Renaissance Literature and Modern Sociopolitical Applications: Leadership, Power, and Literary Legacies

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
California State University, Stanislaus
contact email: 

Editors Tony Perrello and C. Anne Engert welcome proposals for individual and co-authored chapters for a volume entitled Renaissance Literature and Modern Sociopolitical Applications: Leadership, Power, and Literary Legacies. We are in the process of assembling a collection of essays that explores the current American crises of leadership through the dramatic literature of the English Renaissance or vice versa. We believe that many of our colleagues are already talking about the intersection between these two topics, and we envision this edited volume as an opportunity to further such exploration in a scholarly venue. Palgrave MacMillan has shown interest in the project, which we aim to complete by March of 2019.

Crises of leadership fill the news today, on multiple levels. This edited volume of essays will present discussions that offer analyses of Renaissance texts and how they may display relevance to modern sociopolitical conditions. We are challenged to understand, and sometimes resist, increasingly toxic structures of leadership and power in our midst. Such understanding may emerge from insights found in the rich literary legacy of political crises and the deeply flawed leadership behind them. Such resistance may accumulate along lines of gender and sexuality, racial and social identities, or alliances among unlikely companions. From both these lines of inquiry come questions that may involve a multi-disciplinary approach. The following are some suggested topics (others under the same general theme are welcome):

 

  • Trickle-down coarseness, vulgarity, anxieties, fears?
  • Gaslighting as a leadership strategy
  • The collapse of truth and/or dealing with life in a post-truth society
  • The denial of death as a response to imperiled empire
  • Tribalism and its effects in a complex society
  • The responsibilities, complications, and anxieties of enabling incompetence
  • The perils of friends, enemies, and frenemies as political bedfellows
  • Betrayals, denied and admitted
  • Spectacle, melodrama, and distraction as leadership style
  • Dealing with a leader’s Dark Triad personality (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy)
  • The pleasures and dangers of taunting from a bully pulpit
  • Dealing with the devil and getting exactly what you thought you wanted
  • When governance becomes a reality show
  • Mourning, nostalgia, and fear as the operators of crisis
  • Anti-intellectualism and idiocracy
  • Do we get the leadership we deserve?
  • The normalization of the scandalous and cognitive dissonance among traditionalists
  • Political speech in the absence of meaning
  • Feeding the base, shaping and shifting the narrative
  • A foil, a foil, my kingdom for someone to counterpunch
  • Conjuring demons and hunting witches
  • Dangerous liaisons and hidden agendas
  • We know he’s flawed, but he’s God’s tool
  • Throw open wide the Overton window
  • The voices of the people during times of crisis in leadership

Proposals of 500 words should be sent to Tony Perrello at tperrello@csustan.edu by 15 May, 2018. Please include a provisional title and a brief CV. Full-length papers will be solicited from these proposals, with final chapters (expected length: 6000 words) due by the end of February, 2019.

 Timeline

CFP deadline: 15 May, 2018

Decisions communicated by: 15 June, 2018

Drafts of essays due: 17 December, 2018

Completed essays due: 18 February, 2019

Manuscript submitted: March, 2019