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  • Calls for Regular Features

Pleasure Reading

We all fell in love with reading at some point. But in the workaday grind of our lives, finding pleasure in reading is all too rare. Still, every now and then, it happens. Perhaps you read a monograph or article that makes you see the things you study in an unexpected, exciting, and challenging way, or you read a novel you find shattering and brilliant. This novel, poem, or film, monograph old or new, visual work or work of theory, feels transformative. And you have that feeling: everyone should see this! You want to share.

"Pleasure Reading" essays are brief (3,000–4,000 word) engagements with a text—visual or artifact, literary or critical, old or new, material or virtual—that brought you pleasure, broadly defined. Submissions should focus on the content of the text as well as its significance for other readers and should convey the terms of your enjoyment. These are not book reviews. They are accounts of books, articles, images, or objects that influenced your writing, your thinking, or your living. They need not be of contemporary works but may be from any period of time from "the long nineteenth century" to the present day. The editors are seeking pieces that are thoughtful, inventive, enthusiastic, and above all, fun to read.


J19 Forums are modeled on the best conference panels: engaging topics, compelling short presentations, provocative ideas and arguments. Forums are organized by a convener, who solicits and gathers short essays (no more than 3,000 words) from participants. The convener writes a short introduction and assembles a brief list for further reading.

If you'd like to propose a Forum, please submit a proposal of no more than two pages to the editors. The proposal should explain the basic question, problem, or text the essays will engage and its value to the field, the participants and their proposed topics, and a timeline for [End Page 1] submission. We prefer that participants be new voices and not be members of the J19 board or have contributed to a previous Forum.


Books get reviews and conference papers get questions, but journal articles—so central to our intellectual lives as scholars and teachers—often get no immediate response. With our new Letters section, J19 seeks to provide a forum for readers' comments, questions, critiques, and suggestions. These responses, we hope, will not only be useful for writers but will foster informal communities of scholars who are working on related topics or problems. More broadly, we see the Letters sections as a site for debate, conversation, and community. The editors thus solicit letters of no more than 1,000 words in dialogue with essays from previous issues.

C19 Podcast

Make your voice heard! The C19 Podcast is a stage for public scholarship on American literature, history, and culture. The immersive experience of podcasts builds relationships to listeners through the pleasures of oral storytelling and the comforts of conversation with an everyday ease granted by the medium's mobility. We invite proposals from individuals and collaborators of all ranks for single podcast episodes on creative, thoughtful approaches to critical topics that can engage C19 members and the wider public. Possible formats may include (but are not limited to) narrative expositions, interviews, analyses of underrepresented texts, and roundtables. No previous experience with podcasting is required. For a detailed description of the application process and technical requirements, click the "podcasts" tab at the C19 website: If you have questions, write to Doug Guerra at Submissions are open and will be evaluated by the Podcast Subcommittee three times a year coinciding with the end of the fall, spring, and summer semesters. [End Page 2]



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