Crashing the Canon: A Spotlight for the Underrepresented in Higher Education

deadline for submissions: 
December 22, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
The Humanities Review / St. John's University

When we think of the western literary canon, we tend to think of the famous authors and works that have shaped our literary and scholarly culture into what it is today: Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens, Twain, Whitman, and the list goes on and on. But In our age of cultural and technological advancement, we believe that the bodies of works we consider worthy of study should also reflect the current world around us. Thus, the goal of this issue of The Humanities Review is to shine a spotlight on those authors, works, and platforms which have not yet found a home in the literary/academic canon, but still merit the kind of close literary analysis afforded to the canon. Though there have been recent movements to include more BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA+ writers on that list, more can be done to highlight the immense and important body of work by these underrepresented writers. The same can be said for modern genre fiction as well, particularly those genres which operate in the realm of wonder--science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, supernatural horror, etc. Likewise, traditional novels and collections of poetry currently dominate the list, but what about newer platforms that employ writing such as comics, graphic novels, film and TV, and video games? Should they be considered in the canon conversation as well?

Included in this historical literary tradition is the hierarchy of language. So, in crashing the canon, we also ask one to consider how standard English has been used to reinforce class, racial, and ethnic segregation in academia and through literature. Should the academy, thus, include into its canon multilingual, multidialectal, AAVE and other vernacular voices/writings?

We are open to any and all works that discuss the aforementioned underrepresented writers and genres, as well as creative works of poetry, fiction, drama, and translation, from/about the same. We are also open to relevant book reviews, as well as art/photography for both inside the journal, and the cover.


Just a few examples of topics that may fit in this issue:

- Lesser known/under-studied works from any author/time period

- Underrepresented/under-studied works and authors specifically from the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities

- Analysis of works of genre fiction including, but not limited to: Science fiction and its sub-genres (cyberpunk, dystopian, posthumanism, etc) - Fantasy and its subgenres (high, low, magical realism, etc) - Noir/detective - Horror/supernatural - Comics and graphic novels on any subject - Modern and/or under-studied works from film and television - Video games and/or video games as a genre

- Critical analyses of non-standard English in scholarship/academia

- Works of creative writing (open to all, but underrepresented genres and writers especially encouraged)

Editors are currently seeking abstracts of 250 words with a working title along with a CV by December 22, 2021. If your abstract is accepted, the final deadline for full submissions is February 22, 2022.

For creative works, you may submit 3-5 poems, or 1 short story/drama piece.

We are also seeking artwork/photography for our cover! Feel free to interpret our prompt however you see fit. Send up to 3 images as jpg to be considered.

Submissions must be sent as Microsoft Word documents (.doc or .docx only) attached via email (i.e. not in the body text of the email) to both editors: & Submissions must be double-spaced, adhering to MLA format (in-text citations, works cited page, etc.).

Book reviews and interviews should be no more than 1,000 words; essays and all other submissions no more than 5,000 words.

For creative works, send no more than 3-5 poems or 1 short story/dramatic work. You may submit both academic works and creative works for the same issue.

The St. John’s University Humanities Review is a peer-reviewed publication. You will be notified promptly after the deadline if your submission is accepted.