Tag Archives: state of the field

State of the Field: Postcolonialism

By: Chelsea Wall


The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=PLI

This journal seeks to provide a “forum for publishing research covering the full spectrum of postcolonial critical readings and approaches, whether these center on established or lesser known postcolonial writers or draw upon fields such as Modernism, Medievalism, Shakespeare, and Victorian Studies that have hitherto not been considered central to postcolonial literary studies, yet have generated some of the best insights on postcolonialism.”

Race and Class: a Journal on Racism, Empire, and Globalisation. http://rac.sagepub.com

“Race & Class is a refereed, ISI-ranked publication, the foremost English language journal on racism and imperialism in the world today. For three decades it has established a reputation for the breadth of its analysis, its global outlook and its multidisciplinary approach.” Topics covered include but are not limited to: globalisation, popular culture, postcolonialism, legacies of empire, culture and identity, militarism and empire, religion and race, and xeno-racism.

The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. http://jcpcsonline.com

“The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies publishes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural articles, interviews, and creative writings on the literatures, the histories, the politics, and the arts whose focus, locales, or subjects involve Britain and other European countries and their former colonies, the now decolonized, independent nations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, and also Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.”

Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/riij20/current

This journal actually has it’s editorial office in the department of English at NYU and it’s website is pretty amazing to navigate via iPad. Subjects of interest include: the histories of imperialism and colonialism, the role of culture (academic, literary, and popular) in the operation of imperialism and the formation of resistance movements, liberation struggles, past and ongoing, the role of religion and culture in new nationalisms, the contemporary politics of identity, races and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, the economies of neocolonialism, diaspora and migrancy, etc.


Globalectics: Theory and the Politics of Knowing by Ngugi wa Thiong’o (2012). “wa Thiong’o confronts the politics of language in African writing; the problem of linguistic imperialism and literature’s ability to resist it; the difficult balance between orality, or ‘orature,’ and writing, or ‘literature’; the tension between national and world literature; and the role of the literary curriculum in both reaffirming and undermining the dominance of the Western canon.”

The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South by Vijay Prashad (2014). “Prashad analyzes the failures of neoliberalism, as well as the rise of the BRICS countries, the World Social Forum, issue-based movements like Via Campesina, the Latin American revolutionary revival—in short, efforts to create alternatives to the neoliberal project advanced militarily by the US and its allies and economically by the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, and other instruments of the powerful. Just as The Darker Nations asserted that the Third World was a project, not a place, The Poorer Nations sees the Global South as a term that properly refers not to geographical space but to a concatenation of protests against neoliberalism.”

Postcolonialism and the Specter of Capital by Vivek Chibber (2013). “Postcolonial theory has become enormously influential as a framework for understanding the Global South. It is also a school of thought popular because of its rejection of the supposedly universalizing categories of the Enlightenment. In this devastating critique, mounted on behalf of the radical Enlightenment tradition, Vivek Chibber offers the most comprehensive response yet to postcolonial theory. Focusing on the hugely popular Subaltern Studies project, Chibber shows that its foundational arguments are based on a series of analytical and historical misapprehensions. He demonstrates that it is possible to affirm a universalizing theory without succumbing to Eurocentrism or reductionism.”



The British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference. bcpcsconference.com “The British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference, inaugurated in 1992, is the oldest and longest-running annual meeting of its kind in the United States. It encompasses colonial and postcolonial histories, literatures, creative and performing arts, politics, economics, and all other aspects of the countries formerly colonized by Britain and other European powers. There is no restriction to any particular political/cultural ideology or to specific critical practices. The Colonial, Postcolonial, and Decolonized eras all are of interest. We welcome and seek to encourage a variety of approaches and viewpoints, and the generation of wide-ranging, productive debates. Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural, the conference offers scholars and researchers, teachers and students, the opportunity to disseminate and discuss their knowledge and understanding of the dynamic, important field of postcolonial studies.”

Postcolonial Studies Association Conference. http://www.postcolonialstudiesassociation.co.uk “We aim to help foster relevant work on, across and between such areas as anthropology, area studies, cultural studies, developmental studies, economics, gender studies, geography, history, international relations, linguistics, literary studies, political studies, sociology, and others. Though based in the UK, the PSA’s scope and membership are international, and the Association actively welcomes scholars dealing with non-Anglophone areas and subjects – particularly those that are not represented by existing research centres and groups.”

