Locating a Collective Lyric I

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
The Hopkins Review
contact email: 

In partnership with Johns Hopkins’ University’s The Hopkins Review, the authors of Public Feminism in Times of Crisis: From Sappho's Fragments to Global Hashtags, Leila Easa and Jennifer Stager, are putting together a folio on the relationships and tensions between the singular and the collective as explored in poetry, visual art, scholarship, and theory, among other genres. We are particularly interested in the power of the collective as a much-needed source of activist intervention. 

Public Feminism in Times of Crisis is a book of essays in classical receptions and feminist criticism developed in connection to ongoing political and epidemiological crises and the significant intersectional feminist response to this moment. In particular relationship to the current project, chapter four takes up the notion of a collective lyric I and performance, proposing an I/we relationship woven into lyric practices.

Together with The Hopkins Review, we seek writing and visual arts engaged with the collective lyric I, broadly construed, to be published in a Fall 2023 folio. The I of lyric poetry claims a closer relation to individual subjectivity than other modes of address, yet, often in connection with pluralities like the chorus, may also produce distributed modes of collectivity, creating an I/We or plural I. While this idea of the “plural I” has a deep history, its collectivity has always stood in some tension with the singular I of an individual speaking subject. Over time, its pluralities have been de-emphasized in favor of a “singular I” that has been a primary mode of patriarchal culture. In this issue, we ask what possibilities emerge when poets, writers, artists, and translators embrace a plural I, recasting what has been understood as singular as instead collective. In our particular moment, respecting both the multiplicity of the “I” and individual subjectivity within collectives is a critical activist project, and work that reexamines the lyric may serve as exemplars for this broader project. For this folio, we invite a range of contributions and approaches to theorizing a collective lyric I across media from those working in and beyond disciplines such as disability studies, history of art, literature, history, political theory, performance, translation, and the visual arts. Scholarly writing, creative work, and experimental essays are among the genres we welcome.

Interested contributors are invited to send a 250-500 word proposal outlining the length, scope, and material of their proposed contribution. We welcome short-form work, essays of up to 5,000 words, visual art, and forms yet unconceptualized. Please submit to both Jennifer Stager [jstager1@jhu.edu] and Leila Easa [leasa@ucdavis.edu] by November 15th.

NB: Contributors whose submissions are accepted for publication in The Hopkins Review quarterly print journal can expect to be paid the journal's standard rate of $1 a line for poetry with a $40 minimum per publication, and $10 a page for prose with a $100 minimum per publication.