Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association Seeks Submissions for Spring 2024 Special Issue on “Intelligence” [Deadline Extended to 1/15/24]

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Journal of the Midwestern Modern Language Association
contact email: 

CFP: “Intelligence,” Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association (JMMLA), Spring 2024

The Journal of the Midwestern Modern Language Association invites submissions for a Spring 2024 special issue on the theme of “Intelligence.”

In 2021, as a consequence of the pandemic, schools and colleges across the country placed a temporary freeze on standardized testing, reinforcing doubts regarding the necessity and efficacy of such tests to assess intellectual potential. Soon thereafter, the November 30th 2022 launch of ChatGPT-3 elicited responses ranging from the apocalyptic (the software is a huge step toward artificial general intelligence) to the skeptical (the software is not and cannot be intelligent).

The rapidity and volume of opinions surrounding both events reveal deep investments, insecurities, and frankly, gaps in our wider understandings of intelligence. This special issue of the JMMLA responds to the opportunity presented by such massive, messy cultural discourses to rethink the very notion of intelligence. In particular, we seek essays that consider what the humanities–excluded from the STEM-oriented intelligence conversation for basically the entire 20th-century–can contribute to discourses on intelligence in terms of social, cultural, historical, and critical depth.

To this end, we welcome contributions that explore what intelligence is, what it has been, and what it might be, particularly from a humanities perspective. Our goal is to produce an issue that reframes discussions about which mental capabilities constitute intelligence, how to measure them, and what these measurements say about an individual; that challenges the long-dominant premise that numbers (IQ scores, grades) tell empirical truths about a person’s intellectual ability and potential; and that considers literature and other cultural productions as active participants in the conceptual formation of what “intelligence” is, does, and looks like.


Possible topics include:

  • Cultural representations of intelligence
  • Narratives of intellectual development
  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, including as pedagogical tools
  • Intellectualism and anti-intellectualism as evolving cultural formations
  • Intelligibility – how ideas, objects, and communities become intelligible
  • Intelligence assessments and intelligence types – origins and impacts
  • Education and intelligence in the arts/humanities and/or STEM
  • Intelligence and marginalization
  • Intellectual Property
  • Animal and planetary intelligences
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Distributed, collective, and embodied intelligence
  • Relationship of intelligence to categories like "cleverness," "wit," etc.


Submission procedures and formatting guidelines are described on the journal page of the website for the Midwest Modern Language Association. Submissions not in English are welcome. Please direct all questions to the MMLA at or to the co- editors of this special issue, Naomi Michalowicz ( and Nathan Jung ( Articles should be between 7,000 and 10,000 words (including notes) and follow MLA guidelines, with a submission date of 1/15/24.