SPECIAL ISSUE – Intermedial Poetries: Alternative Methods and Practices
Guest Editor: Bowen Wang (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have witnessed an intermedial dialogue between verbal and visual representations along with avant-garde art movements. Both literary and artistic historiography notice an alternative of ut pictura poesis in the notion of intermediality between poetry and visual art, especially since the experimentation of poets from Imagism and early modernism. Ezra Pound’s ideogram, Wyndham Lewis’s vortex, William Carlos Williams’s ekphrasis, Wallace Stevens’ art collection, as well as Gertrude Stein’s verbal portrayal show their shared interest in and inspiration from a formal or technical transformation of modern art, such as Futurism, Dada, Cubism, Fauvism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, etc. Through the ongoing inventive confabulation between these various artforms, ranging from literature, painting, photography, theatre, cinema, and other media, modernist and contemporary poets choose to approach their medium via non-representational art and discard the mimetic principles so as to access a new model of poetic expression.
Therefore, this special issue “Intermedial Poetries: Alternative Methods and Practices” intends to explore the multiple manifestation of poetic experiments across different media, disciplines, and cultures. Intermedial poetry might refer to those specific generic crossovers in a highly refashionable manner: for example, ekphrasis, visual/graphic poetry, concrete poetry, illustration, photo poetry, cinematic poetry, poetic theatre, and so forth. Beyond visual influence or painterly effect, our collection of paper aims to offer a more broadened, encompassing view by casting lights on the spectatorship, aesthetic form as alter identity, and interdisciplinary consideration of contemporary art practices. It will try to answer these research questions in general: au fond, what is the difference between traditional textual poetics and the poetics of intermediality? How does the latter function and perform among distinctive modes of artforms or media? Moreover, how is intermediality as an actual agency devised to facilitate these communications across different domains, whether aesthetic, technological, or ideological?
To contribute to this special issue, please submit the full manuscript of your article (no less than 4,000 words) with a short author’s bio to the guest editor Bowen Wang at firstname.lastname@example.org, with a copy to email@example.com. Also, feel free to contact if you have any related questions, and we look forward to hearing your inspiring ideas.
Important Dates: Submission deadline: 31 May 2023; Publication of the issue: Winter 2023/Spring 2024.
SPECIAL ISSUE – Advances in Neuroaesthetics: Narratives and Art as Windows into the Mind and the Brain
Submission deadline: 31 May 2023. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Humans spend an incredible number of their waking hours engaged in narratives and art. Some cognitive (neuro)scientists propose that our minds/brains are optimized to process information in the form of narratives. Some even claim that the way in which we experience our own lives has an inherently narrative character. Similarly, works of art can create and shape culture and elicit powerful emotional responses – responses that may be difficult to elicit otherwise. Why do narratives and art have such a hold over us? What might this affinity we have tell us about the architecture of our minds and brains?
Over the past 15 years, empirical research on literature, poetry, drama, arts, film, and dance have begun to gain a foothold in cognitive neuroscience. As cognitive neuroscientists, we have come to learn that our models of language, memory, and perception fall short of providing satisfactory accounts of our aesthetic experiences with narratives and art. Feeling immersed in a story or song, appreciating the beauty of a painting, or revelling in the lasting impact of a film or play are all essential parts of our psychological experience. This gap between cognitive neuroscience and aesthetics has become a fertile ground for empirical development and discovery.
In this special issue, we pay tribute to the latest advancements in understanding the human mind and brain through engagement with narratives and art, while also elucidating current challenges and laying out plans for future research. We invite submissions from behavioural and neurosciences, as well as current approaches from the humanities and media studies to contribute to an interdisciplinary dialogue. Our goal is to enhance understanding and communication between disciplines in order to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and collaborations. We welcome contributions in forms of reviews, statement and opinion pieces, evolutionary approaches, as well as conceptual ideas, including theoretical models or proposed mechanisms underlying aesthetic experiences. Articles should be written for a broad academic audience without expert knowledge of a given discipline.
