"Humanities" Special Issue: "Twentieth Century American Literature"

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
"Humanities" Open Access Journal


It’s a statistic we hear often: the United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation. Yet, many U.S. Americans can go about their daily lives without thinking about their physical proximity to prisons or the people locked within. Prisons have become increasingly removed to rural, remote areas, set back from main highways, not visible from shopping centers, restaurants, and housing developments. Likewise, the U.S. political landscape works hard to obfuscate the realities of life locked up, reducing mass incarceration to shocking statistics. However, prisons remain hidden in plain sight, coming to life in American literature and film.

While geography and political discourse can work to obscure the realities of who is locked up, where, why, and for how long, art about prison reveals cultural anxieties about America’s penal practices. This special issue on twentieth-century US American literature invites submissions investigating Americans’ longstanding cultural impulses to write, read, and watch stories about prison. We are especially interested in contributions that explore abolitionist histories and activist practices as well as intersectional analyses.

 Completed articles of 5000–7000 words, along with 150–200-word bios, should be submitted by 15 Sep 2022 to the email address of Special Issue editors <20thamericanliterature@gmail.com>.. Inquiries welcome and should be directed to the Special Issue Editors.

Dr. Yvonne Hammond
Dr. Katy Ryan
Dr. Valerie Surrett 
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • prison

  • abolition
  • race/racism
  • incarceration
  • trauma/generational trauma
  • literature