Call for Papers: Collection on Concepts of Identity and Belonging

deadline for submissions: 
March 30, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Najah Mahmi & Dr. Abdelhak Jebbar. Research Laboratory in Literature, Language, Culture and Communication (RLLLCC). Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Sultan Moulay Slimane University
contact email: 

Tracing its roots to a long history of philosophical discourse, identity stands as one of the most intricate and ubiquitous concepts within the large debates of human and social sciences. It is taken for granted in everyday life and assumed to be an all-inclusive determinant of empirical and virtual entities; yet, obscure when it comes to marking out its essence as a referential determinant and delineating the shaping politics of its concretizations. The ambiguity and paradox of identity stem from the contradictory dimensions it encompasses, entailing at the same time a sense of similitude yet difference, uniqueness yet commonness, and independence yet reliance. It is both a state of being and a representation; a priori internal process of “self-verification” (Burke and colleagues 1999), and a product of “social structures” (Stryker and colleagues 1982), or as “never a priori, nor a finished product; [but] only ever the problematic process of access to an image of totality." (Bhabha 1994). 

For an individual, to be identified is to be similar to what s/he really is, in terms of biological personal traits and attributed socio-cultural and political roles, as a unique subject, and as part of a social apparatus with which aspects of identity are shared, but never fully similar. One can also be identified as not being another one, assuming that “A is an X because he is not Y” (Devreux 1975). Both self and other can be qualified as agents in the self’s process of identification, for A can be identified as oneself or as not being the other, illustrating here the multifaceted nature of identity never stabilized between the two poles of independence and reliance. The opposition of the individual and the social is abusive as it denies that personal identity is a way of existing within a social environment, assuming that there is no social representation without a subject and no subject without a social representation (Chauchat 1999). Then, a subject cannot be identified out of the circle of either appertaining or not appertaining to a group, establishing thus a certain personal identity within a social one that might fuse with another collective identity, defined through ‘reference groups’ and ‘groups of opposition’.

This collection is planned to be published with Westphalia Press. It welcomes contributions on all aspects related to the politics of identity formations. It addresses issues of literary, cultural, artistic, political, historical and economic representations of identity and its intersections. Contributions are expected to present a variety of theoretical perspectives. They should be original and should not be under consideration for any other publication- in print or digital format.

 Submissions are accepted in English and should be directed to Dr. Najah Mahmi and Dr. Abdelhak Jebbar by March 30, 2024. Please submit a 300 word abstract with proposed title for consideration. The subject line of your email should be titled: Abstract – Identity Book Project.

Manuscripts should be completed by June 30, 2024. They should be written in Chicago style format (17th edition), Times New Roman, 12 points. They should not exceed 9000 words, including footnotes and bibliography. 

All manuscripts will undergo a double-blind peer review process. They should be submitted in word format. The first page of the document should include the name and affiliation of the author(s). There should be no other reference to the author’s name in the body of the text, headings or notes.