UNIVERSITY OF BUCHAREST REVIEW 2017
CALL FOR ARTICLES
We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, which explore all possible intersections of literary and cultural studies with the other disciplines in (and even beyond) the humanities.
Birth, Death, and Rebirth:
(Re)Generation as Text
The implacable power of birth and death to set limits to human life has been challenged from the earliest times by myth, ritual, literature, and the other arts. Religions have elaborated cosmogonies and eschatologies, told of the births of gods and saviours, and promised various forms of afterlife—the survival of the discarnate soul, metempsychosis and reincarnation, or the phoenix-like rebirth of the regenerated body. The human reluctance to accept the natural finality of death has given rise not only to utopias but also to dystopias of immortality (vampires and zombies).
Applied metaphorically to literary and cultural trends and texts, the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth perpetuates itself, with each cultural age and form marking the death of the previous one, yet always reinventing it with renewed energy. Cultural deaths have been announced many times—from Nietzsche’s death of God to Roland Barthes’ death of the author, from Eliot’s Waste Land and Beckett’s post-war death of values to the death of the individual and Stephen Frosh’s identity crisis, from the post-Holocaust death of language to the post-Cold War death of cultural expression. Yet, from the death of theatre and excessive minimalism to the renewed physical energies of intercultural theatre, from John Barth’s successive proclamations of a literature of exhaustion and a literature of replenishment, from the much proclaimed death of the novel followed by its reinvention through storytelling, crises have been surpassed and various forms of text have been regenerated. Whether this has involved genre crossovers, mixtures, adaptations, reinterpretations, hybridizations, etc., there has always been something more to say. Announced deaths have always been followed by their “posts,” which are actually attempts at regeneration and new life.
Another dimension of birth, death, and rebirth that we propose to investigate is the cultural logic that governs our contemporary media landscape. We inhabit an age of (re-)generation and retelling, where adaptation has become the most profitable practice in the popular media, and a growing vocabulary has emerged to define the possibilities afforded by this development—“sequel” and “prequel”, “reboot” and “soft reboot”, etc.—entering the parlance of consumers, critics, and academics, as well as industry insiders.
We invite papers addressing, but not limited to, the following topics:
– The symbolism of birth, death, and rebirth in mythology, literature, the arts, cultural studies, and the media
– Challenging birth, death, rebirth, and sexuality in a gendered perspective
– Birth, death, rebirth and the Christian/eschatological dimension in literature and cultural studies
– Birth, death, and rebirth in popular culture and science fiction: vampires, zombies, and paranormal phenomena
– Reconceptualizations of birth, death, and rebirth in philosophy: echoes in literature and cultural studies
– The dance of death, memento mori, etc.: old commonplaces revisited
– Literary and cultural responses to violent death through war and terrorism
– Death and mystery: crime fiction
– Textual deaths and rebirths: from deconstruction to reconstruction and the performance of culture, from exhaustion to replenishment
– The death and rebirth of genres and forms: the novel between formal experiment and the return of storytelling
– The rebirth/regeneration of the text through rewriting, adaptation, appropriation and remediation
– Hybridization as new life
– Birth, death, rebirth and memory studies
– The role of popular transmedia franchises in the adaptation of old texts
– Adaptations combining a variety of source texts and traditions;
– Neo-Victorian or steampunk rewritings of canonical texts and the ideologies that informed them
– Historical fantasy retellings of foundational characters and events
UBR has been acknowledged as a top academic journal by Romania’s National Council for Higher Education Research (CNCS). A recipient of the B academic ranking, our journal makes it possible for all its hosted articles to receive full academic recognition in the Romanian evaluation system and be included in such international databases as SCOPUS, EBSCO and C.E.E.O.L. We are open to all research authors, whether established or junior (including Ph.D. candidates), affiliated or independent, domestic or international.
If you are interested in having a version of your paper considered for publication, please send contributions in electronic form by 31 October 2017 at the latest. You will receive a confirmation message.
Papers are invited in: British, Irish and Commonwealth Literatures, American Literature, World and Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Intellectual and Cultural History, Art History and Visual Culture, Literary Theory, Translation Studies.
The Editorial Board