No. 14 (2021) Dissident Self-Narratives: Radical and Queer Life Writing

Special Issue Editor: Aude Haffen

Life writing is often considered to endorse a universalist liberal humanist ethics that encompasses a broad spectrum that goes from a neoliberal emphasis on self-sufficiency to theories of care that highlight our common vulnerability and interdependence. This universalist humanist ethics, even in its most progressive forms, may blunt life writing’s radical edge and even participate in the silencing and oppression of subaltern beings that fall outside its scope. Thus, diseased, displaced, dissenting, or dis-integrated autobiographical voices and life writing’s dissident potential and radical, queer promises need to be reassessed and reclaimed.

    This special issue aims to examine critical and antinormative explorations of the self as they become manifest in contemporary and also older forms of life writing that have challenged hegemonic discourses shaping human subjectivity, the sexual order, and the political status quo.

    While foregrounding certain writers standing at the margins of the current academic literary canon, this special issue also draws attention to the more highly profiled writers who can also be read as voices of dissent that oppose the tenets of liberal humanism. We invite submissions that examine life writing that disrupts canonical autobiographical paradigms that are informed by the nineteenth-century bildungsroman, which has often centered on a socially integrated narrator who looks back with retrospective wisdom, pride, regret, or nostalgia, consolidating thereby an identity grounded in dominant conceptions of what a life, a self, and a reading public should be like. We welcome contributions that discuss the ways by which life writing challenges hegemonic paradigms of self-knowledge, subjectivity, and reader reception, by radically questioning gender, racial, and class norms.


Synthesis (15. 2022)

Re-Storying the World for Multispecies Survival

Special Issue Editor: Mayako Murai


This special issue of Synthesis aims to respond to the challenges that recent reflections on multispecies survival and coexistence pose for studies in literature, art, and critical theory today.  In the past few decades, there has been a plethora of works in various media, such as literature, film, and visual and performing arts, that thematise human-animal interactions and interspecific transformations in a way that acknowledges more positive values in more-than-human worlds than before. This rising interest in literary and artistic works focusing on reconfigurations of human-animal interactions and boundaries seems to reflect a shift away from an anthropocentric and exclusive view of nonhuman animals towards a more inclusive view that values interdependence and interconnectedness between human and nonhuman animals. 


This special issue  will offer new perspectives on multispecies entanglements in literary and artistic works and theories from different disciplines, genres, historical periods, and cultural traditions. At the heart of this approach is a commitment to careful and imaginative attention to the lives and worlds of others, whether human or nonhuman, grounded in diverse academic and creative practices, including literary studies, art, critical theory, natural sciences, and Indigenous knowledges.


Synthesis (16. 2023)

 Transitive Modernities: Territories and Temporalities 

Special Issue Editors: 

 Anne Reynes-Delobel, Stamatina Dimakopoulou, Andrea Kollnitz, Jessica Sjöholm Skrubbe


Taking trans-European axes and routes as its point of departure, through the study of various cultural forms and spaces, this special issue will examine international and transnational trajectories across Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean and Africa. Re-turning to established as well as hitherto uncharted connections, this issue will explore transnational connections and dialogues in conjunction with a recent reflection on borders, migration, mobility, collective memory, essential to understanding our current moment. Focusing on the historical and temporal specificity as well as the particular, but diverse, locations and contexts of cultural encounters and circulations, this issue fosters a critical geo-history of transitive modernities across and beyond Europe.