MFS Special Issue - Animal Worlds in Modern Fiction

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Modern Fiction Studies
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Animal Worlds in Modern Fiction
Guest Editor: David Herman
Deadline for Submissions: October 1, 2013

The Editors of MFS seek essays that explore how 20th- or 21st-century fictional texts engage with nonhuman animals and their ways of encountering the world. Especially welcome are essays that, focusing in detail on one or two case studies, use these texts to reflect on broader conceptual, methodological, or interpretive challenges and opportunities presented by fictional engagements with nonhuman worlds.

Building on cross-disciplinary conversations being conducted under such headings as critical animal studies, animality studies, zoegraphy,posthumanism, and biopolitics, the special issue takes its title from Uexküll's concept of the Umwelt, which in the philosopher Evan Thompson's gloss refers to "an animal's environment in the sense of its lived, phenomenal world, the world as it presents itself to that animal thanks to its sensorimotor repertoire." What fictional techniques do 20th- or 21st-century authors use to imagine nonhuman ways of being-in-the-world, and with what overall effect? What paradigms for inquiry might best illuminate how such fictional worlds stage nonhuman experiences? How do fictional treatments of animal worlds relate to larger philosophical, historical, or cultural questions--such as issues of anthropomorphism, contradictory attitudes toward animals, ideas about gender or sexuality, or the scope and limits of the concept of person?

Essays should be 7,000 - 8,500 words, including all quotations and bibliographic references, and should follow the MLA Style Manual (7th edition) for internal citation and Works Cited. Please submit your essay via the online submission form at the following web address:

Queries should be directed to David Herman (