CFP: PLCS Special Issue "Past and Present Epidemics and Other Devastations Across the Portuguese-Speaking World"

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Call for Papers: Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies -- Special Issue "Past and Present Epidemics and Other Devastations Across the Portuguese-Speaking World," Isabel P. B. Fêo Rodrigues, Guest Editor

Abstracts due -- August 1, 2020

Throughout history epidemics highlight intersectional and embodied inequalities across gender, age, class, and racial hierarchies. Past epidemics and pandemics brought about by European conquest and colonialism devastated entire indigenous communities, decimated coastlines and islands, and forced the resettlement of populations. Today the spread of the virus SARS-COV2 has led to a profound questioning of globalization and its effects in producing rapidly growing global pandemics. Additionally, it has also led many scholars from a variety of disciplines to interrogate how the present condition compares with the past. 

This state of imposed confinement and bounded existence also prompts us to comparatively reflect across different historical periods and geographies on the human body as the site of unequally distributed suffering across the Portuguese-speaking world and its diaspora. Because of these pressing concerns Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies will dedicate a special issue to epidemics as well as pandemics and their unequal impact on individual bodies and communities across the globe. We welcome intersectional approaches from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, ranging from the humanities, social sciences, medicine, and public health. We also welcome papers from different historical periods that help illuminate our current condition. Areas of focus may include: 

  • the interface of healthcare systems (or lack thereof) and minority communities
  • community-based responses and solutions to past and present epidemics and pandemics
  • indigenous communities and the effects of past and present epidemics and pandemics
  • the unequal effects of state power and colonialism on racialized bodies
  • confinement and displacement in the context of disability and linguistic hierarchies
  • death, unclaimed bodies, and loss among migrant communities
  • risk and health disparities (past and present)
  • asymmetric medical/expert power and various communities
  • narration and fictionalization of epidemics and pandemics
  • representations of the contaminated body in literature, cinema, and the arts

As the current pandemic evolves across time and space, our goal is to bring to the conversation past and present epidemics and pandemics and the unequal experiences that have characterized this world on the move where life and death have danced closely together.  

Please send an abstract of up to 300 words to PLCS Executive Editor Mario Pereira, before August 1, 2020. The proposals will be selected and authors informed by August 30, 2020

Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies is a peer-reviewed journal published by Tagus Press in the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

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