Journée d’études / Study Day on Short Crime Fiction – 14 October 2022, Université Catholique de Lille

Call for Papers

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”[1] 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.”[2]

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Call for Contributors: Handbook of the Short Story

We are editing a Handbook of the Short Story in the World for Brill as part of the series Handbooks of Literary and Cultural Studies, and we are looking for chapters on some specific topics (see below).  We are well aware that the chapters are broad in their scope. Some of these chapters should have a comparativist approach that covers several countries. For that reason, we are looking for potential contributors who have expertise in the field to write a synthetical approach to the topic while at the same time being analytical in the discussion of concrete short stories. Ideally a chapter should offer an overview of the topic, and then discuss three or four authors and/ or stories.

The volume is aimed at non-specialist scholars and graduate (or otherwise advanced) students in literature and cultural studies and it offers balanced accounts, not axe-grinding or reckoning of grievances with other scholars. The chapters aim to provide full balanced accounts at an advanced undergraduate and graduate level, as well as a synthesis of debate, past and current methodologies, and the state of scholarship.  As editors, we are seeking purpose-written contributions, book chapters, between 6,000 and 8,000 words, aiming to explain what sources there are, what methodologies and approaches are appropriate in dealing with them, what issues arise and how they have been treated, indicating also the room for disagreement. In conclusion the chapter must be a guide to the graduate student approaching the material for the first time (focused not marginal, orienting, providing contextual information, pointing out leading or provocative questions).

Contributors should send an abstract (300 – 500 words) and a brief CV to both editors by March 15th 2022. Confirmation of acceptance by April 15th 2022. Final versions should be submitted in December 2022.

If you have any query, please do not hesitate to email us.

Santiago Rodríguez Guerrero-Strachan (University of Valladolid) guerrero@fyl.uva.es and  José Ramón Ibáñez Ibáñez (University of Almería) jibanez@ual.es

List of units to cover:

Theoretical approaches

The short story: from the Press to the Digital Age

The Folk Tale

The Fantastic/ Horror/ Gothic Short Fiction

The Science Fiction Short Story

History of Short Fiction

The Rise of the Modern Short Story: Poe, Hawthorne, ETA Hoffmann, J.P. Kleist, N. Gogol, Sir Walter Scott

The Realist Short Story: S. Crane, Henry James, G. Flaubert, G. Maupassant, I. Turgenev, T. Hardy, M. Twain, A. Chekhov

Fin-de-siècle Short Story: Gérard de Nerval, R. Kipling, R. L. Stevenson

The Modernist Short Story: James Joyce, V. Woolf, E. Hemingway, W. Faulkner, F.S. Fitzgerald, K. Mansfield, J. Conrad, Ford Maddox Ford

The Diasporic Short Story: Jhumpa Lahiri, Ha Jin, Sefi Atta, Ben Okri

Regions of the Short Story

The Hispanic and Francophone Caribbean Short Story: A. Carpentier, G. García Márquez, S. Ramírez, Marvel Moreno

The Río de la Plata Short Story: J. L. Borges and J. Cortázar

The North American Short Story in Spanish: J.J. Arreola and A. Monterroso

The Spanish Short Story: G.A. Bécquer, E. Pardo Bazán, I. Aldecoa, C. Fernández Cubas

Ethnic Fiction: M. Hong Kingston, H. M. Viramontes, Louise Erdrich

The Anglo-Indian Short Story: M. Raj Anard, R.K. Narajan and Raja Rao.

The Southeast Asian Short Story

The Arabic Short Story

The Short Story in German: F. Kafka, T. Mann, T. Bernhard

Eastern Europe Short Fiction: Sholom Aleichem, Shalom Asch, I. Bashevis Singer, I. Babel

The East Asian Short Story

The Israeli Short Story

LIST OF CHAPTERS:

Theoretical approaches: The short story: from the Press to the Digital Age

The Folk Tale

The Fantastic/ Horror/ Gothic Short Fiction

The Science Fiction Short Story

History of Short Fiction:

The Rise of the Modern Short Story.

The Realist Short Story.

Fin-de-siècle Short Story.

The Modernist Short Story.

The Diasporic Short Story.

