Oxford Research in English Issue 12: 'Trash'

deadline for submissions: 
November 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Oxford Research in English (ORE) (University of Oxford)
contact email: 

Oxford Research in English

Call for Papers – Spring 2021 issue


Deadline: November 30th, 2020


One person’s trash, another person’s treasure. Inspired by the cancelled English Graduate Conference this June, ORE’s forthcoming issue (Issue 12, Spring 2021) will follow the same theme by exploring the myriad literary resonances of ‘trash’: from genres considered ‘trash(y)’ at some point in time (romance, the Newgate novel, pamphlets, erotica, ‘chick lit’) to the material text as literal waste (palimpsested manuscripts, pulp fiction, paper
production, recycling). What constitutes ‘trash’ at a given time, and whose judgment is privileged to make that dismissal? What happens to a physical text once its use expires? How has literary practice engaged with questions of sustainability, waste, and the climate crisis?

We invite papers crossing all periods, genres, and literary disciplines, on themes including but not limited to:

• re-readings of the canon in its many incarnations;

• book production and disposal, recycling, scriptorial and printing practicalities and byproducts;

• formerly sidelined genres, such as popular fiction, romance, erotica, fanfiction, ‘chick lit’, self-help, children’s literature;

• trash and excess in the writing process—revision, cuts, ‘bad’ editions;

• marginalia, ephemera, pamphlets, and popular media;

• texts popular in their period that are now neglected, and vice versa;

• perspectives challenging the mainstream appraisal of waste and worth, including feminist, postcolonial and queer scholarship;

• literary ‘trashings’ both physical and critical—vandalism, inter-critic feuds, books originally panned at first publication;

• textual re-use, re-telling and resuscitation;

• banned books, censured texts, unlikely survivals;

• eco-critical approaches to waste.


Oxford Research in English (ORE) is seeking papers of 5-8,000 words for its 12th issue, to be released in Spring 2021. Please send all submissions (as attachments) to ore@ell.ox.ac.uk by November 30th.

We ask that submitted articles be formatted using MHRA. You can find our style guide, previous issues and more information on our website: https://oxfordresearchenglish.wordpress.com