UPDATE: Contemporary Literature and the State (10/31/07; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Hart
contact email: 

Edited by Matt Hart and Jim Hansen
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


We seek 1-3 essays and an author interview to complete CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE AND THE STATE, to be published as a special issue of CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE 49/4 (Winter 2008) and marketed as a paperback volume through the University of Wisconsin Press.

The essays already committed to the volume discuss how problems of political representation, transnationalism, state violence, and social policy affect the work of 20th- and 21st-century writers; they discuss novels and plays that are rooted in diverse contemporary histories; they consider literary texts from America, Europe, South America, and Africa; and they show how authors as different as Samuel Beckett and Susan Choi, working with dissimilar notions of political commitment, address their work to distinct emanations of sovereign power.

The issue is designed so as to engage with political paradigms that are of increasing moment to literary studies, from Giorgio Agamben’s work on the “state of exception” to the idea, addressed in different ways by Bruce Robbins and Daniele Archibugi, of a “cosmopolitics.” Perhaps most importantly, our contributors consider whether and how the institution and idea of the state is relevant to contemporary writers in an age of global neoliberalism, digital telecommunications, and mass migration.

Contributions must engage the issue’s focal theme and center on Anglophone literature since WWII. We are especially interested in the following subject areas:

  * Postcolonial states
  * The state and “world literature”
  * Sexuality, gender, and the state
  * Contemporary poetry and the state
  * State patronage of the literary arts
  * Interviews with poets, novelists, or dramatists on any of the above topics

Submit essays by 31 October 2007 to:

Department of English
7145 Helen C. White Hall
University of Wisconsin-Madison
600 North Park Street
Madison WI 53706

Mark your submission "CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE AND THE STATE." See <http://mendota.english.wisc.edu/~CL/mssubmit.htm> for submission guidelines. Enquiries to <matthart@uiuc.edu> and <jhansen1@uiuc.edu>.

Matthew Hart
2006-07 Fellow
Society for the Humanities
Cornell University
A. D. White House,
27 East Ave., Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-9285

Assistant Professor,
Department of English
Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
208 English Building, MC-718
608 S. Wright St.,
Urbana, IL 61801

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Received on Mon Mar 19 2007 - 14:35:16 EST