deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies

Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies

Vol. 48 No. 1 | March 2022

Call for Papers


Deadline for Submissions: June 30, 2021


In William Blake’s “Introduction” to Songs of Innocence, the poet is also a musician, converting his piping into writing at the instigation of an angelic child. This originary link between music and literature—reflective of the (pre)historical oral transmission of myths and tales—continues unbroken to the present, as evidenced by the many musical interpretations of Blake’s poems, from American composer David Axelrod to the rock band U2.

This issue of Concentric seeks to explore the mutual influence between music and literature and to cultivate new methodological (and pedagogical) approaches to this relationship. While Vincent Barletta’s recent Rhythm: Form and Dispossession (2020) provides a transhistorical, ontological account of the primordial power of music, other scholars have examined its role in specific texts or cultural traditions: for instance, Elizabeth K. Helsinger’s Poetry and the Thought of Song in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2015) and Brent Hayes Edwards’s Epistrophes: Jazz and the Literary Imagination (2017). Edwards’s title plays on the incorporation into jazz of epistrophes, a literary device where words are repeated at the end of successive clauses. Such translation also works in the opposite direction, as in the musical leitmotif or idée fixe (as famously given in Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, for example), later used to describe literary leitmotifs. Thus, literary elements and structures are incorporated into such wide-ranging musical forms as Romantic orchestral music (e.g., the program notes to Symphonie fantastique), jazz, and—as Elizabeth Hoffman suggests in “‘I’-Tunes: Multiple Subjectivities and Narrative Method in Computer Music” (2012)—computer music. In turn, the granting of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan in 2016 institutionally legitimized the conception of music as literature, or at least underscored the blurriness of the distinction between music lyrics and poetry. Other scholars, such as Steven Shaviro in Digital Music Videos (2017) and the authors collected in Music/Video: Histories, Aesthetics, Media (2017), consider the ways in which music videos—launched into the American mainstream by MTV in the 1980s and now ubiquitous on YouTube—incorporate and transform film techniques and other preexisting media technologies, not to mention cultural ideologies. Although she wrote in the long-distant era of iPods, Catherine G. Bellver, in “Music as Hook in the Literature Classroom” (2008), argues that the contemporary ubiquity of music can be used as a potent pedagogical tool for engaging literature students. Clearly music and literature rhyme across form and discipline; we seek essays that attend to these overlapping artistic modes.

Please send complete papers of 6,000-10,000 words, 5-8 keywords, and a brief biography to by June 30, 2021. Manuscripts should follow the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Except for footnotes, which should be single-spaced, manuscripts must be double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman. Please consult our style guide at



Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, indexed in Arts and Humanities Citation Index, is a peer-reviewed journal published two times per year by the Department of English, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan. Concentric is devoted to offering innovative perspectives on literary and cultural issues and advancing the transcultural exchange of ideas. While committed to bringing Asian-based scholarship to the world academic community, Concentric welcomes original contributions from diverse national and cultural backgrounds. In each issue of Concentric we publish groups of essays on a special topic as well as papers on more general issues.

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