[Msa-discuss] CFP: Religion Criticism and the Postcritical

Claire Buck cbuck at wheatonma.edu
Tue Apr 2 11:55:54 EDT 2019

*CFP: “Religion, Criticism, and the Postcritical”*

*Special Issue of LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory*

Over the past two decades, literary critics have debated some of the
founding tenets of secular critical inquiry. Revisiting standards of
objectivity, reason, and distance that govern normative critical practice,
they have questioned the achievability and the desirability of what Rita
Felski has called critique’s “thought style.” Such debates have reactivated
interest in critical methods premised on subjective relations to a given
text, on faith, and on proximity. In acknowledging how belief undergirds
the most critical of positions, “postcriticism” seems especially promising
as a means of approaching and understanding religion and religious

Yet this relationship has often remained methodological without being
expansively practical. Thus this special issue seeks essays on literature
and culture that deploy postcritical methods and which investigate the
extent that these methods rely (or not) on religious content, feeling, or
belief. We are interested in the possibilities afforded by studies of
religion in the postcritical era, and we see the literary as particularly
ripe for reappraising doubt and secularism. What stories can be told about
literature that are not possible when we disavow belief? What limits does
religiously-influenced postcriticism find when it acknowledges faith cannot
possibly be universally identical? How have religious movements informed
critical practice? And how might a postcritical perspective trouble or
transform our understanding of “religion” itself? In sum, we welcome essays
that investigate the uncertain divide between the categories of literature
and criticism, as well as (re)consider the relationship between the
standards of criticism and the history of the discipline with respect to
religion. Possible topics include: secularity / postsecularity and
literature, religious movements and literature, identity (national, gender,
racial, sexual) and religion, genre and religion, reading practices and
religion, histories of the discipline in light of religious feeling and
belief, etc.

Submissions must use MLA citation style and should be between 5,000-9,000
words (including notes and works cited). Please direct any questions
relating to this cfp to both guest editors, Winter Jade Werner (
werner_winter at wheatoncollege.edu) and John Wiehl (johnwiehl at gmail.com).
Submissions should be emailed to litjourn at yahoo.com by 31 December 2019.
Please include your contact information and a 100-200 word abstract in the
body of your email. *LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory *also welcomes
submissions for general issues.

Guest Co-Editors: Winter Jade Werner and John Wiehl

*LIT* Co-Editors: Dwight Codr and Tara Harney-Mahajan

Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2019


Claire Buck, PhD

Professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies

English Department

Wheaton College, MA

Co-Director, Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning
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