On New Developments in Critical Theory
Call for Papers Anglica: An International Journal of English Studies University of Warsaw
Thematic Issue 2024: On New Developments in Critical Theory
Guest Editor: Jeremy Tambling
Professor, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw
ANGLICA: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENGLISH STUDIES is an open-access, annual, peer-reviewed journal in literary, cultural, and linguistic studies published both in print and online under the auspices of the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland. The journal is indexed in SCOPUS, DOAJ, CEEOL, MLA, BazHum, EBSCO, MIAR, Index Copernicus, ERIHPLUS, Sherpa Romeo, and included in the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers. The editors encourage scholars from across the academy to explore and provide their unique insight within the suggested thematic focus of On New Developments in Critical Theory:
It is clear that the teaching of Humanities, and especially Literature (English, Comparative Literature, and literatures associated with specific languages) is in crisis, and not just because of widespread government cutbacks and disincentives to study the subject. The status of the literary theory of Barthes, Derrida, Foucault, and Lacan, to say nothing of Deleuze, Kristeva, Cixous, Irigaray, and many others has been shaken to a position where many think that theory has completely lost its intellectual calibre, and may be forgotten. New Historicism has gone the same way: it has been replaced by an historicism which considers itself the master-discipline in reading texts. This approach in turn may be seen as denying the literary nature of the text.
A new reactionariness is not surprising, but it is also the case that ‘the canon’, to use that imprecise term, adopted here to cover, in the case of English, the syllabus from Chaucer onwards to the present day, is challenged by interests such as transgender, LGTBQ+, feminism, postcolonial and globalisation studies, and memory studies, and eco-criticism, and disability studies, to say nothing of criticism focussed on ‘black lives’. Much, indeed, of this criticism is essential, and rewarding. More controversially, as it roundly challenges the older syllabus in the name of bias, it may appear exclusionary, and be accused of operating a ‘cancel culture’. It may even be new theory which, coming out of critical theory, is displacing its emphasis on, for instance, the subject in process, by a focus on identity politics and intersectionality. In the UK and in other places, the situation has created a two-tier system where Universities which teach a traditional system are considered more prestigious and differentiate themselves, tacitly or not, from Universities perceived to be ‘woke’ in the cultural studies and visual studies that they teach. How issues of textuality and critical theory should play out with students will be the subject of this thematic issue of Anglica.
We are looking for papers of 6000 to 8000 words (maximum) of high-quality lively writing, which shows evidence of original research, which will address, and question and dialogue with, both the propositions put forward above, and which will find other examples to address this ‘crisis’ in a way which will give rise to healthy debate. Papers in English should be submitted by 31 January 2024, and closely follow the ANGLICA stylesheet and they should not shy away from provocation, but at the same time should be considered arguments which engage with literature and its ‘others’, and with the question of what literature teaching should prioritise, remembering that this University teaching cannot stand still, and that it is the responsibility of intellectual endeavour to be questioning its own methods, and to be self-critical.
Proposals should be no more than 300 words and submitted preferably before 30 September 2023. With the proposal, please include your name, affiliation, ORCID, your contact information, and a professional bio of up to 100 words.
Proposals: 30 September 2023
Notifications of acceptance: 15 October 2023
Deadline for complete papers: 31 January 2024
Note: All papers will be double-blind peer reviewed. Submitted essays should be original and not under consideration or published elsewhere.