiotics: An Investigation into the Signs of Life and the Life of Signs, Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2008.
Huggan, Graham and Tiffin, Helen, Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature, Animals, Environment, London and New York: Routledge, 2010.
Kerridge, Richard and Sammells, Neil (eds), Writing the Environment, London: Zed Books, 1998.
Kerridge, Richard, “Ecological Hardy”, in Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism, eds Karla Armbruster and Kathleen Wallace, Charlottesville, Va. and London: UP of Virginia, 2001, 126–142.
Kerridge, Richard, “Environmentalism and Ecocriticism”, Literary Theory and Criticism: An Oxford Guide, ed. Patricia Waugh, Oxford: OUP, 2006, 530–543.
Lacan, Jacques, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX: “On Feminine Sexuality: the Limits of Love and Knowledge”, trans. B. Fink, New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1998.
Lawrence, D. H., “The Real Tragedy” (1914), in Thomas Hardy: The Tragic Novels, ed. R. P. Draper, London: Macmillan, 1985, 64–72.
Liu, Alan, Wordsworth, The Sense of History, Stanford: Stanford UP, 1989.
Morton, Timothy, Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2006.
Pinney, T. (ed.), Essays of George Eliot, London: Routledge, 1963.
Rigby, Catherine, Topographies of the Sacred: The Poetics of Place in European Romanticism, Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2004.
Rigby, Catherine, “Ecopoetics”, in Keywords for Environmental Studies, eds Joni Adamson, William A. Gleason and David N. Pellow, New York: NTU Press, 2016.
Skigaj, Leonard, Sustainable Poetry: Four American Ecopoets, Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 1999.
Skinner, Jonathan,“Why Ecopoetics?”, Ecopoetics 1 (2001), 105–106.
West, Anna, Thomas Hardy and Animals, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2017.
West, Anna, “Looking at Adders in The Return of the Native”, FATHOM 5 (2018), https://journals.openedition.org/fathom/752 (accessed 9 Feb 2021).
Williams, Raymond, Keywords, Glasgow: Fontana, 1976.

(1) Mallarmé, Stéphane, Selected Poetry and Prose, ed. Mary Ann Caws, New York: New Directions, 1982, 76.
Translated from “Avant-Dire” au Traité du Verbe (René Ghil), Paris: Giraud, 1886, 5–7. “Je dis: une fleur ! et, hors de l’oubli où ma voix relègue aucun contour, en tant que quelque chose d’autre que les calices sus, musicalement se lève, idée même et suave, l’absente de tous bouquets”.

(posted 10 February 2021)


Educational distances, educational instances: Theories and practices for hybrid and collaborative teaching in the university system
n. 27 – 05/2022 of Altre Modernità, Università degli Studi di Milano
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2021

