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Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Upcoming Special Issue

Modern Fiction and the Ecological: The Environmental Crisis and the Future of Ecocriticism

Guest Editor: Robert P. Marzec

Deadline for Submission: 1 October 2008

Though “ecocriticism” became an official term and a field of study four decades ago, the now-recognized global scale of the threat to the planet’s ecosystem gives ecological studies an uncommon urgency. As a field that disputes the ethical validity of humanity’s interaction with the earth, ecocriticism foregrounds the questionable contemporary constitution of ‘the Human’ and the status of ‘Humanism’ itself, and by extension Humanism’s co-constituent local, national, and international institutions. MFS invites essays that speak to the significance of these issues and open new pathways to this growing discipline. Of special interest are essays that will have an impact on literary studies across the various fields of scholarship. Essays should offer new openings to the sites of narrative production formerly enriched by conjunctions with various forms of cultural, historical, and theoretical studies. Possible questions include, but are not limited to, the following: What are the precise relationships between narratives of modernity and the environment? How is the environment represented in modern fiction and what can we inherit from these representations? Do ecological representations in fiction differ from cultural representations, political representations, national representations? Or does the ecological lie beyond the limit of representation? Can ecological studies rightly be considered part of the tradition of humanism, if the ecological by definition names an engagement with the non-human? Or is it no longer possible to separate the human from the ecological? Has ecocriticism had a measurable affect on the relation between the human and the ecological? Are their openings to be made between ecocriticism and area studies, deconstruction, gender studies, global studies, postcolonialism, race relations, state policy studies, etc? Ultimately, how do modern narratives offer viable alternatives to thinking and (re)constituting the relationship between humanity and the environment? Accordingly this special issue of MFS seeks essays that will not only confront the normative and regulatory fictions of what could be called “environmentality,” but also consider, through an exploration of the creativity and power of imaginative acts, the potential for a less threatened ecological order to come.

Essays should range in length from 6,000 to 9,000 words (excluding notes and works cited) and should follow the current edition of the MLA Style Manual. Please submit two copies of the essay along with a [End Page 623] cover sheet that lists the author’s name, essay title, mailing address, telephone number, and email address. MFS does not accept electronic submissions. Please mail essays and cover letters to:

Editors, Modern Fiction Studies

Department of English, 500 Oval Drive

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038

Call for Papers: Upcoming Special Issue Theorizing Asian American Fiction

Guest Editors: Stephen Hong Sohn, Paul Lai, Donald C. Goellnicht

Deadline for Submission: 30 January 2009

The topic of this special issue of MFS stems from the exponential growth in Asian American literary production over the past few decades and the ongoing need to understand how these texts function within the framework of ethnic and Asian American Studies. This issue seeks to account for and further the important changes that have taken place in the last decade since Susan Koshy (1996) observed that Asian American literary studies have “been weak in theoretical work,” especially in its assumptions of a coherent body of texts defined by the ethnicities of the authors. More recently, Colleen Lye (2007) argues that scholars continually problematize the discursive production of Asian America without asking why we continue to lean on “Asian America” as an organizing principle for literary study. Her project instead offers: “the sense of the theoretical generativity of speaking not of identity but of form, of trying to investigate race and nation through the relationship between aesthetic and social modalities of form.” While Lye’s project usefully focuses on literary and narrative forms of Asia, its attempts to distance the formation of a textual coalition from authorial bodies drifts somewhat from other Asian American literary studies’ political project of recognizing and revaluing Asian American authors’ work. Is there a way to privilege...