CFP: Reading James (March 1, 2013)
Who reads James? When? Where? How? Why? What did James want from his readers? How did he read his own writings and those of others? New work on the history, sociology, culture, psychology, even the biology of reading has made these questions fresh. This special issue of the Henry James Review invites contributions on all aspects of Jamesian reading.
Reading James can be, quite literally, materially different, depending upon whether the reader encounters the text in serial form, as volume from a circulating library, on loan from another reader, as part of the New York Edition, in a fine binding or a Norton anthology or on a website. And readers of James are various: writers, critics, theorists; philosophers, art historians, historians. How do disciplinary needs, methodologies, and assumptions shape such readers? Then, too, adaptation, quotation, and translation can all be viewed as forms of reading. What commercial considerations, practicalities, and formal requirements come into play? What does it mean to read James in Tehran, in Beijing, in Paris, in London? What about those times when James is (nearly) unread? Which James works have been popular? Which neglected? What gets reprinted? When? Why?
Readers are, of course, shaped by James. His criticism gives us theories of reading. James depicts readers in his fiction, even as he manipulates those who read him. His metaphors can be alarming--he speaks of catching readers and drugging them--and alluring: invitations to dream together. For James, "The work is divided between the writer and the reader"; both were parts he played avidly.
Contributions should be submitted in duplicate and produced according to MLA style. One-page proposals or short (10-12 pages) essays should be sent by March 1, 2013, to:
Susan M. Griffin, Editor
Henry James Review
Department of English
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292