- Call for Papers: Upcoming Special Issue Fiction after 9/11
The Editors of MFS seek essays that reflect on fiction’s and film’s various responses to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. What are the successes and failures of these narrative mediations? While we welcome analyses of novels and films that directly engage 9/11 (such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Don DeLillo’s Falling Man, Jess Walter’s The Zero, Jay McInerny’s The Good Life, and William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition), we are also interested in essays that examine other narratives that might be read as coded or oblique mediations on terrorism and the US military response to the attacks. More broadly stated, to what extent might all fiction written after 9/11 in some sense be “about” 9/11?
How significant has the narrative response to 9/11 been? Do the fictional accounts of 9/11 resonate or jar with such theoretical perspectives as Slavoj Žižek’s Welcome to the Desert of the Real, Jean Baudrillard’s The Spirit of Terrorism, or Paul Virilio’s Ground Zero? To what extent is the fiction produced after 9/11, whether it directly represents the event or not, a response to trauma? Can fiction ever be an appropriate form of witness? What do postcolonial fiction and theory have to say about 9/11? Is post-9/11 fiction critical of or complicit with US fears about Islam? Some pundits have argued that the aftermath of 9/11 has seen a return to traditional gender roles and marginalized feminism; does recent fiction endorse this claim? These questions are not meant to be exhaustive. Other cultural and theoretical contexts are encouraged.
Essays should be 6000–9000 words and should follow the MLA Style Manual for internal citation and works cited. Please submit two copies of your essay to The Editors, MFS, Department of English, Purdue University, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038. Queries should be directed to John Duvall (firstname.lastname@example.org). [End Page 229]