(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.


(16. 2023) In the Event of Antigone: Crossings, Translations, Restagings

Special Issue Editor: Elena Tzelepis

This special issue of Synthesis seeks to open a space for a performative plurality of "Antigone" (as text, performance, tragic figure, and political trope) beyond the canonical frameworks of (post)colonial modernity and pertaining to contemporary conditions of precarity, inequality, militarism, neoliberal de-democratization, and the rise of authoritarian regimes and formations. It proposes to reflect on ways in which contemporary plural and counter-hegemonic restagings of the tragic, and Antigone in particular, critically engage with histories of domination and justice, and to interrogate unequal conditions of citizenship, affectivity, and belonging.

The papers written by distinguished scholars in the field explore how Antigone is activated not only in local and global theatrical stages but also in the social scenes of "foreignness," displacement, and (im)mobility in the contemporary world. They engage with different media, cultural texts, practices, performances, counternarratives and countermemories that go against the grain of normative frameworks of Eurocentrism and universalism, and generate transformative feminist, decolonial, antiracist, egalitarian, and radical democratic politics and aesthetics in our harrowing political times.

This special issue includes papers of a symposium that took place in the context of the research program "Antigones: Bodies of Resistance in the Contemporary World [Antisomata]" ( funded by HFRI). The interdisciplinary research program explores what persists and what remains from Antigone's performative legacy at the present historical moment, drawing attention to ex-centric, migratory, decolonial, queer, and transformational restagings of the tragic.


 (17.2024) Derrida à l'oeuvre: "Doing Theory" Against Inequalities

Special Issue Editors: Sara Nyhlen and Katarina Giritli-Nygren

This issue of Synthesis explores Jacques Derrida's work on nation, gender and race in relation to the current ethical and political studies of in/equalities in the field of social sciences. Derrida’s philosophical work has engendered concepts that offer new pathways to think about difference, the Other, living together, (dis)belonging and rights and destroy unchallenged and, thus, perpetuated racist, nationalist, ethnocentric and sexist presuppositions. The impact of Derrida’s work in the present, nearly twenty years since his death, is growing, even in areas of research that did not initially engage his thought. For instance, the rising interest in the use of the spectral as a conceptual metaphor in the field of sociology and more recently, criminology, exemplifies a spectral turn in these fields, which relates Derrida’s concept of hauntology in Specters of Marx (1994) to ongoing debates about the targeting of minority groups or the criminalization and minoritizing of specific ethnic collectivities. Other examples of the impact of Derrida’s philosophical work that has been used as a tool for the ethical and political critique of social and political injustices are the ongoing discussions about conditional and unconditional hospitality, nationalism, the human/non-human divide, minority collectivities and their histories that speak to the destruction of the human, as well as about the archival politics and the preservations of the records of past and possible futures.


 (18.2025) 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.