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Journal of Literary Theory

Call Deadline: 01-Jan-2014

Call Information:
Journal of Literary Theory Vol. 8, No. 1 (2014)
Submission Deadline: January 01, 2014
Call for Articles

›Context‹ is often regarded as a foundational concept among those humanities and sciences that are concerned with texts. One could argue that every theory about texts or literature has to - either explicitly or implicitly - make some assumptions about what a context is. Assuming that contexts are, generally speaking, relations between a text and states of affairs external to it (such as language, genres, other texts, culture, society, or history), it is hardly imaginable that there is some theoretical enterprise concerning texts which does not involve contexts. Consequently, models of textual understanding as well as editorial or interpretative enterprises would have to take all relevant contexts into account. Nevertheless, the notion has also been discussed critically. It has been argued that it presupposes a specific conception of text which is no longer tenable, and that it should therefore be replaced by alternative concepts. It has even been suggested that the difference between text and context is obsolete and should therefore be abandoned altogether.

Compared to other foundational notions (e.g. ›author‹), ›context‹ has not yet received the adequate amount of attention by the text studies, given its importance. The concept, though often used, is explained rarely. The discourse is mostly dominated by a more or less non-technical usage of the term, which comprises various ways of speaking. This situation calls for terminological clarification of the concept.

Currently, a variety of contexts is factored into textual inquiries. However, it is rarely made explicit which criteria guide the decision about which contexts to include, and what follows from those decisions. Thus, it seems necessary to reflect methodologically on the significance of contexts for literary and textual inquiries.

We encourage submissions from all language and literature departments as well as other fields within the humanities and social sciences that consider texts as their subject, such as philosophy, or history. Furthermore, we welcome submissions from fields that concentrate on other artifacts, but face similar challenges, such as media studies, history of art, or musicology.

Contributions should not exceed 50,000 characters in length and have to be submitted until January 1, 2014. Please submit your contribution electronically via our website under ›Articles‹.

Articles are chosen for publication by an international advisory board in a double-blind review process.

For further information about JLT and to view the submission guidelines, please visit or contact the editorial office at

Submissions that do not focus on one of our special topics can be submitted continuously via our website.

Please contact the editorial office for further details.

Hannes Worthmann
Assistant Editor
JLT - Journal of Literary Theory
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Seminar für Deutsche Philologie
Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3
37073 Göttingen

0049 - (0)551 - 39 - 7534