Cultural Studies Association Annual Conference. http://www.culturalstudiesassociation.org/conference While this conference is not geared toward postcolonialism explicitly, their website notes that they “welcome proposals from a range of disciplinary and topical positions, including literature, history, sociology, geography, politics, anthropology, communication(s), popular culture, cultural theory, queer studies, critical race studies, feminist studies, post-colonial studies, legal studies, science studies, media and film studies, material cultural studies, platform studies, visual art and performance studies.” Furthermore, this year’s theme is “Another University is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy.” They go on to note that “it expresses a commitment to the intellectual and political project of a radically different university. Moving beyond policy and pundit-driven discussions of the state and the future of higher education, we seek proposals that highlight socially-engaged scholarship and activism, and projects that explore the transformative possibilities embedded in the present. What forms and formations of research, pedagogy, praxis, and activism have emerged from the struggles being waged in, around, through, and in spite of institutions of higher education? What roles can culture, theory, imagination, and technology play in these struggles? Taking up cultural studies’ historical commitment to the interrogation of the relations among knowledge, power, and social transformation, the 2015 Cultural Studies Association conference seeks to provide an insurgent intellectual space for imagining, enacting, and mapping new forms of knowledge production and scholarly communication and community,” all of which I thought was particularly relevant to our last discussion in class.



Postcolonial Literary Studies Series by Edinburgh University Press “examines how Postcolonial Studies reconfigures the major existing periods and areas of literature. The books relate key literary and cultural texts both to their historical and geographical contexts, and to contemporary issues of neo-colonialism and global inequality. Each volume not only provides a comprehensive survey of the existing field of scholarship and debate, but is also an original critical intervention in its own right.” Titles include Modernist Literature and Postcolonial Studies, Romantic Literatures and Postcolonial Studies, Postwar British Literatures and Postcolonial Studies, etc.

Postcolonialism Across the Disciplines Series by Liverpool University Press “showcases alternative directions for postcolonial studies by opening up new dialogues between disciplines and by widening its traditional subject matter. It attempts to counteract the dominance in colonial and postcolonial studies of one particular discipline, literary studies, making the case for a combination of disciplinary knowledges as the basis for contemporary postcolonial critique.” Some titles I was particularly drawn to in this series include: Rhetorics of Belonging, Sacred Modernity, and Involuntary Associations

Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literature by Oxford University Press.



The Graduate Center actually just had a speaker series in collaboration with the World of Matter project last month. The events were titled “Radical Materialism: Making the World Matter” and “A Critical Discussion of World of Matter.” There are several more events (“Rare Earth,” “The Infiltrators,” and “Malign Velocities”) in the upcoming weeks.

There is a seminar series held at Emory University that is titled “Interdisciplinary Workshop in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies” but I am unsure if this is still active.

The Postcolonial Studies Project at NYU hosts a variety of events, speakers, and colloquia throughout the year.

(I am unsure whether these are close to what you’re looking for, but I was having some trouble dredging these up.)



Lal Salaam: A Blog by Vinay Lal. Reflections on the culture of politics and the politics of culture. https://vinaylal.wordpress.com

Amardeep Singh’s blog: www.electrostani.com

Roopika Risam’s blog: http://roopikarisam.com/blog/



@ThePostcolonial is a publication for academics, journalists, artists, and activists focused on the Global South.

@JCLJournal is the twitter page for The Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

@WorldOfMatter is the twitter page for the World of Matter (obviously) which is an international project focusing on patterns of resource exploitation.

@RSCPostcolonial is the twitter page for the Stockton Postcolonial Studies Project.



@electrostani – Amardeep Singh, literature professor at Lehigh

@zeithistoriker – Quinn Slobodiam, a Postcolonial historian of Germany/professor of history at Wellesley

@ProfJohnMcLeod – John McLeod, professor at University of Leeds

@adelinekoh – directer of the Digital Humanities Center and literature professor at Stockton

State of the Field Report: Ecocriticism

By: Sarah Hildebrand


Environmental Humanities: “Environmental Humanities is an international, open-access journal that aims to invigorate current interdisciplinary research on the environment. In response to a growing interest around the world in the many questions that arise in this era of rapid environmental and social change, the journal publishes outstanding scholarship that draws humanities disciplines into conversation with each other, and with the natural and social sciences.”

ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment: “ISLE seeks to explore the relation between human beings and the natural world, and publishes articles from literary scholars, environmental historians, specialists in the visual and performing arts, environmental philosophers, geographers, economists, ecologists, and scholars in other fields relevant to ‘literature and environment.’ The journal also publishes poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction pertinent to its thematic focus.”

Journal of Ecocriticism: “The Journal of Ecocriticism is an open-access, peer-reviewed electronic review of ecocriticism and ecoliterature.”

Poecology: “Poecology is a literary journal and online resource for contemporary writing about place, ecology and the environment, with a particular interest in poetry.”

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) has compiled a comprehensive list of other ecocritical and environmental journals here: http://www.asle.org/site/papers/manuscripts/journals/

Books Published in the Last Two Years:

Gaard, Greta, Simon C. Estok, and Serpil Opperman, eds. International Perspectives in Feminist Ecocriticism. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Kilcup, Karen L. Fallen Forests: Emotion, Embodiment, and Ethics in American Women’s Environmental Writing, 1781-1924. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013. Print.

Lejano, Raul, Mrill Ingram, and Helen Ingram. The Power of Narrative in Environmental Networks. Cambridge: MIT P, 2013. Print.

Morton, Timothy. Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2013. Print.

Waldron, Karen E. and Rob Friedman, eds. Toward a Literary Ecology: Places and Spaces in American Literature. Plymouth: Scarecrow P, 2013. Print.

Annual Conferences:

As it turns out, ecocritical organizations largely gravitate towards the Biennial Conference. The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and the Environment (EASLCE), and the Association for the Study of Literature, Environment & Culture – Australia & New Zealand (ASLEC-ANZ) all host Biennial Conferences that center around the subject of literature and the environment.

However, there are also always ecocritical panels (organized through ASLE) at the annual American Studies Association and Modern Language Association conferences.

University Press Series:

University of Illinois Press Series on The Environment and the Human Condition

Eastern Washington University Press Series on Environmental and Ecological Issues for Scholarly and Popular Audiences

University of Virginia Press Series entitled Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism

Wilfrid Laurier University Press’s Environmental Humanities Series (Canadian)

Speaker Series:

Oecologies Speaker Series sponsored by Green College at the University of British Columbia.

Sustainability Studies Speaker Series at Stony Brook University

Tuesday Ecocritical Lecture Series II hosted by the University of Central Florida’s College of Arts & Humanities

Scholarly Blogs:

http://ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com/ – Ecocritic Timothy Morton’s blog

http://naturecritical.wordpress.com/ – An blog managed by the ecocritical reading group at Stellenbosch University

http://blog.uvm.edu/aivakhiv/ – A blog maintained by Adrian Ivakhiv, who teaches Environmental Thought and Cultural Studies at the University of Vermont

Twitter Accounts Maintained by Scholars in the Field:

@wcronon – William Cronon

@billmckibben – Bill McKibben

@TempestWilliams – Terry Tempest Williams

Twitter Accounts Maintained by Institutions Related to the Field:

@CarsonCenter – The Rachel Carson Center: “International center furthering research in the environmental humanities”

@EnvHistJournal – “Environmental History is an international journal dedicated to exploring the history of human interaction with the natural world”

@EnvHumanities – “Environmental Humanities is an international, open-access journal that aims to invigorate current interdisciplinary research on the environment”

@PlacesJournal – Places Journal: “Public scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urban design”







State of the (Children’s/YA Lit) Field

By: Jennifer Polish


The Lion and the Unicorn: “The Lion and the Unicorn is a theme- and genre-centered journal of international scope committed to a serious, ongoing discussion of literature for children.” 

Bookbird: “Published by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Bookbird communicates new ideas to the whole community of readers interested in children’s books, publishing work on any topic in the field of international children’s literature.

