Bakhtin for the Twenty-First Century

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Journal of Festival Culture Inquiry and Analysis

Bakhtin for the Twenty-First Century, a special issue of The Journal of Festivel Culture Inquiry and Analysis

We invite submissions for a special issue, Bakhtin for the Twenty-First Century, which will include a foreword by Prof Sue Vice, author of Introducing Bakhtin




In her essay “The Next Hundred Years of Mikhail Bakhtin,” written at the turn of the millennium, Caryl Emerson suggested that western readers of Bakhtin had received his “liberationist ideas” in a rather partial and idealised way, ignoring his works that emphasise authority and discipline. Without this corrective, she argued, the Bakhtinian promise of liberation might dissolve into “frustration, boredom, Babel, a sense of going nowhere, or silence”.

A little over twenty years of that hundred have seen a Babel-like explosion of language resulting from the development of new media, yet this polyphony has led to echo chambers and culture wars, while sections of the population continue to remain silenced. More broadly, Bakhtin’s work must be considered in light of a changing world order in which a rift is emerging between his native Russia – the changing state of which precipitated the initial boom in Bakhtin studies in the late 60s – and the west. In addition, the continued rise of China raises the question of the relationship between Bakhtinian poetics and a tradition of thought and aesthetics that lay outside his own intellectual orbit.

This special issue of the Journal of Festival Culture Inquiry and Analysis therefore invites articles that examine all aspects of Bakhtinian theory from the perspective of the early twenty-first century, and the coming decades. Papers from any disciplinary (or interdisciplinary) perspective are welcome, as are those that examine the relationship between Bakhtin and non-western cultures and cultural phenomena. Papers should consider the relevance of Bakhtin to specific contemporary political and social phenomena, and may address critiques of Bakhtin, as well as areas in which Bakhtinian theory may need to be reconsidered and revised in light of the contemporary moment. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:​

• Political populism

• Polyphony in the digital age

• Non-western cultures

• Contemporary festivals and other mass events

• The contemporary novel

• New media

• The “new cold war”

• Dark carnival

• The body

• Suffering, trauma and victimhood

• Sexuality

Please send papers of 5,000-8,000 words inclusive of notes and using MHRA style as a Word document to Dr Ivan Stacy at by 15th October 2022. Please also include a bio of approx. 150 words. 

​Queries can be directed to the same email address.

The proposed special issue is scheduled for publication in late 2023.