Call for papers

  • 2/2019 deadline for abstracts 30. 10. 2018: Images of Remote Countries in the Literatures of Central and Eastern Europe

    Images of Remote Countries in the Literatures of Central and Eastern Europe

    World Literature Studies 2/2019


    • Anton Pokrivčák (, University of Trnava
    • Miloš Zelenka (, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice – Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra

    The research into interliterary relations in Central and Eastern Europe has mostly been focused on the neighbouring countries. Scholarly attention has also been paid to the image of the neighbouring countries, or of significant national minorities. However, in current global world the contacts with remote cultures are becoming more frequent in this region as well, and, therefore, they will be explored in the proposed issue of the Journal in more detail. The criticism of Orientalism and postcolonial studies have brought new views on the depiction of the colonialised cultures of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The aim of the proposed issue will thus be to discuss

    1) how remote countries are depicted in the literatures of Central and Eastern Europe,

    2) how these countries and cultures are reflected in Central and Eastern European literary critical and cultural discourse,

    3) how the ethnic, biological or material “otherness” (not only through stereotypical imagological elements) is portrayed with regard to the “metropolis” x “colony” relation in the postmodern conditions of globalisation of provincialism,

    4) in what ways the images of remote countries and cultures change current cultural-political discourse, its semantics and terminology, for example, if it is possible to transfer the imagological concepts historically created in a certain context to a typologically and structurally different cultural area,

    5) to what extent in their research, in the Central and Eastern European cultural space, there are productive not only critical approaches prevailing in Western literary theory, i.e. the approaches mainly based on the principles of Orientalism, post(de)colonial studies, cultural studies, deconstruction, comparative imagology, intercontinental comparative studies, and other currently popular approaches, but also more traditional text-based comparative approaches.

    The papers are expected to cover literary material ranging from the 19th up to the 21st century. They can include various language areas, i. e. Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone, as well as other literatures emerging outside the mainstream Western literatures.

    In general, the journal World Literature Studies accepts the following categories of papers:

    • articles (app. 36 000 characters) – original scholarly studies based on primary research
    • materials, discussions (app. 18 000 characters) – summarizing, informative or explicatory texts on current topics and issues in the areas of literary studies and other humanities
    • reviews – we prefer analytical reviews of publications that have a wide understanding of the term world literature, which should be taken into consideration in the review itself (app. 5400 – 9000 characters; informative reviews app. 5400 characters).

    Language of papers: English

    Please, send your abstract, limited to 1800 characters, to the editors´ e-mail addresses by 30. 10. 2018. Upon the receipt of abstracts, the author(s) will receive e-mail notification regarding the journal´s interest in their publishing by 15. 11. 2018.

    The full manuscript submission deadline is 31. 1. 2019.

    Peer review. All submitted manuscripts will be subject to a well-established, fair, unbiased peer review and refereeing procedure, and considered on the basis of their significance, novelty and usefulness to the journal´s readership. The reviewers’ identities remain anonymous to authors. The review process may take 6 to 12 weeks.

    Editorial office: Ústav svetovej literatúry SAV, Dúbravská cesta 9, 841 04 Bratislava,

  • 4/2019 deadline for abstracts 30. 11. 2018: (Inter)Faces: Thinking the Face in Literature and the Visual Arts


    (Inter)Faces: Thinking the Face in Literature and the Visual Arts

    World Literature Studies, Special Issue, vol. 11, no. 4, 2019

    Edited by Tomáš Jirsa (Palacký University Olomouc) and Rebecca Rosenberg (King’s College London)

    Across cultural history, the face has figured both a site of intimate familiarity and radical unknowability. On the one hand, the face is the most immediate and recognizable marker of identity: an organic surface upon which interiority is projected and displayed. The pioneer of psychobiological theory Silvan Tomkins, for example, defines the face as the primary site of affects, making a significant equation between the face and the human being. On the other hand, the face emerges as a mask, a simulacrum, and an unsettling site of dissimulation, rejecting the causal link between external appearance and inner essence rooted primarily in the 18th-century physiognomic tradition. While the latter understands the face’s exteriority in terms of a semiotic surface that faithfully reflects the mental or cognitive state of the human subject, recent scholarship has brought about not only a critical reassessment of such determinism, uncovering its devastating historical consequences (Gray 2004), but also radically different conceptions of the “cyberfaces” now inhabiting digital landscapes, undermining ideas of facial resemblance and likeness (Belting 2017).

    The recent exhibition “Gesicht” at the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden (2017), curated by literary scholar Sigrid Weigel, illuminated these multiple and ambivalent approaches to the face, foregrounding the eminent importance of further research into the face amid current sociopolitical and technological shifts. Exploring the affective and technological dimensions of the face from the point of view of both cultural history and contemporary neuroscience, the exhibition attested to the face’s call for interdisciplinary exploration. From the ubiquity of Facebook and Instagram, to the politics of identity, to innovations in plastic surgery, to the “uncanny valley” inhabited by robots’ faces, the face continues to constitute a site of contestation, resistance, transformation and plurality which demands to be thought in greater diversity. How do literature and the visual arts invent and explore the manifold aesthetic, political and socio-cultural dimesions of the face? How does the face fit specifically within discourses of embodiment? How do faces catalyze new modes of aesthetics, society and sociality in the contemporary moment as well as across technological and posthuman futures? In both the recent debates around the face in humanities and its contemporary uses in various aesthetic forms and cultural practices, the premise of this edition of World Literature Studies is to think the face beyond the boundaries of the classical subject and its interiority.

    For this issue of World Literature Studies we are looking for contributions that address the face in its various aesthetic constellations, cultural uses and theoretical conceptualizations. Contributions may be based on case studies or specific works or bodies of work, or may address methodological, theoretical and philosophical issues of a more general nature. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches on the threshold of literary, visual and film studies, cultural analysis, media theory, comics studies, philosophy, anthropology, science studies and the medical humanities.

    In particular we invite contributions relating to (but not limited to) the following issues:
    o “Inventing” and constructing the face in the visual arts, film, and literature
    o The affective, artistic and technological modalities of portraiture
    o Destruction, deformation, and the disappearance of the face across cultural history
    o “Cyberfaces” and other digitally generated faces in contemporary cultures
    o Beyond anthropocentrism: the face as cultural technique and its mediality
    o Animal and other non-human faces
    o Biological, ecological, and environmental approaches to the face
    o Approaches to the face in the medical humanities and disability studies
    o Queer approaches to the face: drag, gender, performativity
    o The aesthetics and politics of the face in race and identity studies
    o “On the face of it”: the politics and aesthetics of superficiality and judgment
    o Famous faces and celebrity studies

    Deadline for abstract proposals: November 30, 2018.

    Please send your abstract (300-500 words in English + bibliographical references) and a short biographical note to and by November 30, 2018. All notifications of acceptance will be emailed no later than December 20, 2018. If accepted, 5 – 6,000-word essays will then be required for peer review by July 30, 2019.

    For more details on the journal World Literature Studies, see