The Critic as Amateur
We are inviting essays for a proposed collection tentatively titled The Critic as Amateur, with strong interest from Oxford UP. The collection will focus on literary criticism as an activity suspended (productively) between expertise and amateurism. It will explore the idea of the critic of literature as an amateur rather than an expert, or conversely, it will consider the role of expertise in literary criticism. Individual contributions might touch on figures who have written on literature without credentials/certification, academic or otherwise, or institutional affiliations. They might also address academics who have successfully assumed "amateur" roles while writing or speaking in the public domain. Contributors could also address aspects of the history of literary studies and liberal arts education, how both have moved back and forth between the polarities of expertise and amateurism. Finally, contributions can also be personal, even autobiographical takes on the question, one's experience doing different kinds of writing, speaking and teaching. Any kind of archive is welcome here as long as it bears some relation to the unifying motifs of the collection.
If you are interested, please send a proposal/abstract (300-500 words) along with a brief bio to the editors, Aarthi Vadde (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Saikat Majumdar (email@example.com) by August 20, 2016. Following the submission of abstracts, the editors will prepare a detailed proposal which will be reviewed by Oxford UP for the possible contract for the collection. Should OUP issue a contract, a timeline for the submission of complete essays will be set at that time.
Our goal is to bring together scholars of diverse backgrounds, ranks, and affiliations to contribute to the volume. Confirmed contributors so far include: Derek Attridge, Rosinka Chaudhuri, Tom Lutz, Peter McDonald, Melanie Micir, and Joel Nickels.