EJES | Call for Papers for Volume 27 (2023)

The editors of EJES are issuing calls for papers for the three issues of the journal to be published in 2023. EJES operates in a two-stage review process. The first stage 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 essay proposals for this volume is 30 November 2021, with delivery of completed essays in the spring of 2022, and publication in Volume 27 (2023).


EJES operates a two-stage review process.

1. Contributors are invited to submit proposals for essays on the topic in question by 30 November 2021.
2. Following review of the proposals by the editorial board panel, informed by external specialists as appropriate, the guest editors will invite the authors of short-listed proposals to submit full-length essays for review with a spring 2022 deadline.
3. The full-length essays undergo a second round of review, and a final selection for publication is made. Selected essays are revised and then resubmitted to the guest editors in late 2022 for publication in 2023.
EJES employs Chicago Style (T&F Chicago AD) and British English conventions for spelling. For more information about EJES, see: http://www.essenglish.org/ejes.html.

Hashtags across Borders:
Considering #Instapoetry as a Transglobal and Translingual Literary Movement

Guest editors: Anna Nacher (Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie), James Mackay (European University Cyprus), JuEunhae Knox (University of Glasgow)

“Instapoetry” is a label used, often derisively, to describe short original illustrated poems shared on Instagram and other social media sites. The genre has been hailed both as a publishing miracle and also as the third generation of electronic literature: certainly, it is the most popular form of poetry in the 21st century in numerous countries. Less often noted, but highly significant, is the way that the removal of gatekeepers has created a direct route to market for young, diverse, working class voices. Indeed, it is difficult to think of another mainstream literary movement in English that has been so conspicuously led by young women of colour, with its most successful voices being Rupi Kaur, Lang Leav, Nayyirah Waheed, Cleo Wade and Najwa Zebian. The global reach of the Instagram platform has also created a unique cross-pollination that reaches across national and linguistic barriers. The millions of individual poems in this genre, linked by hashtags such as #poetsofinstagram, #instapoem, or #writersofinstagram, contain examples in English, Russian, Hindi, Arabic, and many other languages. While literary movements have spread across these languages before, the process has usually relied on translation: there is no precedent for such immediate global reach. At the same time, contemporary social media platforms are becoming the gatekeepers to a widely shared social reality that transgresses national boundaries but simultaneously realigns relationships of power and dominance.

In this special issue, we investigate Instapoetry as a simultaneously global and local phenomenon. While the Instagram platform began in the United States, we are interested in what happens when the global publishing conditions of Instapoetry meet the local poetic traditions of specific countries.

We invite discussions of the technopoetics of the network-based literary movement which analyze the complex relationship of the rhetorical and performative aspects of instapoetry. In particular, such investigations might investigate the platform-based (and algorithmically amplified) nature of literary circulation within differing cultural contexts, along the lines of the attention and affective economies of platform capitalism.
Contributors from all over the world, and from any of the disciplines covered by ESSE, are welcome. Specific questions that potential contributors might wish to consider include:

  • Instapoetry as a vehicle for feminism and other forms of social justice discourse in differing cultural contexts
  • Instagram considered as a global near-monopoly, and its potential to McDonaldise world poetry
  • Instapoetry in the English language classroom
  • Potentialities for subversive uses of the platform
  • Reappropriation of classical poetries on the Instagram platform
  • Using hashtags to read the global influence of Instapoetry
  • Cultural gatekeeping, canons of taste, and the ways that Instapoetry challenges academic concepts of “proper” poetry
  • Technopoetics of dissent in the distributed reading/writing practices of social media platforms
  • The business model of professional Instapoets as influencers in a gig economy, and the ways that this reflects a casualization of cultural labour in the contemporary world

Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for full essays (7,500 words), as well as a short biography (max. 100 words) should be sent to all three editors by 30 November 2021:

Anna Nacher (anna.nacher@uj.edu.pl),
James Mackay (j.mackay@euc.ac.cy), and
JuEunhae Knox (Jueunhae.Knox@glasgow.ac.uk).

Interstitial Spaces

Guest editors: Frederik Van Dam (Radboud University), Joanna Hofer-Robinson (University College Cork), Chris Louttit (Radboud University)

In the course of the past two decades, the field of English Studies has witnessed a return to a focus on space, both as a critical methodology and as a subject worthy of renewed attention. On the one hand, scholars draw inspiration from adjacent fields such as cultural geography and media archaeology to examine the circulation of literature and the arts in local and global contexts. Opportunities offered by digital tools play an important role in such endeavours. On the other hand, scholars rely on the foundational work of Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, and Gaston Bachelard to find new ways of mapping out the representation of space and place in English literature. In this regard, the critical gaze has honed in on overlaps, intersections, and contact zones.

The present issue aims to push established scholarship on the ‘spatial turn’ in new directions through an examination of interstitial spaces, that is, the corridors, roads, and routes that exist in between and connect different spaces. While contributions on literary and cultural texts from any historical period are encouraged, the editors will particularly welcome proposals that deal with the long nineteenth century.