Ethnic Short Fiction.

Regions of the Short Story:

The Hispanic and Francophone Caribbean Short Story.

The Río de la Plata Short Story.

The North American Short Story in Spanish.

The Spanish Short Story.

The Anglo-Indian Short Story.

The Arabic Short Story.

The Israeli Short Story.

The Short Story in German.

Eastern European Short Fiction.

The Southeast Asian Short Story.

The East Asian Short Story.

Edge Hill Prize shortlist 2021

The annual Edge Hill Prize awards £10,000 to the author of what the judges consider to be the best published short-story collection from the UK or Ireland. This year’s shortlist includes previous winner Kevin Barry, plus four debut authors. It also includes two short story cycles.  Full list below:

  • Paradise Block by Alice Ash (Serpent’s Tail/Profile);
  • That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry (Canongate).
  • Lifestyle Choice 10mg by Rosemary Jenkinson (Doire Press);
  • The Earth, Thy Great Exchequer, Ready Lies by Jo Lloyd (Swift Press);
  • Made by Sea and Wood, in Darkness by Alexandros Plasatis (Spuyten Duyvil);
  • She-Clown by Hannah Vincent (Myriad Editions). 

Small and independent publishers have made a strong showing. There’s a huge amount of variety amongst these collections, ranging from tales of migrant fishermen (Plasatis) to postmodern historical fiction (Lloyd) and a magic realist version of life on a council estate (Ash).  The winner will be announced early in 2022 – hopefully at a live event in the UK.

CFP: American short story writers and the American short story as cultural institution

The following call for papers has been selected by the organisers of the 53rd annual Congress of the French Association for American Studies, which will take place at the University of Bordeaux (Michel Montaigne) from 31st May to the 3rd June, 2022. The theme of the congress is “Legitimacy, Authority, Canons”.

American short story writers and the American short story as cultural institution

Maurice Cronin, (University Paris Dauphine)

The short story holds a paradoxical institutional and cultural status in the United States, where it has, by turns, been exalted as the ‘national art form’ and relegated to the role of poor relation to the novel. Since the 1890s, when Brander Matthews designated the “short-story” as a genre in its own right, quite distinct from, and implicitly superior to, the novel, seen as the canonical form of European fiction—a designation that Andrew Levy has described as “an informal declaration of independence from … cultural subservience to European literature” (Levy, 34)—the short story has frequently been accorded an exceptional place in U.S. culture. This is partly attributable to institutional factors specific to the country. The establishment of a modern Anglo-American literary canon to rival the classical canon was a key element in the endeavor to legitimize modern English departments emerging in the early twentieth century in the US. Establishing an American literary tradition was an important part of that endeavor throughout the first half of the century, and the designation of the short story as candidate for the role of “national art form” a notable feature of it (Levy 84).

The genre’s candidacy was subsequently bolstered by the appearance of the New Critical anthology-text books, such as Brooks and Warren’s influential Understanding Fiction (1943, 1959), which gave the short story an important role in high-school and college literature pedagogy, and the emergence of the first creative writing graduate programs, in which the short story was almost immediately adopted as the apprentice genre for aspiring writers of fiction. In the U.S. today, the short story is associated with prestige publications like the New Yorker, and is more than ever at the heart of creative writing pedagogy in graduate workshop programmes. And yet, despite this strong institutional presence—or perhaps even because of it—the short story still gives the impression of a genre caught up in a perpetual quest for legitimacy. This is precisely what makes it a rich subject for exploring the related questions of legitimacy, authority and canons in American studies. The genre’s paradoxical status is attributable partly to the nature of the institutions that have been instrumental to its development in the U.S., and partly to the specific nature of the question of legitimacy in the literary domain more generally. As Patrick Charaudeau shows, legitimacy can generally be defined as a form of social recognition that is always, in some way or another, institutional in nature and origin (Charaudeau, 3). In a sense, literature is itself an institution in the usual sense of the term, but it is also a strange, paradoxically “institutionless institution”, as Jacques Derrida puts it, insofar as “in principle” it “allows one say everything, in every way” (Derrida, 42, 36). As such, what is thereby ‘instituted’ is literary authors’ freedom “to break free of rules, displace them” (37). As a field, then, literature is a relatively weakly institutionalized one. Literary texts do not emerge in a situation in which the rules or norms governing their emission and reception are entirely pre-defined once and for all. As such, they must reflexively negotiate their own emergence, and as it were, legitimize themselves. It follows from this that in the literary domain there is always a potential tension between legitimacy, understood as a form of institutional recognition or sanction, and authority, which in this case must always have a more or less pronounced “charismatic” dimension, insofar as its source is not socially or institutionally visible. This tension between legitimacy and authority is especially relevant to the position of short story writers in the United States precisely because the short story is a genre in which the mediating role of the institutional structures crucial to its development is particularly visible, whether it be in the form of magazine or anthology editors, anthology text books or creative writing workshops. As such institutional factors do not merely surround works, but affect them in their very structure and “content”, this workshop seeks to explore the question of how writers in the U.S. negotiate and renegotiate them within their works. All approaches that help us understand how, since the post-war era, short story writers have managed to construct distinctive literary identities and gain canonical status in a so-called minor genre that has been so heavily institutionalized are welcome.

