DEADLINE EXTENDED: Toni Morrison, Violence, and Domestic Space

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Parlour: A Journal of Literary Criticism and Analysis
contact email: 

Parlour Issue 4: Toni Morrison, Violence, and Domestic Space

“She rolled a bit of newspaper into a tight stick about six inches long, lit it and threw it onto the bed where the kerosene-soaked Plum lay in snug delight. Quickly, as the whoosh of flames engulfed him, she shut the door and made her slow and painful journey back to the top of the house” (Morrison, Sula).

The fourth issue of Parlour will examine the many ways in which violence defines and dominates the homes and other domestic spaces of Toni Morrison’s novels. Morrison’s work is marked by scenes of unthinkable violence that echo throughout individual novels and her oeuvre. Readers recall Sethe’s act of attacking her children and the subsequent haunting of 124 Bluestone Road, Eva’s immolation of Plum, the attack on the Convent women, Cholly’s rape of Pecola, and innumerable other examples of violence that occurs in domestic spaces. The editors are especially interested in surprising and unusual readings of violence and domesticity in Morrison’s work, particularly essays engaging with Morrison novels that receive comparatively little critical attention.

We are also interested in the ways that Morrison’s homes revolt against or resist cycles of violence, and whether these attempts are successful.

Essays, growl posts, and videos may consider but are by no means limited to the following topics within Morrison’s body of work:

  • The gendered nature of violence within the home
  • How violence precedes or follows forgiveness
  • Differences between the violence that occurs in matriarchal and patriarchal spaces
  • The intersection between violence and mercy
  • Women/men as both mothers/fathers and perpetrators
  • How siblings and/or extended family members mediate, perpetuate, or quell violence
  • How violence in the home mirrors cultural/political violence
  • Readings that consider the role of food, cooking, hunger, consumption

Submissions might consider violence within families or violence that occurs between unrelated persons within a particular domestic space, such as Dr. Scott’s assault of Cee Money in Home. We also welcome work that redefines normative notions of “home” and extend the definition of domestic space beyond the family residence.

Deadline for full article submission is February 15, 2018. Please note that we do not publish poems, short stories, etc.

We accept literary criticism from all periods. Further details and links to past issues are available at our website, Please direct submissions to our Submittable page,