The Journal of Literary Theory (JLT) invites contributions for Vol. 5, No. 1,

Standards & Norms of Literary Studies

In literary studies and neighboring fields, the principle of 'anything goes'
seems still to be predominant. There are no fixed guidelines when it comes to
theories and methods of these disciplines, to their aims and objects. This is
especially prevailing in certain institutional circumstances, where e. g. the
German term 'Literaturwissenschaft' prompts a close connection to the
sciences when it comes to objectivity and applicability. But even when the
tension between literary criticism and more scientific forms of literary
research is set aside, there still remains a lot of variety in judging the
output of literary studies. What seems to be an interesting and innovative
article to some might be merely 'popular' or 'journalistic' writing to
others. What some regard as the solid advancements of research is no more
than a repetitive application of out-dated methods to others. Whether there
are any common standards or norms in the broad field of literary studies,
despite or because of this variety, is the topic of this special issue of

Areas in which such standards are of importance are e.g. handbooks and
introductions, curricula and examination regulations, as well as all aspects
of rating and ranking scholarly efforts (such as review processes, career
decisions and funding proposals). 


Contributions to this issue of JLT should address these topics in relation to
one of the following aspects: 


1. Systematic Reflection: What could be standards of the discipline? What
could a meaningful typology of standards look like and what differentiations
should be accounted for (e. g. explicit vs. implicit standards)? What types
of standards are to be expected in which areas of literary studies? 


2. Inventory: What standards are there effectively? Fields for analysis here
might be: interpretation and analysis of literary texts; scholarly debates
and controversies; criteria in evaluation; etc. 


3. Normative Aspects: What standards should the discipline agree upon? Or:
Why should literary studies avoid settling for fixed standards? 


Contributions to these questions can also be integrated into research that
adopts a perspective of the sociology of science (What are the
presuppositions for discussions about standards within a discipline?) or
philosophy and theory of science (How is the validity of standards
established? Where are their sources? How can the logical structure of
standards be determined?). 



Contributions should not exceed 50,000 characters in length and have to be
submitted until November 15th 2010. JLT accepts articles in German and

Please submit your contribution electronically to [log in to unmask] 


JLT also still accepts contributions for the following issues: 


No. 1 2010: Literary Studies and Linguistics (May 15th 2010) 


No. 2 2010: Popular Culture (July 15th 2010)



For further information about JLT and to view the submission guidelines
please visit or contact the editorial office at
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Christina Riesenweber


Assistant Editor

JLT - Journal of Literary Theory

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Seminar für Deutsche Philologie

Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3

37073 Göttingen



0049 - (0)551 - 39 - 9852


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