Deadline Extended: Renaissance Literature and Modern Sociopolitical Applications: Leadership, Power, and Literary Legacies

deadline for submissions: 
June 22, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
California State University, Stanislaus
contact email: 

[Update] Deadline Extended to June 22nd, 2018

Editors Tony Perrello and C. Anne Engert are seeking proposals for individual and co-authored chapters for a volume entitled Renaissance Literature and Modern Sociopolitical Applications: Leadership, Power, and Literary Legacies. Contributors to the collection are exploring the current American crises of leadership through the dramatic literature of the English Renaissance or vice versa. We believe that many of our colleagues are already talking about the intersection between these two topics, and we envision this edited volume as an opportunity to further such exploration in a scholarly venue. We have space in our volume for an additional 3-4 essays, and so are extending the deadline for interested parties.

Crises of leadership fill the news today, on multiple levels. This edited volume of essays will present discussions that offer analyses of Renaissance texts and how they may display relevance to modern sociopolitical conditions. We are challenged to understand, and sometimes resist, increasingly toxic structures of leadership and power in our midst. Such understanding may emerge from insights found in the rich literary legacy of political crises and the deeply flawed leadership behind them. Such resistance may accumulate along lines of gender and sexuality, racial and social identities, or alliances among unlikely companions. From both these lines of inquiry come questions that may involve a multi-disciplinary approach. The book will be organized by the following headings and sub-fields:

 Introduction: When governance becomes a reality show

 Part I: Dealing with a leader’s Dark Triad personality (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy)

  • The pleasures and dangers of taunting from a bully pulpit
  • Dealing with the devil and getting exactly what you thought you wanted
  • A foil, a foil, my kingdom for someone to counterpunch
  • We know he’s flawed, but he’s God’s tool
  • Dangerous liaisons and hidden agendas
  • Gaslighting as a leadership strategy

Part II: Feeding the base, shaping and shifting the narrative

  • Conjuring demons and hunting witches
  • The normalization of the scandalous and cognitive dissonance among traditionalists
  • Mourning, nostalgia, and fear as the operators of crisis
  • Spectacle, melodrama, and distraction as leadership style
  • Trickle-down coarseness, vulgarity, anxieties, fears?
  • Throw open wide the Overton window


Part III: The collapse of truth and/or dealing with life in a post-truth society

  • Political speech in the absence of meaning
  • The denial of death as a response to imperiled empire
  • The perils of friends, enemies, and frenemies as political bedfellows
  • Betrayals, denied and admitted


Part IV: Do we get the leadership we deserve?

  • The voices of the people during times of crisis in leadership
  • The responsibilities, complications, and anxieties of enabling incompetence
  • Anti-intellectualism and idiocracy
  • Tribalism and its effects in a complex society

Though we will consider proposals addressing any of the topics in the above outline, we are especially interested in essays that fit into Parts II and IV. Proposals of 500 words should be sent to Tony Perrello at by 22 June, 2018. Please include a provisional title and a brief CV. Full-length papers will be solicited from these proposals, with final chapters (expected length: 5000-6000 words) due by March, 2019.


CFP deadline: 22 June, 2018

Decisions communicated by: 29 June, 2018

Drafts of essays due: 17 December, 2018

Completed essays due: 18 February, 2019

Manuscript submitted: March, 2019