Call for articles: Life Matters: Transoceanic Americanist Perspectives on the Human Condition in the Age of Pestilence

RIAS Vol. 16, Fall–Winter (2/2023)

Deadline: March 30, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a drastic loss of human life worldwide. An unprecedented challenge to the human existence and survival on the global level in the post-World War-II history, the pandemic caused devastating economic and social disruption. Over six million people died, countless others lost their jobs, often falling into extreme poverty, thousands of businesses folded. Suicide statistics skyrocketed; the count of isolation-related depression cases has never been higher, and mental health, especially among the youngest, has become imperiled. The impact of the pandemic has been so abrasive that human perceptions of the essence of life have undergone an enormous transformation. And although the Ruscist invasion of Ukraine has diverted the world’s attention from the pandemic, millions of people world-wide continue living under the constant threat of the virus. Beyond doubt, the experience of the pestilence affected everyone. Yet, a renewed focus on the fundamental truths of life, such as survival, livelihood, human dignity, and basic human rights, much as many a government would prefer to avoid it, is an absolute necessity.

While it is true that the COVID-19 pandemic has energized human solidarity, at the same time, it awakened demons. Governments leaning towards the old „divide et impera“ have cynically used regulations concerning isolation to pass laws that would otherwise cause riots in the streets. Scapegoating, xenophobia, or intensification of discourses dangerously resembling those reverberating in Germany in 1930s all coincide with the increase of fear. Attempting to diffuse it, intellectuals have become a target of silencing policies, including legislation, world-wide. Importantly, the pandemic brought forth the manifestation of yet another face of privilege: as the pandemic statistics demonstrate, not all lives matter equally. Some social groups have proven to be more vulnerable than others. Even though as many as 60 countries (as of May 2020) have adhered to social protection measures for persons with disabilities (of which 18 such programs specifically target children), for an all-round recovery and greater global resilience, investments in the development of cash transfer, in-kind support, and other such services are needed in lower-middle-income groups not only in highly developed countries, but also world-wide. Needless to say, the pandemic has proven particularly detrimental to the elderly, to indigenous nations, and to those living in utmost poverty: people without access to running water, refugees, migrants, or displaced persons also stand to suffer invariably both from the pandemic and its aftermath – whether due to restricted movement, lesser employment opportunities or skyrocketing, often politically motivated, marginalization.

Still, the living organism of humankind defends itself. This issue of the Review of International American Studies aims to offer more than only an insight into the extent of damage that the pandemic and its sociopolitical aftermath caused: above all, it seeks hope while exploring the discourses of resistance and revision that the tragedy of the pestilence has brought into existence and, consequently, it aims to discuss the diagnosis of the present situation and the prospects for healing. In particular, we welcome submissions in the areas of Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, Media Studies, History, Philosophy and Ethics, Political Studies and Sociology, Postcolonial and Postdependency Studies, and Critical Race/Class/Gender studies, addressing (but not limited to) the following issues:

– Diagnosing the Transoceanic American Relations in the Age of Pestilence
– Diagnosing Hemispheric Dynamics in the Americas During the Pandemic
– Towards Healing: the Americas in the World in the Aftermath of the Pandemic
– Fear Mongering, Political Manipulation, and Forms of Resistance
– Information/Misinformation/Alt-Facts: Strategies of Resistance
– The Enemy Within/The Enemy Without: „Divide et Impera“ in the Americas
– In and Out of the Americas: Migrants, Minorities, Marginalization
– The Pestilence of Hatred: Forms of Philosophical, Literary, and Artistic Resistance
– Towards New Philosophies of Health: Environment and Extended Humanity
– The Pandemic and the Discourse of the Post-Human in the Americas and Beyond
– Literature, New Media, Music, and Fine Arts in the Process of Healing
– Teaching Human Kindness: the Role of Transnational Academia in the Healing Process
– From Philosophies of Transcendence to Policies of Friendship: Intellectual Reflection Across the Oceans
– „American Values“ Revised: the Mythologies of the Americas in the Lens of the Pandemic
– Pestilence, Capitalism, and Schizophrenia: the Americas in the World of (In)human Agency

The length of the article should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words. The submissions should be delivered to the Review of International American Studies via its Online Journal System by March 30th 2023.

Submissions MUST include:
1) First Name and Family Name of the Author/Auther
2) Institutional Affiliation of the Author/Auther
3) Author/Auther’s ORCID number
4) Author/Auther’s website address
5) Author/Auther’s email address
6) If the Author/Auther wishes to receive a complementary hard copy of the journal, the physical address to which the copy should be delivered
7) The title of the article
8) A 250-350 words‘ abstract of the article
9) A 250-350 words‘ biographical note on the Author/Auther
10) Keywords
11) Disciplines represented (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_academic_disciplines)
12) The text of the article formatted in strict accordance with the principles of the MLA Handbook (8th edition) (length between 4000 and 6000 words).
13) The bibliography of works cited formatted in strict accordance with the principles of the MLA Handbook (8th edition)
15) All images must be submitted in print quality (min. 300 dpi)
16) All copyrighted visual material must be accompanied by permissions or licences issued to the Author.

IMPORTANT: Please, bear in mind that incomplete submissions will be automatically rejected.

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