estrema: interdisciplinary journal of humanities (Series II, n° 2): Light
estrema: interdisciplinary journal of humanities, an online open access journal of the Centre for Comparative Studies at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon (CEComp-FLUL), is currently launching a call for papers and critical reviews for its second issue of its Series II–Winter 2022/23, with the deadline of January 31st.
Our first issue, published in the Summer of 2022, gathered works from authors who approached the topic of ‘shadows’ in a critical, innovative, and interdisciplinary manner. Using the same criteria, we hereby launch a new call for papers for our second number. This number will be published in the Winter of 2022/23, and it is focused on the topic of ‘light’.
Light is not just a phenomenon around which most life on Earth has been created. The many shapes that the concept of light conveys has developed beyond the knowledge about the physicochemical forces that make this phenomenon possible. The semantic and conceptual fields pertaining to the word ‘light’ are permeated with symbolisms, dynamics, practices, and meanings that fill artistic and cultural thought and expression from and by all peoples and individuals. In daily life, we invoke light in idiomatic
expressions when we intend to express clarity, something precious, purity, and similar values. In the same way, culturally, analogies are established between light and knowledge – of which the Enlightenment is possibly the most obvious example – as well as between light’s revealing power and that which, in many religious and spiritual traditions, belongs in the realm of divine knowledge or is a manifestation of the divine itself.
Notwithstanding, light can also be a sign of deceit, rebellion, and excess. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, for example, light can be the divine word, incarnated in Jesus Christ, the “true light”, according to the Gospel of Saint John (1, 9); but it can also be associated
with images of Satan, an angel who fell “like lightening” (Luke 10, 18) when he dared to
cross the boundaries of his condition. Despite the term ‘light’ not being explicitly used to reference the Prince of Darkness in the Bible, it has entered the collective imagery through the influence of commentators and Latin translators, such as Tertullian and Origen, under the name of Lucifer, quite literally the “bearer of light”.
Light can be, on the other hand, a symbol of fragility and fadedness, making it a recurring inter-arts motif. In Jorge de Sena’s poetry, for instance, light is something to be protected while symbolic of the fragile presence of ‘Good’ – “it does not illuminate [,] it just shines”. Italo Calvino, in “Moon and GNAC”, alerts to the dwindling light of the stars on the evening sky due to the blinding intermittent flashes of neon, which became indissociable from urban landscapes all around the world. The concern over the increasing disconnection between human beings and nature is equally present in a chronicle by Pier Paolo Pasolini on the impact of pollution on fireflies, threatened by the transformations of Italian natural landscape propelled by the economic development following World War II. Even before that, light’s fleeting nature was one of the favoured topoi by Impressionist painters. On their canvases, as on a stage, light was seen as an element that gave shape and expression to the world, materialised in the thickness of oil and in the vigour of a brush stroke.
Whether we think about the way the first human beings grasped the power of natural fire in a dark forest, the process of photosynthesis, a glimpse of a lighthouse announcing land to high seas or even about the theoretical discoveries of the 20th century that made possible the advancements of the world into the electronic screens with which we have grown used to live, the imagery of light offers a wide and stimulating research field. As such, estrema calls for the participation of students of all cycles of higher education, as well as independent and integrated researchers, who wish to unveil the flickering and multiple interpretative paths of ‘light’.
 Russell, Jeffrey Burton. 1977. The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity. London: Cornell University Press.
 Our own translation. Sena, Jorge de. 1958. “Uma pequenina luz.” In Fidelidade, 78-79. Lisboa: Moraes.
 Calvino, Italo. 1983. Marcovaldo: Or, The Seasons in the City, translated by William Weaver. Boston: Mariner Books.
 Pasolini, Pier Paolo. 1975. “Il vuoto del potere in Italia.” Corriere della Sera. https://www.corriere.it/speciali/pasolini/potere.html.
Submission deadline: 31st January, 2023
Notification for the acceptance of papers: 15th February, 2023
Submissions must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Languages accepted for publication: Portuguese, Castillian, Italian, French and English.
General Guidelines: All contributions submitted must contain the author’s name and surname, email address, academic affiliation, if applicable, and a brief biographical note (100 words max.). Furthermore, the proposals must be in Times New Roman, size 12, double space, and have a minimum of 4000 words and a maximum of 7000 (including footnotes and bibliography). Page number, indexation, and/or any other type of automated formatting cannot be utilized.
Citation Guidelines: All citations and references must follow the Author-Date system from The Chicago Manual of Style: 17th Edition.
Any questions or inquiries must be sent to the journal’s email: email@example.com. Submission guidelines can be found on the website here http://estrema.letras.ulisboa.pt/ojs/index.php/estrema/about/submissions.
The journal’s official website can be found here http://estrema.letras.ulisboa.pt/ojs/index.php/estrema/index