Special Issue of CLCWeb: Suffering, Endurance, Understanding: New Discourses in Philosophy and Literature

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Douglas Scott Berman
contact email: 

CFP: CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 19:5 (2017)


Vol. 19 No. 5 | December 2017


Call for Papers


Special Issue - “Suffering, Endurance, Understanding: New Discourses in Philosophy and Literature. Eds. Frank Stevenson, Douglas Berman, Emily Chow.


Deadline for Submissions: June 15, 2017


In recent years, Elaine Scarry, Martha Nussbaum, Gayatri Spivak, Richard Rorty, Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, and others have taught us that the manifold discourses of suffering – the different discussions and investigations of pain, violence, and trauma -- are not equivalent with, or reducible to, a closed set of existential or empirical facts, but must be continually re-contextualized and rethought within specific cultural and historical contexts; and lead, finally, to different forms of justification, reconciliation, compromise. Literally and metaphorically, suffering embodies us, along with those others with whom we share our world.


For this thematic issue, papers are invited that explore the topic of suffering within a literary and philosophical matrix. Topics of a comparative nature – i.e. literatures of non-Anglophone languages – are encouraged, as are essays that explore alternative media, such as film or music. Articles that rely on aspects of the analytic philosophical tradition are also welcome. The following list of topics is intended as a reference and is not meant to be inclusive:


-         Suffering and Gender;

-         Literary Depictions of Suffering

-         Post-Colonization and Suffering;

-         Suffering and the Animal

-         Philosophical Approaches to Suffering (e.g. hermeneutics, deconstruction, analytic philosophy)

-         Narrative approaches to Suffering (vis-à-vis ethics)

-         Suffering and Materiality

-         The Language of Suffering

-         Holocaust Survivor Literature

-         Suffering and Literary Theory

-         Suffering and Existentialism

-         Suffering and Technology

-         Suffering and Legal Theory


Please submit papers of 6000-7000 words by June 15, 2017 to Douglas Berman at douglasb41@gmail.com and Frank Stevenson at frankstevenson17@gmail.com. Papers should include an abstract and a works cited list. For the style of the journal, please consult http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=clcweblibrary. Articles published in the journal are double-blind peer reviewed and indexed in the International Bibliography of the Modern Language Association of America, the Thomson Reuters ISI Arts and Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI), Scopus, etc…