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Poetics and Hermeneutics of Pain and Pleasure (call for articles)

Organization: international publisher
Categories: Postcolonial, American, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, British, Genre & Form, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Literary Theory, Women's Studies, World Literatures, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Medieval, Early Modern & Renaissance, Long 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, 20th & 21st Century, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2019-06-01 Abstract Due: 2019-03-15

Poetics and Hermeneutics of Pain and Pleasure

Call for Papers (edited volume)


“I am interested in language because it wounds or seduces me” -Barthes

“The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain” -Aristotle

“Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder”  -Khalil Gibran


Pain and pleasure are at the heart of human experiences and literary journeys. Taking the title of Roland Barthes’s text on the pleasure/ bliss/ “Kama Sutra” of writing is a starting point for the discussion of other different wor(l)ds and cartographies of pain and pleasure. Set against the Aristotelian delineation of pleasure as the major principle that should govern a literary endeavor, this volume seeks to investigate other/alternative reflections on the themes of pleasure and pain. Thinking about the ways through which expressions of pain and pleasure may affect the writer/reader as experiences of other pursuits of the human imagination can place/displace, soothe/enrage, and inspire/discourage the individual search for meaning. By engaging with different theories and expressions, it is possible to understand what pain and pleasure have done in the history of humanity, rather than merely looking at them as representations of others’ distant experiences.

This call for papers encourages new reflections on/ a play at the expressions of pain and pleasure to create new meanings for these words in a world vying for expressions of power with/without bliss. 

Contributors are invited to send proposals relating to one or several of the following themes (but not limited to them):

Ø  Writing pleasure and the pleasure of writing: allegories and metaphors

Ø  Writing pain and the pain of writing: lived and imagined experiences

Ø  The use of pain to deconstruct the myth of other pleasure

Ø  Intersection between history and pain/pleasure: resistance and suffering  

Ø  Men/ fathers and Women’s/mothers’ pleasure/pain

Ø  Individual(s) in pain/communities in pleasure

Ø  Texts and contexts of pain and/or pleasure

Ø  Pain and pleasure in art, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama…

Ø  Prohibitions and jouissance in texts and their contexts

Ø  On rhetorics & the language of pain and pleasure

Ø  Experimental literature

Ø  Literature and emotions

Ø  The paradox of tragedy

Ø  Experiencing/ reading the sublime

Ø  Understanding and deconstructing pain and pleasure


Please send a short bio and a 350-word abstract by March 15th, 2019 to: literaryarena@gmail.com

Notification of acceptance: March 30th, 2019

Essay submission by: June 1st, 2019


Bootheina Majoul