“Race, Dystopia, and American Identity”

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
The St. John’s University Humanities Review
contact email: 

  Call for papers, The St. John's Humanities Review Spring 2018 Issue


 The St. John’s University Humanities Review

 Special Issue: “Race, Dystopia, and American Identity”

 Deadline for Abstracts: December 15, 2018

Deadline for Submissions: February 15, 2018
Guest Editor: Catherine C. Saunders

Contact email:  saunderc@stjohns.edu


“Race, Dystopia, and American Identity”
A Special Issue of The St. John’s University Humanities Review Spring 2018 


Focusing on race, dystopia and how they shape or contribute to American identity, The St. John’s University Humanities Review (http://stjenglish.com/st-johns-humanities-review) is accepting submissions for its special issue, “Race, Dystopia, and American Identity” which will be published in the spring of 2018. The editors are seeking reviews, interviews, and essays that contemplate race, dystopia, and American identity through theoretical, pedagogical, and/or personal lenses. The editors are especially interested, but not limited to, reviews or criticisms that consider race, dystopia, and the role of the fool (or satiric versions of) within dystopian spaces.


The editors are also seeking book reviews on recent publications, both fiction or non-fiction, that contain themes of race, dystopia, and American identity. If interested in reviewing one of the following titles, or a recent title of your suggestion please reach out to the editors immediately. 


 The Changeling by Victor LaValle 

 We Were Eight Years and Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates 

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton 

Be Fierce by Gretchen Carlson

CHOKEHOLD by Paul Butler

The Sellout by Paul Beatty 


 Please submit an abstract of 250 words with a working title along with a CV by December 15, 2018. The final deadline for submissions is February 15, 2018. 

Submissions must be sent as Microsoft Word documents (.doc or .docx only) attached via email (i.e. not in the body text of the email) to: saunderc@stjohns.edu

Submissions must be double-spaced, adhering to Chicago Manual of Style (NB w/footnotes, 16th Edition). Book reviews and interviews should be no more than 1000 words; essays and all other submissions no more than 5000 words. 


Submissions may consider (but are not limited to) the following queries: 

  • How does popular culture portray the intersection between race, dystopia, and American Identity (e.g. George Clooney's Suburbicon, NBC’s This is Us, ABC’s Scandal, and Netflix’s Orange is the New Black or House of Cards)? 
  • Does the role of the fool (wise, trickster, clown etc.) necessarily mean comic relief/a figure of levity, or could we rewrite the narrative of this term by also including those who embody idealism in the face of dystopia?  How does satire or humor complicate dystopia, especially in conjunction with race?
  • How might current media narratives—such as the pervasive narratives of racial tension, political conflict, or sexual assault—connect dystopia and American identity? 
  • How do race and dystopia affect classroom environment? How might educators engage race and dystopia to create inclusive classroom environments? 
  • How might classroom engagement, or avoidance, of race and dystopia affect American Identity?