CFP: New Directions for Thing Theory in Literary Studies

The Stanford Arcade Colloquium, “Thing Theory in Literary Studies,” is an online site dedicated to publishing a wide array of work about the study of things and materiality in literature. Devoted to exploring thing theoretical approaches across period and genre, the site features new writing and excerpts of published scholarship by Bill Brown, Elaine Freedgood, Kinohi Nishikawa, Kate Marshall, John Plotz, and several others.

We are currently seeking contributions for a special forum on “New Directions for Thing Theory in Literary Studies,” to be published in Fall 2021. Fields move forward and stay vibrant through the work of the newest scholars; for this reason, the forum will feature the work of graduate students and post-docs only. Historical period, national and linguistic tradition, topic, approach, and field remain open so long as the work addresses thing theory (broadly construed) and literary studies. We are interested in polemic statements, creative approaches, personal essays, dissertation excerpts, methodological reflections, and ‘conventional’ scholarly texts. Questions to consider include: What stories does Thing Theory have left to tell? Where does it need to go to stay relevant? How can it intersect with critical race studies, environmental humanities, disability studies, media studies, and/or queer theory? What literary works should we look to for new perspectives on materiality? Which methods hold promise today?

Please submit an abstract of 250-350 words as well as a one-page CV to Dr. Sarah Wasserman,, by April 15, 2021.

Selected contributors will be asked to submit their full text of 2500-3500 words by August 1, 2021. Submissions will receive editorial comments and copy-editing prior to publication.