The Global Music(al) Novel: Call for Papers

deadline for submissions: 
April 1, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Barry Faulk and Chris Okonkwo / Florida State University
contact email: 

The Global Music(al) Novel: Call for Papers


Recent scholarship from Saadi A. Simawe, Gerry Smyth, Emily Petermann, and many others have spotlighted the diverse ways that contemporary novelists “have responded to the power of music by incorporating it within their narrative” (Smyth). Such studies have deepened our understanding of the form and structure of the so-called ‘musical novel.’ Yet as rich and textured as these studies are, the formalist methods these scholars have adopted and that still dominate the study of the music novel have not shown themselves to be conceptually and geographically expansive enough to accommodate the musicalized novel in many non-European languages. Nor are they capacious enough to give full expression and meaning to those non-European, non-American English-language novels contextually, stylistically, and/or thematically informed and hence enriched by, for instance, indigenous non-Western musics, instruments, instrumentation, performance traditions, occasions, and/or sound-making.


For these reasons and more, we are soliciting critical essays for an anthology that will help facilitate the contextual, textual, and thematic broadening of the music novel, and thus extend the geographic reach of the subgenre of ‘music fiction,’ which for decades has been framed, studied, and taught narrowly and predominantly from a European and American lens. We invite proposals for papers on non-Anglophone literatures, but these contributions must be in English. 


Topics, questions, and theoretical perspectives for consideration in the book include but are not limited to:

--the global music novel and diaspora

--the global music novel and the immigrant experience

--music as metaphor for cultural and temporal processes (obsolescence, progress, utopia, dystopia) within the nation-state   

--the global music novel as representation of psychic states: of hybridity, fluidity, aridity, fixity, etc.

--the global music novel and ethnicity

--the global music novel and the idea of ‘the homeland’

--the global music novel and eco-criticism

--the global music novel and the idea of ‘the human’ or ‘posthuman’

--the global music novel and Sound Studies

--representations of indigenous music versus ‘foreign’ musical forms

--the global music novel as world literature

--the global music novel and polyvocal musical-literary forms

--the global music novel and ‘authenticity’

--the global music novel as alternative history

--the global music novel and sound technologies

--the global music novel and the global marketplace 

--song lyrics and the global music novel

--the global music novel and aesthetics

--the global music novel and the archive

--the global music novel as critical fabulation (Saidiya Hartman) and supplement to the archive


Abstracts (250-300 words) together with a short bio should be sent to Barry J. Faulk ( or Christopher Okonkwo ( by April 1st, 2024.