CFP: Special Issue: English Studies in Africa, ‘A Century of Modernism in African Literature and Literary Culture’ (Deadline: 01 June 2021)

We are delighted to share that there will be a special issue of English Studies in Africa in 2022 on ‘A Century of Modernism in African Literature and Literary Culture’. The deadline to submit papers for consideration is 01 June 2021.

2022 marks the centenary of modernism’s so-called ‘annus mirabilis’. Rounded at either end by the two most influential works of the anglophone avant-garde – James Joyce’s Ulysses and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land – 1922 has enjoyed a privileged if troubled position in the cultural imaginary. A century on from this ‘wonder year’, English Studies in Africa seeks to draw out discussion on the complex afterlives of modernism in African literature and literary culture.

Tracing both modernism’s creative and critical trajectories as they refract and reform in African letters, this special issue aims to revaluate a literary history of cross-cultural influence.

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The editors invite articles of 6000-words related but not limited to the following topics:

− Revisiting first encounters: modernism’s reception and circulation through African periodical networks, little magazines, journals;

− Critical offshoots: the legacy of Practical and New Criticism in South African universities and academic journals;

− Modernism and pedagogy: teaching modernism before and after the de-colonial turn;

− Modernism and ‘lateness’: if modernism conceives of itself as ‘always belated’ (Hutchinson), what does this mean for the African avant-garde’s encounter with modernism?

− Modernism’s Africa: European modernism’s debt to Africa;

− Africa’s modernism: the impact of European modernism on the aesthetics and politics of African literature; and

− Modernist texts at 100: African afterlives of The Waste Land, Ulysses, Jacob’s Room, The Garden Party….

It goes without saying that Africa is not a country and that it includes South Africa. Submissions must be sent to the editor of the special issue, Rick De Villiers (, and the general editor of the journal, Michael Titlestad ( Submission guidelines are available here. Please submit in the prescribed format.

In order to be considered for inclusion in the special issue, your paper should reach the editors no later than 01 June 2021. You are welcome to contact the editors to indicate your intention to submit or to engage in any related conversation.


English Studies in Africa is an ISI-listed journal, appears in all the significant databases and is the oldest South African literary studies journal.

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