Brexit Wounds: Cultural responses to leaving the EU

Eleanor Byrne's picture
Call for Publications
May 6, 2019
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Film and Film History, Fine Arts, Literature, Popular Culture Studies

CFP Special Journal Edition 

Brexit Wounds: Cultural responses to Leaving the EU  



Dr Eleanor Byrne, Senior Lecturer in English, Manchester Met

Dr Fionna Barber, Reader in Art History, Manchester School of Art


In April 2019 Anish Kapoor’s new artwork ‘A Brexit, A Broxit, We all fall Down’, was featured in The Guardian newspaper, depicting a huge open wound down the spine of a three-dimensional map of England. The gaping void appears as an abyss without a safe landing place or visible end. Kapoor’s work on infinite voids seems a particularly appropriate mode for depicting Brexit. If Britain is staring into an abyss it is also according to Kapoor’s work inflicting a deep and potentially unhealable wound on the psychic landscape of the nation. The figure of the divide has become ubiquitous in discussions of Brexit, but there is no consensus on the nature or location of that divide, North and South, ‘elites’ and ‘the people’, borders between England and Scotland and the Irish border all demand our attention.  How does contemporary arts culture negotiate with the current national emergency of Brexit, diagnose or identify its causes and anticipate its legacies? This proposal for a special edition offers a timely and current critical evaluation of the national and international, political and cultural upheavals spawned by the 2016 Brexit vote and its subsequent ramifications, as speculation around its implications, its causes and its effects unravel in front of the nation via multiple media in real time.


These disrupted and unprecedented circumstances invite a range of responses.  In addition to academic papers we welcome artistic, poetic and literary submissions and provocations engaged with ‘Brexit’s cultures’. These include (but are not limited to) subjects such as migration, citizenship and populism, violent borders and hostile environments, Brexit as an empty vessel, imaginary landscapes, fictional nations, banal nationalism, Brexit wounds – hurts, pains and feelings,  Brexit, trauma and the talking wound, Brexit and/as austerity, Brexit as disaster/apocalypse,  Brexit as Imperialist nostalgia, national melancholia, UK as ‘sick man of Europe’, Ireland: ‘waiting for Brexit’–deferral, delay and repetition, Brexlit  and new cultural forms, Brexit metaphors and tautologies, the language of Brexit : Hard, Soft, Red, White and Blue Brexits, Pro-European groups, leave and remain marches, activists and ‘I heart EU’, Perceptions of Press, BBC and media bias, New Brexit activists, populism and resistance, citizenship, race and belonging, Brexit’s effects on individuals, communities, families. Brexit and time, space, nature, weather.


Please send a 300 word abstract and short bio to  by 6thMay 2019


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