Special Issue 'American Literary Naturalism in the World'

deadline for submissions: 
October 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
CR: The New Centennial Review (Michigan State UP)
contact email: 

Essays are invited for a forthcoming special issue of the CR on American literary naturalism in a global context. As Christopher Hill has argued in “The Travels of Naturalism and the Challenges of a World Literary History,” the history of nineteenth-century naturalist fiction points to disorderly patterns of circulation that suggest “multiple, overlapping histories, together forming a heterogeneous history on the scale of the planet.” Using the concept of “travel” as his point of reference, Hill sees naturalism as a paradigm for thinking about transnational literary, cultural, and economic transformations. This special issue aims to offer new perspectives on American literary naturalism in the context of global transformations from the nineteenth century to the present. Of particular interest are re-readings of canonical texts as well as less frequently discussed authors in comparative, transatlantic, postcolonial, and hemispheric approaches. Especially welcome are theoretically-inflected essays that offer novel, provocative definitions of the genre as it has developed from the mid/late nineteenth century to the present.

Possible topics can include but are not limited to:

  • American naturalism in translation
  • The international reputation and reception of American naturalist authors, poets, and dramatists, particularly in lesser known or less frequently discussed cultural contexts (e.g. Asia, South America, Central and Southern Europe, and the Middle East, among others)
  • The social, economic, and political contribution of American naturalism to (post) modernity
  • The interaction of American naturalism and other genres (e.g. realism, modernism, regionalism, journalism, melodrama, documentary, film, travel narratives), especially in less frequently addressed sociocultural contexts
  • American naturalism and issues of transnational scope and interest (e.g. empire, globalization, immigration, climate change, diasporic studies, food studies, aging, among others)
  • American naturalism and world literature: can we read American naturalism in the context of or as “world literature”? Can we rethink central thematic aspects and narrative patterns of American naturalism (e.g. determinism, evolution, nature, commodity culture, gender/race/and class) if we expand our range to different cultural, geographical, and geopolitical contexts?
  • Teaching American naturalism in non-American cultural and geographical contexts

Please send 300-500 word proposals and short bios to Myrto Drizou, Boğaziçi University (mdrizou@gmail.com) by October 30, 2018. Essays of 9000 words (Chicago style, 15th edition) will be due by December 2019 for publication in spring 2021. All inquiries are welcome.