Discourses of Madness: Special Volume of Humanities

Due Date: 06-30-2024

Today I felt pass over me a breath of wind from the wings of madness.

—Charles Baudelaire

Literary artists and textualists have long been fascinated by the alienated, the marginalized, the eccentric; intrigued, if not befuddled, by their nonconformity, their recalcitrance, their obstinate refusal to adhere; seized by their indifference to social norms and prescribed dictates; lured, if not bemused, by their fundamental apartness or uncompromising candor. In this optic, the nonclinical dimensions of madness have been extensively explored in short stories, novels, poems, dramas, comedies, treatises, exposés, essays, epistles, even in postmodern counternarratives masquerading as autobiographical memoirs. In consequence of this critical and meta-critical abundance, it is not uncommon to discover specialists in applied psychiatric theory, eager to proffer accounts of “textualized” insanity. From Viking berserkers to impassioned lovers in search of elusive soulmates, emotional excess has often served to delineate norms and to assign diagnostic terms to those who fall without prescribed, predisposed boundaries.

This special issue of Humanities invites contributions that span chronology, culture, and genre in an attempt to probe the depths of a heterogenous phenomenon that has fascinated and perplexed writers and readers since the beginning of time. Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural, the essays to inhabit this volume will constitute a transtemporal illumination—pathological and poetic—of discourse and madness alike.

Submit manuscripts at by registering and logging in to this website. Once registered, click here to go to the submission form. Contributors should consult Instructions for Authors before submission. Shortly after final acceptance, articles will be published on a continuing basis.

Note: All processing and other fees for papers accepted into this special volume will be waived. There are no costs to authors.

If you have any questions, please write to the guest editor, M. J. Muratore, at For further information, visit the Humanities website at