In his recent release Pandemic! Covid-19 Shakes the World, Slavoj Zizek speculates that “the lines that separate us from barbarism are drawn more and more clearly. One of the signs of civilization today is the growing perception that continuing the various wars that circle the globe as totally crazy and meaningless. So too the understanding that intolerance of other races and cultures, or of sexual minorities, pales into insignificance compared with the scale of the crisis we face.” Yet, situations like the re-election of the Polish president on the back of anti-LGBT rhetoric and anti-Semitic scaremongering, the killing of George Floyd which sparked the Black Lives Matter protests, and the various attempts by state leaders to control the pandemic narrative through dissimulation and force suggest the scale of the pandemic has not arrested these crises but rather has exposed the fault lines more clearly. Racism and nationalist isolationism are rife and borders have hardened, isolating individuals more than ever before. Our sense of ourselves and our relation to our communities is fraught. How do we confront these concerns? How do we read these events before us? What can speak to these moments? For us at The New Americanist, for a special double issue to be published in 2021, we wonder what contemporary literature has to offer in the face of such crises.
The New Americanist is seeking articles which engage with contemporary literature within the framework of race and politics. We are open to articles on all genres and are interested in a wide understanding of what constitutes the contemporary. The New Americanist encourages transnational framings and we consider work on literature from across the Americas. Submissions from doctoral students, early career researchers, and independent scholars are most welcome.
Please send a 250 word abstract and one a short biographical note to email@example.com by 14 September 2020. Accepted abstracts should be prepared to submit a c. 8000 word article for peer review formatted according to Chicago Manual of Style guidelines no later than 30 November 2020.