SPECIAL ISSUE – On Spirituality and Being
Guest Editor: Ikea M. Johnson (Salve Regina University, USA)
This collection will examine spirituality in 20th and 21st century literature. Contributors may consider the intersectionality of spirituality like Afro-Asiatic thought in, for example, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, Charles R. Johnson’s Middle Passage, Rivers Solomon’s The Deep, Toni Morrison’s Love, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.
The goal of this collection is to move beyond ocular (in)visibility and gain a deeper understanding of concepts related to spirituality as, for example, refracted through the prism of Afro-Asiatic thought. This theme also explores the understudied spiritual and mystical aspects of stories related to Kemetic philosophy and cosmology, chaos theory, fragmentation, and formlessness to demonstrate the potential benefits of (re)fragmenting the mind to adopt a more universal worldview.
How does spirituality provide authors with ways of transcending and deconstructing categories of race, gender, and sexuality? How do critics work with partiality and delve into the essence and the materiality of thought? On the other hand, how do some authors explain the changing aspects of folks’ three-dimensional view discovered through real and imagined spaces as (im)material? These traversing facets that interweave among one another create the underpinning for specifying the term (im)material. While thinking alongside other scholars, contributors may also investigate the (im)material conditions of each author’s works.
SPECIAL ISSUE – Reliving Orature: Orality in the Age of Post-Literature
The interactive platform of Web 2.0 and the evergrowing reliance on the digital space, especially during the global outbreak of COVID-19 and the worldwide lockdown, not only revolutionised communication and verbal art forms but also marked a beginning of a new era, in which the term literature, with all its nuances and indeterminacies, needs to negotiate with other forms of verbal expressions. Literature, etymologically coming from the Latin word ‘littera’ and referring primarily to ‘writing’, is often posed against orality, and thus creates a hierarchy, which Ngugi wa Thiong’o termed as “aesthetic feudalism” between spoken words and written expressions. However, the arrival of cyberspace, and the textual forms emerging with it, where the texts are essentially multimedial and transmedial, collaborative and participatory and what has been named by Ngugi as “cyberture” posed diverse challenges to this hierarchy and subsequently results in the altered reading habits of people around the globe, with their increasing dependence on the digital, shortened attention span, and the hybridized and intermedial mode of storytelling. It surely signifies an era of ‘post-literature’, which goes beyond the conventional idea of literature and written texts.
Post-literature, by incorporating different modes of producing texts and different perspectives, calls into question the picture of a grand narrative consisting of homogenised and “globalised” cultures across the world, promoted by the “global” market. Under such circumstances, the languages of the economically dependent and marginalised sections of the world population started to surrender to the languages of the economically independent and thus powerful section of the world population. As linguistic ability is a significant way of expressing human feelings, thus it governs a considerable part of the cultural identity of a particular group or community of people. The economic shift has enveloped the entire planet in an apparent crisis of human languages. Today human beings try to control their own activities with the help of artificial intelligence. Many scholars do identify this as an added layer in this moment of crisis. It must have occurred to many of us that this linguistic transaction that is governed by AI is actually a form of language-based technocentricism. Technocentricism has changed the human equations of socialising. We at this juncture must not neglect the language that is used in cyberspace. We all must have noticed that the global cyberspace is governed by a handful of languages. If we take a deeper look into the same we will see these governing languages are the cultural vehicles of the governing economies across the world.
The age of ‘post-literature’ is the age of no segregation among the disciplines, rather it calls and creates room for the practice of verbal and non-verbal arts, science and technology together under the same umbrella. It could be understood as the platform to bring together the Chaoids, as has been discussed by Deleuze and Guattari, and make them interact and overlap with each other. The Age of Post-literature questions the unidirectional ways of reading books and calls for a more interactive platform where the audience and the performer may contribute to the formation of the text and thus destabilises the assurance of fixity in written forms. It may also remind us of the world of orality, where texts, authors and readers are not fixed and always build a dialogic relationship. This process of challenge is quite similar to the way abstract art challenges the given framework of interpretation of the observer.
