Short Fiction in Theory and Practice Special Issue: The Health of the Short Story

Out now, Vol. 12.1 of Short Fiction in Theory and Practice .  This first of two special issues, guest-edited by Lucy Dawes Durneen, is dedicated to ‘The Health of the Short Story’.  It includes articles, short fiction and reflective texts responding to that broad theme from many directions, including discussions of authors ranging from E. Nesbit to Diane Williams  and Kristen Roupenian; and of themes including writing trauma, the maternal body, loneliness and grief. There’s also an in-conversation with the British writer Irenosen Okojie, book reviews, and an afterword from Kirsty Gunn.

Study Day on Crime Fiction Lille Catholic University, France – 7 October 2022: New Date

 

Deadline for abstract submissions: 31 May 2022

Modern detective fiction is usually considered to have started with Edgar Allan Poe’s three Dupin short stories and it is certain that the Sherlock Holmes short stories in The Strand magazine brought the new genre to the attention of the world. Other notable writers who helped shape the genre in the early 20th century, including G. K. Chesterton and Melville Davisson Post, stuck to the short form and managed both to innovate and to produce works which are still appreciated today. For Ellery Queen, writing in 1942, it was still possible to state that “the original, the ‘legitimate’ form” of detective fiction “was the short story” and to perceive the detective novel as an inflated short story. According to Catherine Ross Nickerson, “[t]he mechanisms of a detective narrative are more apparent in a short story, since there is less upholstery for hiding the ropes and pulleys. The shorter form also forces writers to make a more clear decision about whether to focus on the puzzle or on the character.”

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However, today, some readers, writers and critics seem to prefer the longer form. For P. D. James, this is because novels give “opportunities for even more complicated plotting and more fully developed characters” and because writers “if visited by a powerful idea for an original method of murder, detective or plotline, were unwilling ̶ and indeed still are ̶ to dissipate it on a short story when it could both inspire and form the main interest of a successful novel.” In spite of this, short crime fiction still has enthusiastic readers, as has been proved by Martin Edwards’ and Mike Ashley’s numerous commercially successful anthologies, which combine long forgotten gems unearthed from various archives and stories on a particular theme written by contemporary authors. Two collections of P. D. James’s own short stories, published posthumously, have also sold extremely well; the prolific Joyce Carol Oates comes to mind as well for she regularly brings out collections of “mystery and suspense” stories which are instant successes on both sides of the Atlantic.

Short crime fiction is published in various contexts. Sherlock Holmes’s unexpected resurrection from the Reichenbach Falls is probably the reasons for many authors preferring the open series, with a beginning but no end except the author’s death, like Chesterton’s Father Brown stories. Several authors have however produced closed collections like Agatha Christie’s Labours of Hercules or Chesterton’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. Others, like Ellery Queen, have found the short format ideal for radio or television episodes. For authors who mainly write novels, like Ellis Peters and Kate Charles, a short story may provide a useful prequel or sequel to a series of novels. Equally, while detective novels are almost exclusively concerned with murder, authors frequently use the short story format to write about other, often less serious, crimes as Susan Pettigru King does in her series of stories, Crimes Which the Law Does Not Reach, published in Russell’s Magazine in 1857 and 1858.

We are looking for 20 to 25-minute papers about any aspect of short crime fiction in the English-speaking world including stories published individually in magazines, short story series, cycles or collections, anthologies, radio and television series or short plays. Papers on short crime fiction for young adults or children as well as adults are welcome.

How to Submit

Please send your proposals (approx. 300 words) to Suzanne Bray (suzanne.bray@univ-catholille.fr) and Gérald Préher (gerald.preher@univ-artois.fr)   for the revised deadline of 31st May 2022.

CfP Irish literature and periodical culture – Leuven 1-3 December 2022

Periodicals have played an important role in the production, mediation, dissemination and reception of Irish literature. By exploring the intersections between Irish writers and the (transnational) periodical press, this conference aims to further scrutinise the ways in which periodical culture in Ireland has impacted writers’ careers, codified the development of literary genres and conventions, and influenced the course of Irish literary history and the canon more generally.

See the conference website for all information. Deadline abstracts: 6th of May 2022

CfP Modernism and Matter

Conference “Modernism and Matter” 13-14 October 2022 Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier3

An International workshop organised by EMMA (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier3) in collaboration with CIRPaLL (Université d’Angers) This workshop on modernism and matter is an incentive to interrogate the meaning of matter, and investigate its power in modernist literature. Proposals 1 June 2022.

Continue reading “CfP Modernism and Matter”

Alasdair Gray Conference Glasgow June 2022

A message from Dr Rodge Glass to all those interested in Alasdair Gray’s short fiction.  Follow the link below for further information about this exciting event.

