CFP: Proposed Volume on Literary Journalism/Creative Nonfiction in East-Central Europe

Abstracts are invited for a proposed collection on Literary Journalism/Creative Non-Fiction in East-Central Europe. The volume takes as its central concern the current shapes and forms of what is variously called literary journalism, creative non-fiction, creative documentary narrative, or reportage (among other terms) in the region. We have already received preliminary interest from an academic publisher.

Geographically we define East-Central Europe as the world region that lies between Germany and Russia, south of Scandinavia and north of Greece and Turkey. Many of the countries in the region are now full members of the EU and NATO, some are candidate countries, and all of them share a common heritage of once belonging to the Communist world during the second half of the 20th century. 

We look forward to receiving abstracts for proposed chapters that chronologically focus on the 21st century and contemporary developments, motifs, and trends, but we will also consider contributions that provide a somewhat broader historical context for specific works, authors, national genre genealogies, etc. Chapter proposals focused on the transition era (late 1980s, early 1990s) and the post-socialist era (mid 1990s to mid 2000s) are also welcome.

Similar to our geographically flexible definition of the region, we also have a broad conception of who could count as an East-Central European author. We would consider authors, groups of authors, or schools that i) originate in the region, ii) are/were working in the region; iii) originally publish(ed) their work in regional languages, in regional forums (newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, online forums, etc.). Proposals on internationally unknown or little-known authors, traditions, or even national genre genealogies are especially welcome.

Possible topics include but are not limited to: 

  • Introduction and analysis of the complete oeuvre of a single author
  • Introduction and analysis of the individual work of a single author
  • Genealogy of the genre of literary journalism/creative non-fiction in a national context
  • Comparative study (e.g., various East-Central European authors on the same or similar topics)
  • Travelogs
  • Regional specificities of the genre
  • Critical and/or popular reception of work(s) in a given language community; in the region
  • International reception (critical and/or popular) of works, authors
  • Outstanding works/authors unknown to the English-speaking world
  • Institutional histories
  • Forums of literary journalism/creative non-fiction in a given language/cultural community (country, region, etc.): journals, magazines, publishing houses, cafes, digital space
  • Literary journalism/creative non-fiction in the digital space
  • Interdisciplinary investigations (literary journalism/creative non-fiction and/as social sciences)
  • International connections and contexts (personal, institutional, etc.)
  • 21st c. and contemporary illiberal tendencies and literary journalism/creative non-fiction in the region
  • Work methods/practice of individuals and schools in the genre of literary journalism/creative non-fiction
  • 21st c. migration and literary journalism/creative non-fiction in the region
  • Reflections on armed conflicts in literary journalism/creative non-fiction
  • Transnational East-Central Europe/ Transnational East-Central European space
  • The (re)construction of (physical and metaphorical) places/spaces that are distinctly East-Central European
  • Interregional reflection on other cultures of the region
  • Motifs in East-Central European literary journalism/creative non-fiction (post-socialist nostalgia; early 1990s wild capitalism; minorities; self-reflection; irony and humour, landscape, etc.)
  • The economy of literary journalism/creative non-fiction in the region

Only original research will be considered.

Please submit abstracts of 500 – 600 words no later than April 30, 2024. After reviewing the chapter proposals, we will invite contributions. Deadline for completed chapters will be Nov. 15, 2024.

Final essays should be between 9,000 and 12,000 words, including notes and references and be argumentative rather than descriptive in approach. 

Authors whose works are included in the volume will be responsible for i) submitting English language proofread chapters and ii) clearing all permissions for the re-use of third-party material.  

Address abstracts to Dr György Túry and Dr. Rob Alexander (editors).

Dr György Túry, Associate Professor, Budapest Metropolitan University
Research Fellow, Corvinus Institute for Advanced Studies, Corvinus University of Budapest

Dr Rob Alexander, Associate Professor, Brock University
Past President, International Association for Literary Journalism Studies

Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

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