This question of authors’ negotiation and renegotiation of the cultural and institutional status of the genre is, of course, not just a textual matter. Mode of publication is a particularly crucial institutional factor that all short story writers have to contend with. As Bruno Montfort has argued, what truly distinguishes the short story from the novel is that the former is almost always published alongside other texts. Unlike the novel, its “verbal unit” (the text) very rarely overlaps with its “material unit of publication”, i.e. the book (Montfort 158, my translation). In a culture in which the single-author book still very much remains the prestige publication format for fiction, short stories and short story writers always potentially suffer from a deficit of legitimacy and cultural authority. Given that prior publication in magazines and journals is more than ever a pre-requisite for short-story writers to gain subsequent access to publication in more prestigious formats, contributions that deal with short story writers’ relations with magazine editors—through, for example, examination of author-editor correspondence—are of obvious relevance to this workshop.

The publication of single-author collections would appear to represent a form of consecration for short story writers. Yet whether re-publication of magazine-published stories in single-author collections offers a solution to the deficit of legitimacy and authority that short-story writers have to contend with is moot. Bruno Montfort points out, for instance, that the authority of such collections is more often than not quite restricted, an argument supported by the fact that, to a far greater extent than novels, they are subject to being “dismembered” (Montfort, 165, my translation) and subsequently republished in different formats. The chequered publication history of short story collections in the United States, even those of canonical writers like Hemingway and Faulkner, lends credence to this view. Yet the short story collection as a genre continues to enjoy a degree of presence and cultural prestige in the US today that is unrivalled in most other national literatures. Furthermore, one might wonder whether re-publication of magazine-published stories in single-author collections constitutes a re-assertion of writers’ authority over their texts. Proposals that involve comparative analyses of magazine and book-collection versions of authors’ stories would offer an interesting way of exploring this question.

Re-publication of their stories in short story anthologies may also represent a form of consecration for short story writers. National anthologies are frequently designed to ‘reflect’ a national tradition, or the cultural and social concerns proper to a nation, but in reality they are also instrumental in shaping the traditions they purport to reflect. Editorial selections, and the introductions or prefaces that usually present and justify them to readers, help shape or change readers’ conception of the genre and play an important role in the on-going process of canon formation. The short story anthology genre is no exception, but it has not as yet received the critical attention it undoubtedly deserves (D’hoker, 115). As the tradition of inviting short story writers to edit short story anthologies is very much alive today in the US, contributions that study the prefaces and editorial choices of such anthologies would add to our understanding of the role writers themselves have played in (re)shaping the canon and the short story as a genre.

The roles writers have played as anthology editors show, if it were necessary, that the relationship between writers and the institutions of the literary field is often a symbiotic one. U.S. writers’ widespread involvement as instructors or former students in university creative writing workshops provides further evidence of this. Mark McGurl claims to show that the presence of the workshop system is “everywhere visible … like a watermark” in post-war US prose fiction, manifesting itself most characteristically in the new forms of institutional self-reflexivity that he detects in the texts of novelists and short-story writers of the so-called “program era” (McGurl, 4). However, McGurl’s work is not focused specifically on the short story, and his account of the institutional effects of the workshop system on the genre and on the practice of short story writers is necessarily patchy. Contributions that either build on McGurl’s approach, or pay greater attention than he does to the shaping effects that writers themselves have had on the workshop system through their involvement in it would thus also be very welcome.

