Oxford Research in English: Strangeness / Estranged

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Oxford Research in English, English Faculty, University of Oxford
contact email: 


‘Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent’, wrote Arthur Conan Doyle, perhaps controverting the words of Prospero, who to his ‘state grew stranger, being transported, and rapt in secret studies’.

The language of literature, weird and lovely, defamiliarizes worlds we once thought of as safe, comforting, protective. Radically new concepts and images make breaks from the past, or alter our perspectives and produce distances and fractures, estranging us from ourselves. Literature repositions us, creating and recreating how we see and sense; this issue of Oxford Research in English will explore strangeness and estrangement in the world and in the self. Successful contributions might delve into divisions, separations, the other, the weird, the odd and the unexpected. 

We welcome papers investigating, but not limited to, any of the following topics: • Strange identities and uncanny physicalities, disability or deformity: how are bodily differences a source of embodied alterities? • Archives or strange histories; weird materialities and disordered concepts; unplumbed depths and uneven surfaces • Cybernetics and the human cyborg: how do literary texts resonate with the threats or rewards of artificial intelligence? What does cyborg literature tell us about ourselves? Is techno-humanity more fully human? • Strangers, the foreign and the different: strangeness in our home, or experiences of dislocation abroad • Experiences with alterity – be they cultural, ethnic, gendered, or as yet uncharted • Estrangement from nature and its traditional role as human home: literary treatments of a nature stripped of its welcoming plenty, or dangerously alive with uncanny material presences • Metamorphoses or interrogations of estrangement as processes which transform perspectives • Affective estangement and anomie: the divided self in various periods and traditions of literature; disruptions in perspective or subjectivity; disjunctions in narratorial perspective or abandonment of authorial ownership


Oxford Research in English (ORE) is an online journal for postgraduate and early career scholars in English, Film Studies, Creative Writing, and related disciplines. All submissions are peer-reviewed by current graduate students at the University of Oxford. The journal is currently seeking papers of 5-8,000 words for its ninth issue, to be released in Autumn 2019. Please submit papers for consideration to ore@ell.ox.ac.uk by the deadline of 1st March 2019.