The key objective of this issue would be to attempt the dismantling the given and rigid framework of literature and to challenge its limitations towards the inclusion of newly evolved or evolving platforms of both oral and literary productions. As a contributor, you are welcome to break the norms and the boundaries and think beyond to offer creative and critical insights on post-literature. The special issue will delve into various dimensions of orature and its contemporary relevance. We invite original research papers, reviews, and critical analyses that explore but are not limited to the following topics:
- The interface between orature, literature and cyberture
- Newly emerged oral genre in the cyberspace
- Transmedia storytelling as a challenge to written art forms
- Orature as a global tool for decolonisation
- Orature and the resistance and resilience of marginal voices
- Globalisation and commodification of orality
- Orality and the question of identity
- Orality and cultural imperialism
- Orality and the issues of language
- Orality and comprehension of social and textual relationship
- Traditional orature and New Media
- Archiving orature
Important Dates: Submission deadline: 31 Oct 2023; Decision of acceptance: 30 Nov 2023; Publication of the issue: Spring 2024.
SPECIAL ISSUE – On the Condition of Language: Translation & Philosophy
Guest Editor: Byron Taylor (University College London)
This special volume asks scholars to wonder how, why, to what extent and in what ways ‘the Philosophy of Language’ has supposedly dominated academic Philosophy for so long now, while having almost nothing to say about translation. As such, it invites scholars to consider ways in which the engagement of translation and philosophy can be reappraised and re-examined across a variety of global contexts. This is an oversight long overdue addressing. It will aim to open new dialogue and set forth a new discursive space, with rich possibilities of re-invention and diversification for both disciplines in their mutual engagement. As such, we hope to receive contributions from either discipline, or from scholars with an interest in these issues, the engagement (or lack thereof) between these disciplines.
Analytic philosophy has, at least since the days of the Vienna Circle, opted for a style of writing that is deliberately clear, uncharacteristic and transparency. Yet however confidently it has pursued these ends, it now reaches a moment of stagnant crisis with no clear direction. We are especially interested in contributors who examine how translation and philosophy operate in conjunction, comparison or dialogue with debates of World Literature and untranslatability. For a discipline in a state of self-confessed dysfunction as Analytic Philosophy is, does the introduction or inclusion of translation into philosophy represent a chance for renewal? Should philosophers read more about translation, or should translation scholars read more philosophy? Themes include (but are not restricted to):
1. Translation and Analytic Philosophy; 2. Translation and Continental Philosophy; 3. Translators and philosophers; 4. The language used by philosophers; 5. The history and reception of ideas; 6. Global contexts that challenge Global English; 7. Comparative literature and philosophy.
SPECIAL ISSUE – New Perspectives in African Philosophy
For over three decades, from the middle of the 20th century onward, reflection about African philosophy revolved around the question of its existence or non-existence (following that of the capacity of Africans and Blacks to philosophize), or the other question of its nature (i.e., its characteristics, especially in relation to European philosophy). To a certain extent, African philosophy is still concerned with these questions today.
For the most part, this treatment of African philosophy has a colonial background and bears a colonial flavor. As Marcien Towa noted, the question of whether African philosophy exists, which is another way of asking if Africans (especially Blacks) are capable of philosophizing, did not emerge from the inner development of African cultures and societies. Rather, this question was asked by European imperialists and colonizers in order to justify (more or less directly) their attitude toward these people, cultures and societies. Even the claim of an authentic African philosophy does not escape this context, as what would be latter labelled the “quarrel about ‘African philosophy’” originally arose from the publication of the book Bantu Philosophy (1945) by a Belgian missionary named Placide Tempels. Today, the major challenge of African philosophy seems to be that of decoloniality in order to invent, as Emmanuel Eze has argued, a “postcolonial future.”
