EVENT Jun 30
Abstract days left 0
Viewed 365 times

UTopias and Dystopias (Journal essays)

Organization: MELOW
Event: Journal essays
Categories: Postcolonial, Hispanic & Latino, World Literatures, 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: 2019-06-30 to 2019-06-30 Abstract Due: 2019-06-30

Call for Papers for MEJO: The Melow Journal of World Literature

 a Peer-Reviewed Journal with ISSN


MEJO, or the MELOW Journal of World Literature, is a peer-refereed E-journal brought out annually by MELOW, the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the World. It is a reincarnation of the previous publications brought out in book or printed form by the Society right since its inception in 1998.

MELOW (http://www.melow.in/) is an academic organization, one of the foremost of its kind in India. The members are college and university teachers, scholars and critics interested in literature, particularly in World Literatures. The Organization meets every year over an international conference. It seeks to maintain academic standards, encourages and grooms younger scholars, and provides a forum for senior scholars in literature. The papers presented at MELOW conferences are screened, selected, edited and published by a Board of Editors especially appointed for the purpose.

The forthcoming issue will be the fifth of MEJO, the MELOW Journal, which will include essays selected from the 2019 conference held at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and for the first time, papers selected through an open call.


Papers for MEJO on the following theme are invited to be submitted by 30 June 2019


Theme: Sunny Pleasure Domes and Caves of Ice: Utopias and Dystopias in World Literature

Utopias are always in fashion, says Barbara Goodwin, as they hold up a mirror to the fears and aspirations of the times in which they are written. Literature being the expression of the innermost thoughts of human beings, for good or bad, better or worse, gives form and shape to suppressed desires, hidden phobias and fears, wishful thinking, and other emotions, transient, dormant or volatile. At the other end of the spectrum, contrasting with the desired wish-landscape, is the reverse, the anti-Utopia or Dystopia, reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno, or Milton’s Hell, far from the light of goodness, where evil reigns supreme. As we go through literary history we note that the idea of Utopia and Dystopia inevitably changes with time. With the spread of education and learning, as the frontiers of knowledge are pushed back, the concept of the ideal haven of peace and happiness undergoes a change. If the earliest known work in this category is Plato’s Republic, with time literature has thrown up Utopias that are very different from the Platonic ideal. The advance in science and technology has contributed significantly to different kinds of Utopias and Dystopias, shifting the focus to a trans-human or post-human world ruled by machines. There are feminist, religious, ecological, or political Utopias. Each has its own pros and cons.


What is the significance of these Shangri Las of literature and how do they portray man’s search for “lost horizons”? How and why does this yearning for an ideal place elsewhere change with the times? With the so-called march of civilization, as we move towards greater “development,” what are the fears and phobias that that compel writers to create nightmare landscapes and anti-utopias where pandemonium rules?


The journal will debate on these and related issues dealing with (but not restricted to) the following broad themes:


A: Theoretical Considerations. The changing concept of Utopia through the ages. Utopias and anti-utopias in different cultures. Kinds of Utopias. Theories of Karl Mannheim, Melvin Lasky, Ernst Bloch, George Kateb and others.

B: The Medieval Idea of an Ideal World (or its opposite): Images of the prelapsarian and postlapsarian worlds. Dante, Cervantes, Milton.

C: Widening of Horizons: Geographical discoveries, newly-found lands of promise and hope. Variations of (Im)perfection: The abode of Yahoos and Houyhnhnms, island literature, utopias in performance.

D: Poetic Utopias and Anti-Utopias: The Romantic Imagination and the Victorian disillusionment. Civitas Dei: Urban Utopias, or cities that symbolize perfection. Indian notions of Utopia. Indian notions of Utopia: Ram Rajya and Gandhian views.

E: The American Dream and the concept of the new Adam. The American Nightmare.

F: The Modern/Postmodern Age and its Discontents. The aftermath of technological development: the impact of technology on the concept of the ideal. Technological dystopias. Science fiction. Select authors including: Ursula Le Guin, Ernest Callenbach, Yevgeny Zamyatin, William Morris, Thomas Campanella, Tao Hua Yuan, Florence Dixie, HG Wells, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, etc.

G: Cinematic Representations of horror and hope.

H: Ecological Utopias. Feminist Utopias/Dystopias. 


     Guidelines for Paper Submission    

·         Only original and unpublished work will be accepted

·         The script should be in MS Word—Times New Roman, font size 12

·         Double spacing throughout

·         It should conform to the MLA 8th edition guidelines

·         Abstract should be 200-250 words

·         Full-length paper 3500-5000 words

·         On the title page, after the title of the paper, the author’s name, designation and affiliation should be mentioned followed by the abstract and a list of keywords.

·         There should be a “Works Cited and Consulted” list at the end of the paper. Please do not write footnotes.

·         All the papers will be peer-reviewed and only papers adhering to the guidelines listed above will be accepted


The papers should be e-mailed to melusmelow@gmail.com with the subject line: Paper for MEJO latest by 30th June 2019.  

Notification of Paper Acceptance: 31st July, 2019 


There are no publication charges



Manpreet Kaur Kang


School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University


Top of Form



Manpreet Kang