Children’s Literature: “Children’s Literature is the annual publication of the Modern Language Association Division on Children’s Literature and the Children’s Literature Association. Encouraging serious scholarship and research, Children’s Literature publishes theoretically based articles that address key issues in the field.”

Children’s Literature Association Quarterly: “With a new look and a new editorial staff, the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly continues its tradition of publishing first-rate scholarship in Children’s Literature Studies.”

Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures: “Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures is an interdisciplinary, refereed academic journal whose mandate is to publish research on, and to provide a forum for discussion about, cultural productions for, by, and about young people.”

Books Published in the Last Two Years

Hintz, Carrie, Balaka Basu, and Katherine R. Broad, eds. Contemporary Dystopian Fiction for Young Adults: Brave New Teenagers. Routledge, 2013.

McGillis, Roderick. Voices of the Other: Children’s Literature and the Postcolonial Context. Routledge, 2013.

Zipes, Jack. Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children’s Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter. Routledge, 2013.

Annual Conferences (Recent/Upcoming)

National Latino Children’s Literature Conference:

“Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos”

March 13-14, 2014

The University of Alabama

Children’s Literature Association Conference

“Give me liberty, or give me death!”: 

The High Stakes and Dark Sides of Children’s Literature

Hosted by Longwood University 

June 18-20, 2015 

Richmond, Virginia 

Omni Richmond Hotel

Western Washington University Children’s Literature Conference:

2015 WWU Children’s Literature Conference 

Saturday, February 28, 2015 

Performing Arts Center ~ Concert Hall 

Stony Brook Southampton Children’s Literature Conference

Workshops in Writing Picture Books, Middle Grade Fiction and Young Adult Novels

July 16-20, 2014

University Press Series

Oxford University Press School and Young Adult Books: (Not an academic series per se, but if not more important) “Oxford University Press is the only university press that publishes books for children and young adults, an effort that is a direct extension of the Press’s mission to disseminate knowledge to a broad public.”

University Press of Mississippi Children’s Literature Association Series: “Books in this series include critical assessments of books, authors, illustrators, presses, and other entities involved in children’s and young-adult literature.”

Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature Series: Includes two editions on children’s literature, the latest issued in 2014. 

Speaker Series

MacLeod Children’s Literature Lecture Series: “The MacLeod Children’s Literature Lecture Series is a bi-annual program launched by the College in 1999 devoted to exposing scholarly issues associated with children’s literature to a broad audience.”

Lois Lenski Children’s Literature Lecture Series: “The Lois Lenski Children’s Literature Lecture Series was instituted in 1994 to honor children’s author Lois Lenski, who gave so generously of her time and her papers to the students of Illinois State University.”

The 2014 Lowell Lecture Series: Gateway to Reading: “The 2014 Lowell Lecture Series Gateway to Reading explores the fundamental importance of childhood literacy and addresses the joys, discoveries, questions, and challenges facing today’s generation of young readers.”

Scholarly Blogs

The Brown Bookshelf: “The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers.

Disability in KidLit: “Disability in Kidlit began as a month-long event in July 2013, featuring daily posts by readers, writers, bloggers, and other people from the YA and MG communities discussing disability and kidlit.

SDSU Children’s Literature: San Diego State University’s English and Comparative Literature program blog.

Twitter Accounts Maintained by Scholars in the Field

Latin@s in KidLit: “Exploring the world of Latino/a YA, MG, and children’s literature.

Disability in KidLit: “We review & discuss the portrayal of disabled characters in MG/YA novels.

Mitali Perkins: Maintains a list of “[t]weets about racial and cultural diversity in the children’s book world.”

Philip Nel: “Professor. One of @TheNiblings4. Two-time Eisner loser. Crockett Johnson & Ruth Krauss, Tales for Little Rebels, Dr. Seuss: American Icon. All views are my own.

Twitter Accounts Maintained by Institutions Related to the Field

Just Us Books: “Premier Publisher of Black-Interest Books for Children”

Children’s Literature Association: “The Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) is a non-profit association dedicated to the academic study of literature for children.

Children’s Literature Reviews: “We are an independent review source of Children & YA books & media. CL also assists schools/conferences in hosting author & illustrator events & book sales.