Edited by Serena Guarracino and Giuseppe Sofo

In the last year, the pandemic has forced teachers and students to adapt to distance and/or hybrid forms of teaching and learning at all school levels. Together with the difficulties generated by the sudden change in well-consolidated routines, however, the new situation has also spurred an immediate discussion on the role of schools and universities, and in particular on the different teaching practices already in use and to be implemented in academic contexts.
In an idiosyncratic though synergic interaction with other levels of education, the management of education and research at university level delineates a community, its future prospects and its interpretation of the world. It is undeniable that the university system already underwent a significant transformation in recent years; the direction of these reforms, which are traditionally dated back to 1991 and the ‘Bologna process’, has followed the entrepreneurial/neocapitalist paradigm of production and consumption, non-stop evaluation and competition, excellence and ‘rationalisation’, while heavily limiting practices of exchange, cooperation, collaboration, and well-being.
One of the consequences of the current pandemic is the deterioration of the quality of life for students and researchers, victims of a precarious existence and of an unprecedented spread of psychological disorders (severe anxiety, stress, panic attacks, impostor syndrome, depression, burnout); an issue that is not limited to the Italian academy and has already taken on epidemic proportions in countries whose university systems have inspired recent reforms in Italy, as shown by the surveys by Academics Anonymous. This has already heavily influenced both teaching practices and learning opportunities as well as the university system and the community of people who constitute the university in its primary sense.
Building on this, the rhetoric on education in recent months has been violently swinging from the need for a return to the classroom to a celebration of the ‘progress’ embodied by distance learning (DAD). However, the exclusions inevitably created by distance learning have exposed how necessary it is to rethink the practices of inclusion envisaged in the current system; the digital divide and smart working (or rather, work from home) have in fact highlighted and exacerbated divisions, distinctions and social, economic and gender exclusions that have always been present in the school and university communities.
One of the central themes of the debate, particularly towards the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, has been what differentiates public universities from online universities in a period of distance learning, and thus what the role of the public university is; in particular, the role of the direct relationship between teachers and students (and the respective communities) in a context which, especially in the humanities, sees very high numbers of students per teacher, and in Italy offers students the possibility of not attending classes at all—with a very unequal distribution of so-called “non-attenders” among universities and degree courses. In this situation, a profound ambivalence emerges between the student’s choice of whether or not to attend lectures, and the institution’s need to guarantee that choice through scholarships, student housing and other measures that were already of limited impact, and which are now showing all their inadequacy.
Forms of teaching involving interaction with digital tools obviously precede the crisis caused by the pandemic, which is, however, an unforeseeable detonator of these practices and has involuntarily forced an entire scientific community to turn into a permanent laboratory. This has allowed to put theoretical research and experience, previously limited to a few cases, to the test of practice. In this context, the question remains as how the disciplinary sectarianism of the Italian academy is preventing the spread of truly multidisciplinary and ‘(in)disciplinary’ research approaches; or as to a systematic rethinking of classical teaching and assessment methods, taking into account the influence of digital tools on both teaching and learning and the epistemological approach of digital natives. It is probably still too early to understand whether and how the use of digital resources and an open-source approach can influence not only learning but also the production of knowledge by today’s students.
However, some issues are now (at the time of publishing this call for papers) at the centre of the public debate and among these, in particular, the question of investments, given that the Recovery Plan for Italy envisages about 28.5 billion euros of investments in the education and research sector for “skill-building and the right to education”, with specific interventions for the reduction of territorial gaps, integrated digital teaching and multilingualism, and for the transition “from research to business”.
The concept of “innovation” cannot be identified, in a rather limiting way, with the use of digital tools, but could and should be based on collaborative forms of learning and teaching, to be implemented in presence and during distance teaching, as well as in forms combining research and creativity, inspired by a system of thinking open to collaboration, sharing, exchange and the challenge of boundaries among disciplines and the arts. In this sense, it seems important to address the constructivist approaches developed by various teaching and learning practices in recent decades, even if curricula and the compartmentalisation of courses have so far gone in a different direction.
This issue of Other Modernities intends to create a laboratory for the discussion of hybrid and collaborative didactic theories and practices, which are ready to meet the challenge of the present moment. On the one hand, we would like to offer a critical reflection on the role of teachers and learners and on the tools used in teaching, particularly at university; on the other hand, we would like to offer a collection of experiences accounting for and valuing both the successes and failures of the teaching experiences of these semesters.
By way of example only, this issue of Other Modernities will therefore include both scientific articles and other forms of contribution, including multimedia, on the following themes:

  • Theories, practices, and experiences regarding hybrid and/or collaborative distance and classroom teaching,
  • Dynamics of teacher-student interaction in forms of entirely distance teaching (online courses, MOOCs, and others), in hybrid forms (blended and others) and in the classroom
  • Function and limits of the classroom experience: body dynamics and neuroscience
  • Theories and experiences of inter- and multidisciplinary teaching and research
  • Syncretic perspectives of research, creation and teaching practices
  • Comparative analysis of the Italian university system and systems in place in other countries regarding the teacher-student relationship and evaluation systems (of students, researchers, and teachers)
  • Role of teachers and learners in the learning process and in the university community and reflections on the role of the public university
  • Forms of learning and knowledge of digital natives (including younger generations of teachers)

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 27, you are kindly required to submit an abstract (max 200 words) alongside a short CV to the email address amonline@unimi.it, by the 15th May 2021.
The complete contribution will have to be submitted by 20th September 2021.
Other Modernities accepts contributions in Italian, Spanish, French and English.
The issue will be published by the end of May 2022.
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 (amonline@unimi.it).

(posted 22 February 2021)

 


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: mythenvironment2021@gmail.com
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)


The Representation of Ideology(ies) in Electronic Media for Children and Young Adults
A book to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2021

Editor: Nilay Erdem Ayyıldız (Fırat University, Turkey, nerdem@firat.edu.tr)

This book aims to provide the latest critical research within a relevant theoretical framework in relation to the representation/s of ideology/ies in electronic media including TV cartoons, animations, videos, computer and video games, which are designed for children and young adults.

