deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Professor Sharmani Patricia Gabriel/Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
contact email: 

Vol. 56, No. 2, December 2019
Guest Editor:  Wernmei Yong Ade

One can think of only a few works of literature that do not tell a “love story” or two.  Perhaps the most explored theme in literature, love has, however, only enjoyed a marginal status in critical literary scholarship.  The reluctance to take love seriously might be attributed to the fact that love is itself a subjective experience, one that at best offers, as Jean-Luc Marion informs us, “a non-interpretation”.  Thanks, however, in part to the philosophical writings of Levinas, Irigaray, Barthes, Kristeva, and Badiou, who have not only “praised” love (in reference to the title of Badiou’s book In Praise of Love) but insisted on its continued relevance towards ethics and politics, love is now seen as an important topic, one that is to be approached on its own terms in multiple fields of study, including the literary.  

Echoing Arthur Rimbaud, who in 1873 had insisted that love needed reinventing, the feminist poet and essayist Adrienne Rich wrote a hundred years later in 1972, that love remains in need of “re-vision”, referring to the act of looking back with renewed critical vision.   This special issue on love is inspired not only by the resurgence of love as a fertile field of study within the humanities, but is also driven by the conviction that love, in our age of advanced capitalism, globalisation, mobility and technology, is, more than ever, in need of re-vision.  

As one of the fastest growing regions in economic, political, and cultural terms, Southeast Asia, together with South and East Asia, are uniquely poised to contribute towards re-visioning love. What can the writings of these regions tell us about loving in an age such as ours  –  one of change, transience, and mobility? How is love experienced between individuals whose subjectivities are increasingly fragmented, non-unitary, multi-layered, and complex?  What can it mean to love, at a time when love is often experienced in between locations, or as Rosi Braidotti confesses “in translation”? What material and cultural factors condition our experiences, expressions, and representations of love? If love, as Barthes tells us, is nothing other than the discourse that constitutes it, then what does it mean to love between and across ideologies, cultures, traditions, and identities – gendered, sexual, racial, national, or otherwise?  What can the rhetorical tradition of love, as revealed in the regions’ literary and other cultural productions, tell us about the way we have loved and continue to love? How do the “love stories” embedded within the literatures and cultures of these regions open up spaces for ideological debate?

This issue welcomes proposals that explore the myriad experiences of love in Southeast, South, and East Asia, including diasporic sites of literary and cultural production,  which are related but not limited to the following: 

- Love in/ of literature, film, television, art and other cultural productions
- Love and mobility 
- Love and capitalism and/ or globalisation
- Love and ethics
- Love stories/ narratives of love  
- Love and textuality/ the lover’s discourse 
- Love in popular culture/ media
- Love and gender
- Love and sexuality  
- Love and the environment
- Cross-species experiences of love
- Love and borders (textual and geographical/ geopolitical) 

Abstracts (250 words) with a short bio (max 70 words) are to be sent to The Editor at (with a copy to The Guest Editor at by 15 April 2019.  

Decision notifications will be sent by 15 May 2019.

The deadline for the submission of full papers (5000-7000 words) is 31 August 2019.

All papers should be in English and uploaded to the SARE website through the "Make a Submission" portal at  

Detailed submission guidelines can be found on our website  (

If you have any questions related to the special issue, please direct your inquiries to

About our Guest Editor:

Dr Wernmei Yong ADE is Assistant Professor and Deputy Head of the English programme at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where she lectures and researches in the areas of feminist studies, contemporary women's writing, critical theory, and love. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her main research addresses the ideological and ethical dimensions of love, and their representations in literature, philosophy, and film. In recent years, this research has converged with her long-standing interest in women’s issues and feminism.  Most recently, she co-edited the volume Contemporary Arts as Political Practice in Singapore (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and has forthcoming a co-edited collection, Fluid Gender, Fluid Love (Brill, 2019).  She is a member of the steering committee for the International Society for the Study of Gender and Love, and has published several articles on love including “Mourning Diary: Love’s Work” (Textual Practice, 2015) and “The Sacred: Of Violence, Intimacy and Love” (Philosophy Today, 2012).  Her book chapter, “Becoming-Woman in Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve”, which examines intersections between love and nomadism, is currently under review by Brill.  In 2018, she was commissioned to write an essay for Oh Soon-Hwa’s Quiet Dream, a photoessay series on the subject of Vietnamese migrant brides, which will be sold through the Asian Art Museum in Nice.  


Submitter Bio: 

Sharmani Patricia Gabriel is Professor and Head of the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya.  She researches and teaches primarily in the fields of postcolonial literary studies, with a particular interest in the cultural politics of identity and ideas of "race", diaspora, migration and multiculturalism. She is the recipient of various awards, including the Commonwealth Academic Staff Award, which she took up at the University of Leeds, UK, and Fulbright Fellowships at the University of Northern Illinois and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, USA. Her work has appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals in her field. Her co-edited book publications include Diasporic Identities and Spaces Between (Inter-Disciplinary Press: Oxford, UK, 2012), Cosmopolitan Asia: Littoral Epistemologies of the Global South (Routledge: London & New York, 2016), and Literature, Memory, Hegemony: East/West Crossings (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).  She is Editor-in-Chief of SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English. She also serves on the editorial boards of: TRaNS: Trans-Regional and National Studies of Southeast Asia; ASIATIC: An International Journal of Asian Literatures, Cultures and Englishes;  eTropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics;  and on Rowman & Littlefield International’s Book Series on “Asian Cultural Studies: Transnational and Dialogic Approaches”.