Call for Papers: The Alien

UPDATED: Digressions invites manuscripts (3,000 to 5,000 words) for its special issue on “The Alien.” Deadline: 1 June 2017.

We still have space for one or two articles in our special issue on “The Alien.” If you have a paper related to this topic that you are willing to rework into a jounal article over the summer, please send it to us via email.

The Alien, in all its ambiguity — its simultaneous invisibility and hypervisibility — is a wideranging and innovative site of investigation for critical theorists and cultural analysts. The global present has seen a continuation and resurgence of fear, obsession, and intrigue with the figure, site, and notion of the Alien — exemplified by, among other developments, the recent antiimmigrant rhetoric among right-wing parties and their leaders around the world. We invite master’s, research master’s, and Ph.D. students from a variety of disciplines and perspectives such as feminist studies, post- and decolonial studies, queer studies, literary studies, media and performance studies, critical race studies, and animal studies, to submit their manuscripts that play into the inter- and transdisciplinary nature of the subject matter.

  • Science Fiction: From Ridley Scott’s seminal 1979 film Alien to Denis Villeneuve’s 2016 Arrival, the figure of the Alien has been a central component to (speculative) science fiction narratives. We encourage investigations (and reviews) on the figuration and representation of the Alien in a variety of cultural artefacts, including literature, film, art, music, and video games. We furthermore invite research and creative writing on space/Earth colonisation, ‘human’ and ‘alien’ migration, and alien(ating)/queering temporalities, that critically (re)think notions of race, gender, sexuality, and dis/ability. Think for example about the work of Octavia Butler, David Mitchell, Sun Ra, Janelle Monáe, Ursula Le Guin, N.K. Jemisin, Margaret Atwood, and Cixin Liu.
  • Migration/Politics: The Alien can be a site to explore the crucial and urgent questions regarding migrants, the (future of the) nation-state, and processes of alienation, racialisation, gendering, and (de)humanisation in a range of current sociopolitical climates. Submissions can cover, but are not limited to, critical investigations into (international) migration law and citizenship, cultural representations of Fortress Europe, the role of the media in relation to historical and contemporary refugee ‘crises’, and critical (co-written) ethnographic projects dealing with migrant experiences.
  • Body: Moreover, we are interested in submissions dealing with questions of the Alien, alienation, and nonhuman/inhuman/posthuman in relation to the body. Bodies shape, move, are experienced, and gather meaning at specific points in time and space, within particular material, economic, cultural, and demographic settings. What happens to human bodies when they interact with, seemingly, alien matter? Think of questions related to (living with) viruses and virality, cyborg and alien assemblages, body horror, pregnancy and motherhood, and the (human/animal) embodiment of the Alien.

We invite papers, reviews, and creative writing on these and all other Alien-related matters. Manuscipts, reviews, and creative writing can be sent by email to the editor before 1 June 2017.