The editors of EJES are issuing calls for papers for the three issues of the journal to be published in 2019. Potential contributors are reminded that EJES operates a two-stage review process. The first is based on the submission of detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) and results in invitations to submit full essays from which a final selection is then made. The deadline for proposals for this volume is 31 October 2017, with delivery of completed essays by 31 March 2018.
NARRATIVES OF RELIGIOUS CONVERSION FROM THE ENLIGHTENMENT TO THE PRESENT
Guest editors: Ludmilla Kostova (Veliko Turnovo), Efterpi Mitsi (Athens)
As a change of allegiance from one faith community to another and a shift in identity, religious conversion has long attracted the attention of social scientists and scholars in the humanities. Within the broad context of English studies, much valuable work has been done on representations of religious conversion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a focus on the struggle between Christianity and Islam in the Mediterranean and conflicts in Reformation Europe. However, relatively little attention has been paid to portrayals of shifts in religious allegiance in later times and, specifically, to the contemporary proliferation of novels, plays, films, television series, memoirs, and journalistic articles narrating conversion and de-conversion.
This issue focuses on narratives of religious conversion, produced within avowedly secularizing, secular, and post-secular contexts, in a variety of fictional and non-fictional genres as well as in texts disseminated through new media. Including, but also going beyond an examination of traditional oppositions between Christianity and Islam, the issue aims to offer new perspectives on the poetics, politics, and ethics of representing religious conversion from the Enlightenment to the present. Taking into account the symbolic parameters of narratives of religious conversion, it also seeks to promote a critical revaluation of the repertoire of stylistic, structural, and communication resources employed in them.
Contributions are invited from scholars in a wide range of fields associated with English studies.
Topics may include, but are not restricted to:
- constructing religious conversion in/through narrative;
- gendered/gendering narratives of religious conversion;
- representations of forced vs voluntary religious conversions;
- religious conversions and conceptions of (in)tolerance;
- religious conversions as reactions to secularism;
- representations of religious conversion in/for a post-secular age;
- stories of religious conversion and de-conversion and/in the new media;
- cultural/literary histories of representations of religious conversion.
Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for essays, as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to both editors: Ludmilla Kostova: firstname.lastname@example.org and Efterpi Mitsi: email@example.com
FACT AND FICTION IN CONTEMPORARY NARRATIVES
Guest editors: Jan Alber (Aachen) and Alice Bell (Sheffield Hallam University)
This special issue seeks to explore the complex interrelationship between fact and fiction in narratives of the twenty-first century. In current theories within and outside English Studies, critics observe a cultural shift away from postmodernism to new forms of expression. These have been variously theorized as post-postmodernism (McLaughlin, Nealon), cosmodernism (Moraru), metamodernism (Vermeulen and van den Akker), and digimodernism (Kirby). Rather than a radical break from the postmodern, the theorists mentioned above suggest that postmodernist techniques are repurposed to express a new sincerity, a purposeful self-reflexivity, a contemporary sense of togetherness and an associated commitment to reality.
While such theoretical accounts suggest that we have entered a new age of artistic expression, few of them analyse the specific formal devices, strategies and techniques at work in these texts. This special issue seeks to fill this gap by discussing the ways in which contemporary texts across different media (e.g. novels, autobiographies, plays, films, digital fiction, net art, journalistic texts, and political performances) explore the fact vs. fiction divide. The essays will not only engage with theories of what comes after postmodernism, but they will also analyse the narratological, stylistic and/or semiotic devices on which such texts rely.
Relevant topics in this context might include, among others:
- post-postmodern engagements with reality
- the return of the real in fiction
- speculative realism
- new sincerity
- ethics and metafiction / purposeful self-reflexivity
- fact and fiction in journalism / fake news
- contemporary forms of “pranking”
Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for essays, as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to both editors: Jan Alber: firstname.lastname@example.org and Alice Bell: email@example.com
SHAME AND SHAMELESSNESS
Guest editors: Kaye Mitchell (Manchester), Katrin Röder (Potsdam), Christine Vogt-William (Berlin)
In the last few decades, shame has merited increasing critical investigation as an affect invested with negative connotations (guilt, humiliation, pain). In the fields of psychology, sociology, ethics, as well as cultural and literary studies, scholars have explored the impact of shame on processes of identity formation. Amongst the most prominent critical disciplines that have addressed the formative dimensions of shame are gender, queer, disability, critical race and postcolonial studies. Recent investigations in the field of affect theory have demonstrated that shame is an emotional reaction to ostracisation, various forms of transgression and defeat (Silvan S. Tomkins, Eve Sedgwick, Sara Ahmed). Shame is tied to discourses of normativity, honour, lawfulness and respectability.
This issue explores the connection between affect and literary and cultural studies. It investigates the ways in which shame inscribes itself on bodies and in individuals’ sense of self-esteem in culturally diverse societies. This inscription often takes place on the bodies and in the self-images of vulnerable subjects and those belonging to subordinate and subjugated groups, especially migrants, mixed-race, non-white, queer, transgender, disabled persons, women, children, criminals, the poor and the homeless. These groups are often located beyond the purview of normative citizenship ideals and hence have to negotiate forms of shame. Furthermore, the issue considers whether and how shame impacts on nations and communities, especially in postcolonial scenarios when calls for the recognition and reparation of indigenous peoples’ dispossession and oppression under British colonial rule are made.
The issue’s analytical focus will be on cultural artefacts that represent or discuss experiences of shame. It will ask if these artefacts express the ambivalent nature of shame, and whether they dismantle or reinforce stigmas by contesting, transforming, affirming or endorsing normative concepts of identity, images of nations and other collective bodies as well as shame-inducing power structures and practices of representation.
The editors invite papers addressing the formative effects of shame as they manifest themselves in
- literature, (auto)biographical writing / memoirs
- visual art, performance art, video, film, social media
- political, legal, religious and medical discourse
- popular culture and subcultural practices.
Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for essays, as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to all three editors: Katrin Röder: firstname.lastname@example.org, Kaye Mitchell: Kaye.Mitchell@manchester.ac.uk and Christine Vogt-William: email@example.com.