Due Date: 03-31-2024

Guest Editor Adam Parkes invites abstracts for a special issue of the South Atlantic Review on the SAMLA 95 conference theme (In)Security. The 2020s might be called the Age of Insecurity. Barely recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and suffering its social, psychological, and economic consequences, and living in fear of environmental catastrophe and nuclear war, not to mention actually ongoing wars, twenty-first-century humanity has little reason to feel secure. Increasingly powerful surveillance regimes facilitated by the ongoing digital revolution only heighten the sense of insecurity and related affective states such as paranoia and entrapment. In US institutions of higher learning, scholars and students of literature and language face new threats to their livelihoods precipitated by politically motivated assaults on tenure and, by implication, academic freedom.

Questions to be considered might include the following:

  • What is the future of the humanities in such circumstances?
  • Is it to be one of gradual (or accelerated) obsolescence?
  • What alternative futures might be imagined for the study of literature and language? For creative writing? For the teaching of rhetoric and composition?
  • Is it possible to envisage—and create and sustain—new sorts of security without lapsing into complacency?
  • Might intimations of insecurity be reimagined as useful or generative for scholarship and teaching in the humanities?
  • How might thinking about (in)security enhance the way we read texts and watch films? What new reading or viewing practices might come into being?

Abstracts of 200–300 words and a brief bio should be sent to Adam Parkes by 31 March 2024. Acceptances will be communicated by 30 April. Essays of 5,000–7,000 words will be due by 1 December 2024. Submissions do not necessarily have to be based on papers presented at SAMLA.