JALA: Egypt in Focus: Creativity in Adversarial Contexts

Deadline: August 1, 2019

Special Issue of the Journal of the African Literature Association

Egypt in Focus: Creativity in Adversarial Contexts

Guest Editors: Nevine El Nossery (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Shereen Abouelnnaga (Cairo University)

The current socio-political situation in Egypt raises fundamental questions about the state of the arts and the future of literature and culture in the country. While the first years after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution witnessed the emergence and flourishing of new literary and artistic expressions (auto-fictional blogs, music festivals, protest songs, slam poetry, documentaries, photographs, TV talk shows, graphic novels and comics), today, culture and cultural production are facing an unprecedented enforced silence. And where that silence is pierced through, a striking sense of disillusionment and uncertainty marks the sensibilities of significant aesthetic creativity. This special volume examines the complex paradoxical predicament of a seemingly irrepressible expressive context under the thralls of an imposed gloomy hush. It also addresses how individuals and institutions navigate the inflicted muteness through different strategies. For artists, writers, and intellectuals, the revolution is an unfinished ongoing project that still fuels their art and praxis.

Submissions are invited on topics that include but are not limited to:

  • The rise or sharp growth of certain expressive genres (the dystopian novel and its varieties, popular/colloquial poetry, short films, testimonials and documentary works)
  • New modes of self-expression and subjectivity.
  • The conspicuous surge in creative writing courses (and the economics of access to them).
  • Publishing, circulation, and censorship.
  • Social media and agency.
  • The literary text: a site of social activism or individual expression?
  • The rise of the individual in the contemporary Egyptian novel.
  • The city: a friend or foe?
  • Women reading history and oral history.
  • Women's poetry and the image of the Father.
  • The discourse of State-run media: whitewashing or pink-washing?
  • Governmental sponsorship of cultural activities.
  • Transnational circulation of translation and international recognition vs. national obscurantism.
  • Literary scholarship and journalistic commentary after the Revolution.

Submission of Papers

  • Essays should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words; should be Word documents, using MLA format for layout and citation.
  • Essays are to be submitted in two forms: (i) a full version with author’s details, and (ii) a completely anonymized version.
  • Please send your essays electronically to Nevine El Nossery (elnossery@wisc.edu) and Shereen Abouelnaga (shereen66@gmail.com) by May 1st, 2019, using the subject heading “JALA Egypt Special Issue.” (those who have questions can contact the guest editors).
  • For those who want comments on a particular topic or abstract before writing the full article, please email Nevine El Nossery (elnossery@wisc.edu) and Shereen Abouelnaga (shereen66@gmail.com)

Preparing Your Paper

Please consult JALA’s advice to authors on preparing a manuscript here: https://tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=rala20&page=instructions

All submissions will undergo a double-blind peer-review process.

Articles must not have been published previously, or in review process elsewhere.