Call for Papers, Issue #13: MASKS

deadline for submissions: 
March 19, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Oxford Research in English (ORE)
contact email: 


A little more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, masks have become an ever-present symbol of our own historical moment. Yet, apart from their present topicality, masks have long played a part in literature and the arts. For this thirteenth issue of Oxford Research in English (ORE), we invite articles that examine the textual, intertextual, and extratextual ways in which masks feature, are performed, or are regarded more generally in literature.

Masks and masking—whether physical or metaphorical—toe the line between disguise and display, withholding and proclaiming identity, and the limits of human sensory observation. The word’s uncertain etymology echoes this liminal existence between concealment and exhibition. The original Latin word, masca, connoted a sense of otherworldliness and held an association with spectres and nightmares, while the Old French mascurer linked a literal sense of blackening one’s face with symbolic associations of witches and wizards.

The journal is interested in submissions that engage with the following topics (or any other linked to the issue’s theme) from any period or focus within literary studies and related fields:


• face masks and coverings;
• helmets and headwear;
• plastic surgery and makeup;
• ‘death masks’ and questions of preservation;
• mask-wearing in response to illness or disability (whether visible or invisible);
• masks and masking in racial and postcolonial contexts; ‘modes’ of writing;
• racial and gender ‘passing’;
• masques and the theatre; costumes and cross-dressing;
• palimpsests (literal and figurative), the layering or masking of narrative and authorship (including pseudonymity and anonymity);
• social masking and discrepancies between private and public moralities;
• title pages; books as ‘masked’ objects; or
• construction as masking: landscaping, interior or exterior design, the shaping of visual scenes.

Oxford Research in English is seeking papers of 5,000-8,000 words for its thirteenth issue, to be released in Autumn 2021. Please submit full papers for consideration to by 19 March 2021. The journal does not require abstracts in advance and asks that submitted articles be formatted using MHRA.

We ask that submitted articles be formatted using MHRA. You can find our style guide here. Previous issues of the ORE can be accessed here.