Topics might include but are not limited to:

  • Interstitial spaces of authorship: literary Bohemia, the salon, the club
  • The sea as a geopolitical or colonial space
  • Non-spaces (Marc Augé) in city literature
  • The gendering of interstitial spaces
  • The multiple occupancy of interstitial spaces by different communities
  • The function of maps in storytelling / the function of storytelling in maps
  • Interstitial space and interstitial time: revisiting the notion of the chronotope
  • The emotions of being in between spaces
  • English literature abroad: transculturation, circulation, reception

Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for essays of no more than 7,500 words and a short biographical blurb (up to 100 words) should be sent to all three editors by 30 November 2021:
Frederik Van Dam (f.vandam@let.ru.nl), Joanna Hofer-Robinson (joanna.hofer-robinson@ucc.ie), and Chris Louttit (c.louttit@let.ru.nl).

This issue will be part of volume 27 (2023). All inquiries regarding this issue can be sent to the three guest editors.

Limitrophy in Contemporary Literatures in English

Contemporary writing appears receptive to the contradictory nature of border phenomena and to the hybridity and heterogeneity of topographical, cultural and ideological intersections. Jacques Derrida’s concept of limitrophy offers a significant theoretical tool for the analysis of such phenomena by addressing “what sprouts or grows at the limit or around the limit, but also what feeds the limit, generates it, raises it, and complicates it” (2008, 29-30). The focus of attention on limits that Derrida’s perspective invites to consider is, then, twofold: it queries how limits are generated and asks what is generated by such limits. Limitrophy points to a multiplicity of interacting phenomena and levels, including topographical, symbolic, temporal, epistemological and textual borders (Rosello and Wolfe 2017). Limitrophy focuses, in sum, on the generation of limits both as subjective and objective genitive.

Contemporary discussions of limits, borders and demarcations extend to reflections on the nature of human subjects and their relationships to the world, to non-human animals and to machines and artefacts. These explorations eventually lead to a questioning of the dominant paradigm of natural law by posing the question of whether “human” as a category still refers to a Kantian community of reasonable beings (Wolfe 2010). Clear-cut boundaries between the given and the constructed, nature and culture are currently being replaced by “a non-dualistic understanding of nature–culture interaction” which aims to overcome the boundaries firmly established by anthropocentrism (Braidotti 2010), and which also includes new formulations of gender. In 1986, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari insisted on the need to deterritorialize the boundaries of the human by “becoming animal” and to participate in a “continuum of intensities” which would enable the crossing of thresholds (13) as well as to rethink our relationship with other animals across disciplinary boundaries (Turner 2013, 2). Contemporary attention to limitrophy comprises an attempt to step away from traditional species hierarchies through a close examination of human and non-human relationships and the impact of what Giorgio Agamben has termed the “anthropological machine” (2004, 37).

Discussions of the nature of limits also extend to the human artefacts that populate our world and whose presence has radically altered landscapes to meet human needs. Such artefacts have both functional and cultural uses, but they also show their potential to reveal “distinctive features of the human mind” (Margolis and Laurence 2007, ix). In so doing, they raise questions as to whether these artefacts are completely mind-dependent, in such a way that clear-cut limits between the human and artificial world may eventually become blurred, more so if transhuman uses of artificial intelligence and biotechnology are brought into consideration.

Critical attention to limitrophies mirrors a global anxiety to reflect on the ideological possibilities of their duality, both as sites of conflict and of transformation. In view of these considerations, we invite submissions which examine how and to what extent “limits” (in all the possible meanings and connotations of the word) are porous and fluid. We are interested in contributions that explore not only how such limits are questioned or overcome, but also erected and reinforced in contemporary narratives in English. The nature, form and genre(s) of these narratives may reflect the unstable, porous and fluid nature of previously fixed categories and borders. Proposals may address, yet are not restricted to, the following questions:

  • Human-animal limits
  • Human-artefact limits
  • Gendered and sexual limits in 21st-century literature

Detailed proposals (up to 1,000 words) for full essays (7,500 words), as well as a short biography (max. 100 words) should be sent to the editors by 30 November 2021:

Laura Mª Lojo Rodríguez (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain) <laura.lojo@usc.es>;
Jorge Sacido Romero (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain) <jorge.sacido@usc.es>;
Roberto Del Valle Alcalá (Södertörn University, Sweden) roberto.del.valle.alcala@sh.se

Works Cited

Agamben, Giorgio. 2004. The Open: Man and Animal, translated by Kevin Atell. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Braidotti, Rosi. 2010. The Posthuman. London: Polity Press.
Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1986. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, translated by Dana Polan. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Derrida, Jacques. 2008. The Animal that Therefore I Am, translated by David Wills. New York: Fordham University Press.
Margolis, Eric and Stephen Laurence (eds.). 2007. Creations of the Mind: Theories of Artifacts and Their Representation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rosello, Mireille and Stephen F. Wolfe. 2017. “Introduction.” In Border Aesthetics: Concepts and Intersections, edited by Johan Schimanski and Stephen F. Wolfe. 1–4. New York and Oxford: Berghahn.
Turner, Lynn (ed). 2013. The Animal Question in Deconstruction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Wolfe, Cary. 2010. What is Posthumanism? Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.