𝐂𝐀𝐋𝐋 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐏𝐀𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐒
𝐒𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐈𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐄𝐒𝐂 𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐞𝐥𝐟(𝐢𝐞)
𝐃𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐬: 𝐉𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟏𝟓, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟎
𝐃𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐲𝐬 (𝟔𝐤-𝟗𝐤 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬): 𝐀𝐮𝐠𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝟏𝟓, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟎
𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝟓𝟎𝟎 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐃𝐫. 𝐌𝐲𝐫𝐚 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐦 𝐦𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐦@𝐠𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐨𝐧.𝐲𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐮.𝐜𝐚
If the late nineties and early oughts witnessed what Leigh Gilmore has termed a ‘memoir boom’, the intervening years have seen the rise of a new genre: autofiction. Coined by Serge Doubrovsky in 1977 and initially associated with French writers, the term—and the self-fictionalizing practices it designates—have exploded into the international mainstream.
Although there is no critical consensus about what constitutes this genre–or whether it should even be considered a distinct genre–examples of works that blur the line between autobiography and fiction have increased wildly over the past several decades in the US, Canada, Scandinavia, Germany, and elsewhere. Both the corpus and the conversation are expanding to encompass a range of texts and approaches by writers whose work falls between and beyond traditional publishing industry categories such as autobiography, memoir, confession, essay, and fiction. Some scholars are using this lens to trace lineages with earlier writers and genres such as the roman-à-clef.
Autofiction has been touted by some as a productive response to the commodification, digitization, and proliferation of the self in a contemporary culture that has called the nature of ‘truth’ and ‘fact’ into question. Others – particularly racialized writers and women—have rejected the label, arguing that it overvalues or mischaracterizes the autobiographical dimension of their writing, further entrenching pernicious stereotypes. Is autofiction a reaction against the selfie, or simply another manifestation? Does the label refer to a new form of writing, or is it just a new way of describing metafictional techniques that have appeared in literature since The Canterbury Tales?
This special issue invites papers that consider these questions or any aspect of autofiction and its associated genres (autotheory, biofiction, creative nonfiction, etc.). Authors are welcome to discuss works that have been translated into English, and are particularly encouraged to focus on women, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, disabled, and otherwise marginalized writers.
Please submit abstracts of 500 words to Dr. Myra Bloom firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2020. Final essays (6,000-9,000 words) are due August 15, 2020.