The University of Strathclyde and the Alasdair Gray Archive, in partnership with the Glasgow School of Art, the University of Western Brittany (HCTI), Aix-Marseille Universite (LERMA), Edge Hill University, the University of Lausanne and the Tannahill Fund for the Furtherance of Scottish Literature, are pleased to invite you to the 2nd International Alasdair Gray Conference. The conference will take place from 16th to 17th of June 2022 at the University of Strathclyde.

This two-day interdisciplinary conference will examine the nature, value and legacy of Alasdair Gray’s artistic output, considering his literary work, and his visual practice, and the relationship between the two in Gray’s oeuvre. The conference is entitled “Making Imagined Objects” in tribute to Gray’s own repeated and modest claim that he was a “maker of imagined objects”.

This is the second International Alasdair Gray Conference. The first one, convened by Professor Camille Manfredi, took place in Brest in 2012 and resulted in the critical book, Alasdair Gray: Ink for Worlds (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), which Gray himself contributed to. This second Alasdair Gray Conference, with some of the same organisers involved, intends to be its continuation a decade later, expanding towards an even greater validation of Alasdair Gray’s plurality of forms.

 

ENSFR Annual Conference — Lisbon October 2022: Short Fiction as World Literature

In Death of a Discipline, Gayatri Spivak mentions the problematic identification of “literature” with the novel form in comparative literature (2005: 123). Her concern with our general blindness to non-hegemonic forms recalls the consternation frequently shown in short fiction criticism toward the enduring novel-centrism of literary studies. This conference aims to bring together scholars with an interest in examining this tension and the different ways in which it may extend to the field of world literature. But our goal is not to look at the short form once again in stark opposition to the novel. Rather, we invite papers that interrogate the marginal spaces of short fiction from other angles and explore the underestimated potential of the short story as a cosmopolitan form, focusing on how it may tell an alternative history of literary circulation.

While brevity may well be an insufficient criterion to define the genre, it is, in the simplest sense, what makes the short story highly portable and translatable. With its ability to easily navigate distinct narrative registers, subgenres, styles, and literary traditions, the short story’s inherently movable nature is reflected in the rapidity and abundance of its publication. It often circulates in both literary and non-specialized sources that are more volatile and transmissible than books: journals, pamphlets, academic and cultural periodicals, and, increasingly, digital outlets such as websites, blogs, online magazines, and social media. It is also typically faster to translate than longer forms like the novel, as well as arguably easier to translate than more semantically and structurally complex forms like poetry. The short story is widely translated and disseminated in anthologies that frequently aim to introduce their readers to lesser-known or previously untranslated works. Additionally, the short story is the object of frequent adaptations to cinema, television and other audiovisual media.

But the short story also travels through language(s) by other means. On one hand, it is a migrant or a traveling form even within its linguistic and geo-cultural world, often appearing in collections that promote the categories of Lusophone, Anglophone, or Francophone short story. On the other hand, its portability also means that short-story writers are often influenced by, and respond to, international peers and predecessors. In this sense, the modernist short story is an apt example of an intrinsically transnational genre in which the influences of Chekhov, Kafka, Mansfield, Borges, and others, cut across national boundaries. Looking into post-modern and contemporary fiction we also have to consider emerging and renewed forms of migrant writing, with an increasing number of multilingual authors writing in a second language and sometimes acting also as translators of their own work.

Considering the diversity that characterizes the many genres of short fiction, the topics we hope to explore in the ENSFR Conference of 2022 through the theme of “Short Fiction as World Literature” include, but are not limited to, the following:

• The short story in motion: translation, adaptation, circulation

• The history of short fiction in connection to literary and social change •

• The short story as a portable form •

• Intermedial and transmedial approaches to short fiction

• Intertextuality and the short story

• The short story as a global and a local form

• Migration and the short story

• Reception theory and the reader’s response to short fiction

• Transnational styles and genres (e.g. novella, flash fiction, short story cycles)

• Multilingualism in short fiction and cross-cultural aesthetics

• The native, foreign, hegemonic, and peripheral languages of the short story

• Short fiction anthologies in world literature

• Creation and the short story: creative nonfiction, crossover fiction, multimedia storytelling.

Proposals of about 300 words for presentations in English, Portuguese, or French, together with a short biographical note (50 words) should be sent to ensfrconference2022@gmail.com by June 3.

We welcome interdisciplinary and creative presentations. Proposals from students and early-career researchers are especially encouraged. A selection of articles based on papers from the conference will be published in Short Fiction in Theory and Practice and in Journal of the Short Story in English.

The 2022 ENSFR Conference will take place in-person at the University of Lisbon School of Arts and Humanities (Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa).

Organizers: Ailsa Cox (Edge Hill University) Amândio Reis (Universidade de Lisboa) Elke D’hoker (KU Leuven) Michelle Ryan-Sautour (Université d’Angers)