500-word (max) proposals for 25-minute conference papers related to the above topics, and a short biographical statement, are to be sent to Maurice Cronin (mcecronin@yahoo.fr) no later than 17th January, 2022.

 

Works cited

Brooks, Cleanth, and Robert Penn Warren. Understanding Fiction, 2nd edition, Prentice-Hall, 1959.

Charaudeau, Patrick. “Le charisme comme condition du leadership politique.” Revue Française des Sciences de l’information et de la communication [en ligne] 7, 2015. Web. 17 November 2021.

Derrida, Jacques. “This Strange Institution Called Literature: An Interview with Jacques Derrida.” Acts of Literature. Ed. Derek Attridge. New York: Routledge, 1991. 33-75.

D’hoker, Elke. “The Short Story Anthology.” Ed. Paul Delaney and Adrian Hunter, The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English. Edinburgh UP, 2019. 108-124.

Levy, Andrew. The Culture and Commerce of the American Short Story. Cambridge UP, 1993.

Matthews, Brander. “The Philosophy of the Short-Story.” Short Story Theories. Ed. Charles E. May. Ohio UP, 1976. 52-59

McGurl, Mark. The Program Era and the Rise of Creative Writing. Harvard UP, 2009.

Montfort, Bruno. “La nouvelle et son mode de publication, le cas américain.” Poétique 90, 1992. 153- 171.

CFP: Nomadic texts and subjectivities Metamorphic itineraries in/of Angela Carters’ works

University of Angers, France

22-24 June 2022

“The nomad has a territory; he follows customary paths; […] A path is always between two points, but the in-between has taken all the consistency and enjoys both an autonomy and a direction of its own. The life of the nomad is the intermezzo.” Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 380.

“If the writer is a sorcerer, it is because writing is a becoming…” A Thousand Plateaus, 240.

“I’ve never believed that the self is like a mythical beast which has to be trapped and returned, so that you can become whole again. I’m talking about the negotiations we have to make to discover any kind of reality.” Angela Carter, in Edmund Gordon, xiii

 

This international conference under the aegis of the Angela Carter Society sets to explore the metamorphic itineraries of characters, genres, genders, philosophies, texts, and images (paintings, films, photos, postcards) in Carter’s fictional and non-fictional works as well as their creative reception and dissemination by twenty-first century writers and artists. Lorna Sage has already underlined Carter’s itinerant subjectivity: “[…] the role-playing and the shape-shifting, the travels, the choice of a man much younger than her, the baby in her forties –is the story of someone walking a tightrope. It is all happening on the ‘edge’, in no man’s land, among the debris left by past conventions.” This life on the edge, in between, is a metaphor of an essential mobility that inscribes the author, her characters, and her texts in a nomadic logic, where “the in-between has taken all the consistency and enjoys both an autonomy and a direction of its own” Deleuze, 380.

 

The physical or mental journeys of Carter’s characters often run parallel to trajectories of awareness informed by gender, race, class, human and posthuman issues. Dressing up, role-playing, and shapeshifting, like metaphoric journeys in the picaresque tradition, are both thematic and structural features of Carter’s work. They bear witness to the character’s boundless self-invention and the continuous becoming subject: “Becoming is a verb with a consistency all its own: it does not reduce to or lead back to, “appearing,” “being,” “equalling,” or “producing”” (Deleuze, 239). Becoming is the flux, the journey minus the destination. Through the study of the metamorphic itineraries of hybrid, fluid, mobile and problematic identities, contributors are invited to map out the manifestations of nomadic subjectivities in Carter’s work and the politics of becoming that underly their trajectories.

