CfP Alluvium 8.2: Locating the Centre in Contemporary Literature

Alluvium is an open access journal featuring short essays of around 2,000 words on key issues and emerging trends in 21st-century writing and criticism. The journal publishes six issues a year, employing a system of post-publication peer-review by the engaged commentariat on the message boards of the journal’s website, enabling vital current ideas to find a rapid readership.

We invite proposals for our April 2020 issue on the idea of ‘the centre’ in contemporary literature. As British, European, and American politics find themselves increasingly dominated by voices and movements once considered extremes, how are contemporary writers treating the idea of ‘the centre?’ Are they joining these movements in critiquing the very idea, revealing it as an ideological sham? Or do they in fact lament the apparent diminution of centrist perspectives in the public sphere? And if contemporary fiction is in fact engaged in a renegotiation of these polarities, how are authors re-examining the role of the centre in art’s production, and literature’s complicity in these political structures?

Topics might include but are by no means limited to:
• Institutions at the centre and the margins
• Global/globalised centres
• Redefinitions of political categories
• Historical fiction’s relation to contemporary politics
• Literary responses to discourses of ‘crisis’
• The relationship between literature and the left
• Climate activism in the literary sphere
• Technology, politics, and the public sphere
• On the question of ‘responsibility’

If you are interested in contributing to this issue please send an abstract and a short biography (including your name, email, and institutional affiliation) by 6 March 2020. The deadline for submission of articles will be 3 April 2020 (issue release 22 April 2020), and we will respond to all abstracts by 11 March.

If you have questions or suggestions please feel free to contact Alluvium editors Chloe Ashbridge, Zoe Bulaitis, or Caroline Wintersgill, or this issue’s guest editors Lola Boorman ( and Dr. Daniel South (

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