CFP (Edited Volume): Juli Zeh: A Companion (De Gruyter) (abstracts due: January 15, 2023)

Sonja Klocke's picture

Call for Contributions

Juli Zeh: A Companion

De Gruyter

Edited by Necia Chronister, Sonja E. Klocke, and Lars Richter

The editors are seeking contributions for a companion on Juli Zeh, to appear with De Gruyter.

The interest in Juli Zeh, her oeuvre as well as her persona, has been steadily growing over the past years. The bestselling author has attracted readers often because of the quality of her writing – easily accessible at first sight, yet with intricate layers that reveal themselves only when one approaches her texts carefully –, but also because of her demeanor as a public persona. With numerous prestigious literary and civic awards to her name, the Heinrich Böll Prize and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany being the most recent ones, the lawyer at the Brandenburg Supreme Court engages not only in the field of literature but also law, and constantly voices her opinion on law-related topics. Needless to say, she neither remained quiet during the Covid-19 pandemic nor the war in Ukraine. A panel at the GSA 2022 was dedicated entirely to Zeh and the pandemic.

Several overviews of Juli Zeh’s work have been published in the German language recently or are slated to appear in the next two years. In 2021, Klaus Schenk and Christina Rossi edited Juli Zeh. Divergenzen des Schreibens with edition text + kritik, and another edition text + kritik volume is slated for 2023. A conference on the author in April 2022 at Literaturarchiv Marbach (“Text und Engagement. Das literarische Werk Juli Zehs”) will result in another volume on Zeh with Metzler. A book-length introduction of Juli Zeh in English that aims to position the public intellectual and writer as well as her oeuvre for our contemporary world is currently missing but urgently needed.

In order to fill this gap, we are looking for contributions to our planned volume that introduce Juli Zeh to an English-speaking audience and at the same time complement and call into question existing research. We are particularly interested in manuscripts that critically evaluate (the quality of) Zeh’s writings and their relevance in times of crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and general social insecurities in Germany and in the world.

We are seeking contributions that combine outstanding scholarly standards with a highly readable style to enhance the volume’s potential as a teaching tool. We envision a collection of informative and easily accessible essays that target primarily the Anglophone student audience in German Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Comparative Literature, and Law.

Potential topics for essays that explore individual works or essays that trace larger thematic and aesthetic trajectories of Zeh’s literary and non-literary output include, but are not limited to the following areas:

·      Interpretations of individual works by Zeh

·  Contributions that trace the trajectory of Zeh’s work, esp. also aesthetic tendencies and the tensions between readability/accessibility and complexity

·      Zeh as a public intellectual and/or honorary judge

·      Zeh as an essayist and chronicler of the present

·      Zeh as a judge/her law writings

·      Zeh and her politics/political authorship and political literature

·      Zeh’s poetics

·      Zeh’s use of genre (e.g., thriller, courtroom drama etc.)

·      Zeh as a playwright

·      Inter- and transtextuality in Zeh’s work

·      Zeh’s readership

·      Zeh at the Literaturinstitut Leipzig

·      Adaptations of her work in non-print media

·      Teaching Zeh 


January 15, 2023: submit title, abstract, and bio

February 15, 2023: editors will notify contributors of acceptance

July 15, 2023: manuscripts due to editors (6000-9000 words) in MLA style

Publication anticipated in spring 2025

If interested, please send a title, a short abstract (200-300 words), and a short bio (about 200 words) to all three editors by January 15, 2023.

Necia Chronister:

Sonja Klocke:

Lars Richter: