[UPDATE] Reminder: Modern Creatures -- special journal issue (2015) (deadline proposals Nov 1)
We are inviting proposals for contributions to a special journal issue that explores the viability of the notion of the "creature(ly)" for an understanding of the relations between different forms of natural and supernatural life.
The notion of "the creature(ly)" has historically played a decisive but underinvestigated role in negotiating the flexible borders between the supernatural and human and animal life. This issues proposes to focus on the literary, cultural, and material histories of the creature(ly). It wants to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the contested zone where the natural and the supernatural meet in the modern age; it also aims to develop the notion of the creature(ly) as a powerful tool for future analyses of the affects, affinities, and anxieties that have marked this zone since the advent of modernity, and especially since Darwin.
Contributions can explore, but are not restricted to:
- how the notion of the creature(ly) has shaped and reflected changing gender relations and legal institutions of personhood, and has cut across the binary human/animal.
- the affinities between the notion of the creature(ly) and the diachronically related term "creativity," which places the notion at the heart of modern conceptions of authorship and anxieties about artifical creation.
- the religious resonances in the notion of the creature(ly); its relation to religious notions of Creation and the Creator and political theological approaches.
- postcolonial and gender dimensions of the ways in which the notion of the creature(ly), like that of the monstrous, has historically served to police the borders of Western subjectivity.
- the relations between animal, human, and supernatural life in popular culture and children's literature.
- the ways in which these relations have been shaped (and often triggered) by scientific discourses and practices, and have been sedimented in a broad range of material practices (like zoos).
Detailed proposals (500-1000 words) for articles of c. 5000-6000 words, as well as enquiries about this issue, can be sent to the guest editors: Virginia Richter and Pieter Vermeulen .