The book will appeal to general readers, including researchers, professionals or anyone who is interested in cultural studies, literary studies, humanities and sociology. Therefore, contributions are welcomed in the fields (but are not limited to, as long as they are related to the topic of the book) as follows:

  • Cultural studies
  • Literary studies
  • Media studies
  • Communication studies
  • Discourse studies
  • Critical approach to the use of ideologies in technology
  • Reflection of race, class and ethnic studies in electronic media

Submission Procedure

Submissions in English should normally be no longer than 6000 words and should be original and previously unpublished. If the work has already been published (as a journal article, or in conference proceedings, for example), Cambridge Scholars Publishing will require evidence that permission to be re-published has been granted. To see the call on the publisher’s website, please click here: https://www.cambridgescholars.com/pages/guest-edited-collections, where you can download and complete a submission form.

All relevant submissions should be sent to admin@cambridgescholars.com by June 01, 2021, noting that your submission is for the book entitled The Representation of Ideology(ies) in Electronic Media for Children and Young Adults.

About the Editor

Dr Nilay Erdem Ayyıldız is a graduate of Hacettepe University, English Language and Literature. She holds her MA from the same department at Fırat University, where she is currently teaching, and her PhD from Atılım University, all in Turkey. She is interested in works of British children’s and Victorian literature.

About the Publisher

This book is scheduled to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Cambridge Scholars Publishing is a renowned publisher which has representatives around the world and offices in Barcelona, Berlin and China. It is also listed in the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Master Book List, as may be confirmed at the following address: http://workinfo.com/mbl/publishers/ For additional information about the publisher, please visit www.cambridgescholars.com.

NOTE: There are no submission or acceptance fees for chapters submitted to Cambridge Scholars Publishing for the publication of this book. Moreover, this publication is anticipated to be released until the end of 2021.

Please do not hesitate to contact the editor if you have any inquiries (nerdem@firat.edu.tr)—

(posted 31 March 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 [2015]). While what Granger and Paquot [2008] 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. [2007]). 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 [2018]), but it also stimulated new directions in Cognitive Linguistics (Fillmore et al. [1988]). 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 [2017]; Corpas Pastor & Mitkov [2019]) and more recently by Corpas Pastor & Colson [2020]. 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 [1981], [1985]). Taking stock of the present-day situation are such works as Mieder [2007] and especially Hrisztova-Gotthardt and Varga [2015]. 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 [2017]).

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 lexis@univ-lyon3.fr

Deadlines

• 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
  • Nature
  • The uncanny and the supernatural
  • Humor and tragedy
  • Goodwill and indifference
  • Ineffectiveness and agency
  • Hesitancy and eloquence
  • Variety and repetition
  • Redemption
  • Endings

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 (moisy@u-pec.fr).

(posted 9 November 2020)


Language Change: Diachronic and Synchronic Approaches
Summer 2021 issue of the ESSE Messenger
Deadline: 30 June 2021

Change in languages over time seems to be an inevitable constant. All languages have undergone and, if not dead, are undergoing change. As Ferdinand de Saussure put it
more than a century ago, “the linguistic river never stops flowing” (Course in General Linguistics, 1916). The English language has been no exception and topics addressing linguistic change have been—and continue to be—widely discussed from different areas or branches of linguistics, such as generative, historical, variationist or corpus linguistics. There is, however, much that still needs to be investigated.

The journal welcomes contributions that are qualitative and critical, and whose focus resides in the field of language change and variation in English. This may include state-of- the-art research on areas of linguistics across theoretical frameworks along with studies that approach language from both a diachronic and/or synchronic perspective.

A suggested, albeit not prescriptive, list of themes includes:

  • Factors leading to language change.
  • Methods and tools for language change.
  • Spread of change.
  • Patterns of variation and change
  • Types of variation (phonological, morpho-syntactic, lexical, semantic, etc.)
  • Texts and corpora for the study of language change
  • World Englishes.

All contributions submitted to the ESSE Messenger should observe:
the Editorial Code: https://essenglish.org/messenger/code
and the Stylesheet: https://essenglish.org/messenger/stylesheet

They should be sent to the ESSE Messenger email address: esse.messenger@outlook.com

Download the poster for this issue of the ESSE Messenger.

More infomation on the ESSE Messenger on the ESSE website.

(posted 2 February 2021)