This special issue focuses on the new perspectives opened up by this new challenge concerning African philosophy, leaving aside the original and overly discussed questions concerning its existence or non-existence, and the other question of its nature. The aim is to shed new light on current approaches to African philosophy, specifically investigating new trends, themes and aspects. Contributions in this vein that seek to enhance the current understanding of African philosophy are welcome. Authors are encouraged to discuss a specific theme, topic, or issue, or to engage with particular aspects, opinions and views related to specific authors, with a broad academic audience in mind.
Please email your abstracts to email@example.com, with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important dates: Submission deadline: 31 May 2023; Decision of acceptance: 15 June 2023; Submission of entire manuscripts: 31 July 2023; Publication of the issue: Autumn 2023.
SPECIAL ISSUE – A Study of Aesthetics in Art and Representation
Contemporary studies in art in juxtaposition with the politics of representation lack a cogent evaluation of the limitations of the persisting need for epistemic validation for ontological existence. The relationship between art and its contribution toward the endorsement of ontological beliefs is a complex entity that constructs and reconstructs material conceptions of literary history. Such gaps in literary criticism necessitate a theoretical analysis of the aesthetic experience in art and reality, and the scope of aesthetics in its (re)presentation of the reality of art.
This issue is an effort to commemorate the contributions of Prof. Ananta Charan Sukla (1942 – 2020) toward the realm of literary criticism. His chief works in literary theory engage with a tendentious rereading of the concept of aesthetics for the promotion of novel ideas in the field. To understand and develop his literary output, scholars need to question the positionality of the ‘third-world’ subject in Western discourses to enable the creation of mechanisms of departure from mainstream criticism for the development of an alternate mode of enquiry that concerns itself with the establishment of the subaltern as the Subject. Within this postcolonial framework, we need to examine contemporary theories of literary representation, and study the essence of art and its reality.
Other potential thematic constructs for academic discourse include reconsideration of literary theory and representation in comparative literature. Prof. Sukla has extensively worked on distinct modes of representation and re-presentation in fiction. Scholars are, therefore, welcome to integrate the diversity of his research interests to explore the fundamentals of fictionality in literary tradition, particularly its relationship with epistemology and subjectivity. Discourse on fictionality is supremely pertinent to understand Prof. Sukla’s examination of the conceptuality of fiction and its contribution, if any, to the paradigmatic status of the actual world.
To make the issue an academic ode to a remarkable critic, we invite scholarly papers that engage with the potentialities of representation in contemporary criticism and explore the aesthetics of art. We also welcome papers that introduce the anxieties and enquiries of contemporary criticism in their engagement with literary aesthetics. The objective is to continue discussions inaugurated by Prof. Sukla in academia.
Possible topics of discussion include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Mimesis in Greek and Indian Aesthetics
- Indian Aesthetics in Dramaturgy and Poetics
- The Indian ‘Subject’ in Western Aesthetics
- Art, Essence, and Experience in Contemporary Aesthetics
- Examination of Representation and Deconstruction in Literary Theory
- Theorisation of Impersonal Art
- Potentiality of Art in the Indian Milieu
- Transcultural Possibilities of Classical Indian Aesthetics
- Strategies of Deconstruction in Comparative Literature
- Language, Discourses, and Aesthetics
- Ontology and its Representation in Literature
- Environmental Aesthetics in Indian and Western Philosophy
SPECIAL ISSUE – Chief Currents in Chinese Art History and Aesthetics: Contemporary and Cross-Cultural Perspectives
SPECIAL ISSUE – Art and Emotion: Philosophical Engagements with Painting
[Prof. Richard Wollheim Birth Centenary Commemoration Volume]
SPECIAL ISSUE – Understanding and Enjoyment in Aesthetic Experience