Call for Submissions: Present Tense: Literary History in Our Time

deadline for submissions: 
December 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Modern Language Quarterly
contact email: 

Call For Submissions


The editors and editorial board of MLQ: A Journal of Literary History invite submissions of topical, short-form essays on literary history and the crises, clarities, and opportunities of the present moment for an ongoing special series, “Present Tense: Literary History in Our Time.” 


The series’ scope is open-ended: “literary history” is construed broadly in accord with journal tradition; “crises, clarities, and opportunities” can point to the precariousness or promise (or both) of our collective now. We are keen to solicit commentary from scholars representing a variety of career stages and institutional affiliations and to incorporate perspectives on teaching and other aspects of professional life not normally considered in published literary research. Topics under discussion might include literary history in conjunction with: 

-       the climate crisis;

-       the reckoning over race and colonialism;

-       the casualization of academic work;

-       pandemic;

-       technology and innovation;

-       the crisis of faith in institutions;

-       rising economic disparities;

-       political polarization;

-       the fate of disciplines, departments, or institutions;

-       emerging methods, pedagogies, archival formations, or discourses.


This list is partial and variable; the direction of the series will follow largely from submissions. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis; there is no deadline. Essays for consideration should be approximately 3000 to 5000 words in length. Email for submissions and questions: Our submission website is