FRAME 36.1 “Dying Wor(l)ds”

deadline for submissions: 
December 7, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
FRAME, Journal of Literary Studies

In “Land Sickness”, Nikolaj Schultz describes how he goes on vacation to “detach from the material consequences of [his] existence,” but upon arrival on a French island, he is once more faced with the material reality of existence, as the island’s coastline is eroding, caused by rising sea levels and the pressure of foreign tourism. He writes: “Neither Pareto, Marx or Bourdieu died in vain, but none of them offer a language sufficient to articulate the geo-social struggle for territory that unfolds on the island. I myself lack a language to understand what is happening.” How indeed, does one think and write about the world that is disappearing under our feet? 

FRAME’s next issue is titled “Dying Wor(l)d’s” and accordingly focuses on questions of death and dying, in our world and our language. The understanding of the Anthropocene as a geological epoch has highlighted humanity’s ineffable impact on the planet we inhabit, but simultaneously, the Anthropocene continually draws attention to humanity’s inability to act upon that understanding. The cultural apathy that arises in discussions about the planet and our future illustrates our inability to think and write about such matters. We would like to invite scholars of literary studies and related fields to consider the (textual) implications of dying worlds and dying words. What happens when we, like Nikolaj Schultz, find ourselves without the vocabulary to express the loss we experience around us? Is literature able to narrate such complex matters, or is the environmental crisis also an illustration of the limits of literature—or indeed, the death of literature, brought about by the ‘poisonous gift’ that Bruno Latour titled the Anthropocene? And yet, there is a promise of global survival. Anna Tsing writes, while landscapes globally are dying, “[i]n a global state of precarity, we don’t have choices other than looking for life in this ruin” (6). How can we react to wor(l)ds dying?

Themes and topics related to these questions might include, but are not limited to:

  • The death of animal species and ecosystems

  • The use of death as narrator in literature

  • Cultural mediation of disasters

  • The human as destructive agent

  • Gothic literature and its anticipation of disaster

  • Cultural representation of good and evil

  • The death of literature, including increased illiteracy or the death of the physical book

  • (Eco)mourning

  • Posthumanism or the death of the human

  • The Great Dyings 

  • The death of Indigenous and minority languages

The above questions and concerns are only a few of the many themes that could be explored in the upcoming issue. However, we would like to stress that while FRAME encourages interdisciplinary and creative approaches, every proposal/article should show a clear connection to literary studies, as we are a literary journal first and foremost.

If you are interested in writing for FRAME, please submit a brief proposal of max. 500 words before 7 December 2022. Proposals should include a thesis statement, general structure and a preliminary reflection on the theories and discourses in which the argument will be situated. On the basis of all abstracts, contributors whose proposals are accepted will be notified by 15 December 2022, and asked to submit a draft version of the paper before 11 January 2023. Be mindful that we hold the right to reject draft versions to ensure consistency and coherence across all contributions to the issue. The deadline for the article’s first full version will be 26 February 2022, after which the editing process will begin. A regular article has a word limit of 6000 words, including bibliography and footnotes. For our Masterclass section, graduate and PhD students are invited to write up to a maximum of 4000 words. Please feel free to contact us at, should you have any questions. More information about our journal, as well as our submission guidelines, can be found on our website: