symplokē seeks submissions for its upcoming special issue

Oceania In Theory (Vol. 26, No. 1 [2018])

Focus Editors: Maebh Long, Sudesh Mishra, and Matthew Hayward

This special issue explores contemporary Oceania, moving between Western and Pacific ontologies and epistemologies. From the political to the literary, how can we theorize Oceanian modernity, ensuring that we reflect and engage without imposing Western models or privileging Western experiences? What is at stake in the myriad names, often imposed by colonial power structures, that mark the region? How do we formalize the modernity of independence movements, which were often bound by distinctly antimodern rhetoric? If we take modernism to denote a creative response to and exploration of the material conditions of modernity, then is Oceanic literature and creative arts a modernism? How can the archipelagic modernity of Oceania reconfigure our understandings of the modern, modernity and modernism in the rest of the world? And how, particularly in this time of anthropogenic climate change, can modern Pasifika traditions serve as a guide for modernity at large?
(Deadline for submissions: closed.)

Blue Humanities (Vol. 26, No. 2 [2019])

Focus Editors: Ian Buchanan and Celina Jeffery

Although the ocean covers seventy percent of the planet and provides more than half of the oxygen vital to all life on earth it figures comparatively little in global cultural production. We tend to treat the ocean as that which must be traversed rather than explored for itself — we lay beside it at the beach, we cruise on its surface, or more usually fly several thousand feet above it, but we don’t enter it (except for brief dives), and we certainly don’t dwell in it. Yet the ocean going, particularly of cargo from China to the US, underpins globalization, so much so it has been described as the ”missing context” of postmodernity And from an environmental point of view, the ocean is a repository for plastic pollution, waste and effluence and is rapidly dying as global temperatures rise. There is a certain kind of politics of invisibility at work here — we do not comprehend complex eco-systems of oceans or the interdependence of the seas, earth and atmosphere. Much less, do we acknowledge the effects of the depletion, erasure and expulsion of biological life from much of the world’s oceans. The ocean is, as Allan Sekula acknowledged, the ”forgotten space” — in which the twin fissures of oceanic degradation and social injustice are colliding. The Anthropocene of the ocean is characterized by a particular kind of violence characterized by the melting of the Arctic ocean, the mass bleaching of coral, industrial extractions of aquatic life and the warming of the seas. The cascading effects of these factors and their impact upon the Earth’s life support system have yet to be understood — but the appearance of dead zones in numerous areas of the world’s oceans are a shocking sign of its literal death. There is a growing body of work known as the ”blue humanities” which is historicizing the ocean and making it part of contemporary consciousness in a way — one hopes —that will help environmental activism’s bid to ”save” the ocean. Yet, what defines the ”blue humanities”? How does it leverage transdisciplinary inquiry and why do we need the blue humanities now?
(Deadline for submissions: 1 August 2018


Manuscripts must be received by August 1, 2018. See below for submission requirements and instructions.

Submissions of any length which are appropriate to the aims of symplokē will be considered, although those between 4,000 and 6,500 words (approximately 16-26 typed, double-spaced pages) are preferred. Please keep in mind that submitted manuscripts need not be intended for an upcoming special issue; general submissions of high quality are encouraged. The editors reserve the right to make stylistic alterations in the interest of clarity. Authors will receive a complementary issue of the journal. All submissions must strictly follow the guidelines for copy preparation listed below. Articles not conforming to these guidelines may be sent back to the author for revision.

Preparation of Copy

1. All submissions must provide a complete listing of references and use footnotes rather than endnotes.

2. Footnotes should generally consist only of references and are to be consecutively numbered throughout the manuscript.

3. References must include the names of publishers as well as places of publication. Also include full names and a complete listing of translators and editors.

4. The format of the manuscript must conform to the current MLA Style Manual.

5. All manuscripts must be submitted in duplicate. If the manuscript was word-processed, include a copy of your IBM- or Macintosh-compatible disk. Microsoft word or ASCII files are preferable.

6. All quotations, titles, names and dates must be checked for accuracy.

7. All articles must be written in English.

8. This journal has a policy of blind peer reviewing; thus the author's name should not appear on the manuscript and a separate title page must be provided.

9. Material not kept for publication will be returned if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

10. Address submissions to:

Jeffrey R. Di Leo, Editor-in-Chief
University of Houston-Victoria
3007 North Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901.

Or send attached files to the Editor-in-Chief at

All materials published in this journal are copyrighted by symplokē. Submission of an article to this journal entails the author’s agreement to assign copyright to symplokē. Articles appearing in symplokē may be reproduced for research purposes, personal reference, and classroom use without special permission and without fee payment. This permission does not extend to other kinds of reproduction such as copying for general distribution, for the creation of collected works or anthologies, for advertising or promotional purposes, or for resale. These and all other rights are reserved.


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