Literature: What Is the Role of Literature Now?
Due Date: 11-30-2021
Submissions are sought for a special issue of Literature titled What Is the Role of Literature Now? Some of the questions covered by the special issue include:
- Must literature be redefined? With people now reading on average less than twenty minutes per day, if literature is to remain relevant must its definition expand to include multimedia, social media, video games, etc.? Should it include all forms of story? If so, how can quality standards be maintained?
- What is the practical value or function of literature in contemporary society?
- Why should literature remain or become a required subject in schools today?
- Can literature help us solve pressing interspecies problems such as climate change and pandemics? What genres of literature are best for these purposes? Apocalyptic or postapocalyptic fiction such as McCarthy’s The Road? Realist fiction such as Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior? Prophetic poetry like Yeats’s “Second Coming”? Sacred poetry such as Hopkins’s “God’s Grandeur”?
- Can the evocation of emotion in literature generate energy to deal with climate change and pandemics as well as it does with racism, sexism, and classism?
- Can literature teach us how to convey positive emotions in social media stories to attract more readers than the anger, hatred, and fear generated by conspiracy stories?
- Can literature still critique contemporary society, making the invisible visible? Can it reveal the plots and values and offer alternatives not just to conspiracy stories but also to the current master and family narratives, as well as the disciplinary paradigms of the sciences?
- Can literature continue to make the reader a better person: more ethical, more compassionate, and more whole?
Submissions are due by 30 November 2021. For more information, visit https://www.mdpi.com/journal/literature/special_issues/what_role_literature_now.