 

The conference will also be an opportunity to study the journey (and sometimes the trials and tribulations) of a rich cultural heritage into Carter’s work. Carter herself declares: “I feel free to loot and rummage in an official past, specifically a literary past, but I like painting and sculpture and the movies and folklore and heresies, too (“NFFL”, SL 41). The access to Carter’s journals, letters and notebooks in the Angela Carter’s Archives provides a precious source to explore her negotiation with Western philosophers, novelists, poets, playwrights, literary critics, painters, film producers etc., and to map out the metamorphic itineraries of this heritage in her work, by tracing lines of tension, lines of flight, dialogues, collusions, subversions, deconstructions and all the strategies that inscribe in her work a nomadic logic. While the formal aspect is important, it is inextricably connected to a politics of nomadism that Deleuze identifies as a “war machine” whose mobility, fluidity, and exteriority makes it at the antipode of the law, of the fixed conventions and rules, or what Deleuze calls the “state apparatus”. In other words, nomadism through its decentralizing metamorphic itineraries becomes essential to the boundless inventions of subjectivities and texts to which Carter’s work bears a witness.

 

The conference will also pay tribute to Carter’s legacy by analysing how Carter’s texts continue their nomadic journeys through the works of contemporary artists, screenwriters, novelists, painters, sculptors, literary critics, fan fiction and other media usages. (Charlotte Crofts, Lucy Wood, Helen Simpson, Ali Smith, Margo Lanagan, Rikki Ducornet, Kate Atkinson, Jeanette Winterson, Sarah Waters, https://lithub.com/50-fascinating-works-of-angela-carter-fan-art/).

 

Contributions could address, but are not limited to, one of the following areas:

  • Metamorphic subjectivities / bodies: the grotesque, the hybrid, the double, the transhuman, the vampire, the queer, liminal figures, the doll, the tattooed body, etc.
  • Textual nomadism/ epistemic metamorphosis: the journey of theory into fiction (Foucault, Barthes, Rousseau, Strauss, Lacan, Xaviere Gauthier, etc.).
  • Enunciative metamorphosis: the becoming of the feminist /gendered voice.
  • Metamorphosis of narrative conventions and genres (fairy tales, the picaresque, the gothic etc.). Given the long tradition of research on short stories and short forms at the University of Angers since the founding of Journal of the Short Story in English in 1983, proposals about short stories or short forms are particularly welcome.
  • Metamorphosis of facts, history, and geography in her work: the representation of Japan, USA, Bristol, bohemian Bristol, countercultural figures, Poe, Baudelaire, Lizzie Borden, Colette etc., the journey from fiction to facts and from facts to fiction in her autobiographical writings.
  • Metamorphosis of Angela Carter: How successful are critics and biographers in their effort to avoid inventing Angela Carter?
  • Nomadic spaces: theatre, carnival, circus, etc.
  • Metamorphosis of the authorial figure: Lorna Sage: “she went on for the proliferation rather than the death of the author”. (1994)
  • Mediated texts which were initially destined to travel through media: radio plays, films, documentaries. See how the metamorphosis/the nomadic principle is inscribed in the text through principles of intermediality. How important is the nomadic texture in the success of the journey over media?
  • Nomadic itineraries of original manuscripts and variants.

 

Knowing that Carter used to spend her holidays in France, French culture found its way into her works. Contributions about the metamorphosis of French culture in Carter’s work are particularly welcome. Angers is also the ideal destination for scholarly nomads who wish to explore Carter’s works against the backdrop of fine wine, castles, and a lush natural setting.

 

Guest speakers

Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

Anna Kérchy (University of Szeged, Hungary)

 

Proposals of 300 words in English should be sent to michelle.ryan-sautour@univ-angers.fr and karima.thomas@univ-angers.fr before September 21st, 2021.

 

Registration fees

80 € for participants; 30 € for Ph.D. students.

Registration fees include all meals and cultural events except the banquet.

Contribution to the banquet: 30 €

 

Conference web page:

http://cirpall.univ-angers.fr/fr/actualites/colloques/colloque-nomadic-texts-and-subjectivities.html

 

 

 

The Other Side of Hope call for submissions

 

The Other Side of Hope is a new journal celebrating refugee and immigrant communities worldwide. Submission of fiction and poetry is open to refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants only. Non-fiction, reviews and interviews welcome from all, so long as the subject matter sheds light on refugee and immigrant life.

Deadline 31st July 2021.

More information available here