UPDATED: Russian & American Short Stories and Influence Abstract: 3/31/2019; Completed Draft: 8/15/2019

deadline for submissions: 
March 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Jeff Birkenstein & Robert Hauhart

Though usually relegated to second status critically, the short story is having a moment. When Canadian writer Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2013, it was specifically for her contribution to the short story genre. As a writer who does not write novels, she acknowledged the importance of the award: “It’s a wonderful thing for the short story.” Indeed.


Nevertheless, we believe that short stories continue to be overlooked critically, just as the myriad connections between Russian and American short stories and their writers have yet to be fully developed. For a co-edited collection, we seek essays of 5,000 to 6,000 words that explore the short stories of some of the more popular and/or influential Russian and American writers from the nineteenth century to today.  We are particularly interested in essays that explore connections between Russian and American short stories and their writers, from biography to genre/literary studies to political issues (such as exile and resistance) and more.


This collection of transnational, globalized Russian and American literature studies envisions understanding the interwoven nature of our contemporary world and the role that various Russian and American short story writers have played, and continue to play, in it. We look for essays that examine anew, and perhaps revise, our cultural, historical, spatial, and epistemological understandings of these stories. How, for instance, did Russian short story writers comment on the agrarian and modernizing industrialist tensions of tsarist Russia, and/or the extended revolutionary period? In the United States, how did a developing nation coming out of the horrors of the Civil War influence the construction of the modern short story? In the twentieth century, how does short story writing in an increasingly globalized world—when seen from before, during, and beyond the Cold War—influence short stories and the genre?  And, today, how do Russian and American short story writers construct meaning at/in/against the context of a globalized, dehumanizing, suffocating, and neoliberal capitalist world?


In this collection, we intend to trace the history of the short story genre in both countries from the nineteenth-century onward, but also, pointedly, to connect these histories one to the other. We encourage critics interested in the entire range of Russian and American short stories and authors—including, but not limited to, Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Lidiya Zinovyeva-Annibal, Teffi, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Vera Inber, Mikhail Bulgakov, Isaak Babel, Solzhenitsyn, and Gary Shteyngart to Poe, Bierce, Melville, Hawthorne, Sherwood, Anderson, Willa Cather, Fitzgerald, James Baldwin, Welty, Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Richard Wright, Salinger, Cheever, Shirley Jackson, Tillie Olsen, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Raymond Carver, Alice Walker, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Jhumpa Lahiri.


We intend to have an academically rigorous, interesting, and cohesive volume on the topic, and we invite you to join us.


Abstracts of about 500 words & CV by March 31, 2019 to:


Jeff Birkenstein, Ph.D., & Robert Hauhart, J.D., Ph.D.

Saint Martin’s University

5000 Abbey Way SE

Lacey, WA  98503




The co-editors have extensive editorial experience. Our earlier volumes include American Writers in Exile, 2015, and Social Justice and American Literature, 2017 (both from Salem Press); and, European Writers in Exile (2018, Lexington Books).


Completed drafts of around 5-6,000 words by August 15, 2019