Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2018
Full name/name of organization: Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States
Contact email:

Call for Papers for MELUS Special Issue:

New Directions in Irish American Literature and Culture

Guest Editor: James Byrne

Deadline for Submissions: 15 April 2018

Anticipated Publication: 2019

In his preliminary note to the 1993 MELUS special issue on Irish American Literature, Charles Fanning wrote, “In hundreds of works as accomplished as any in American literature, [Irish American] writers have described and considered the experience and changing self-image of the American Irish. The result is a literature the study of which has much to teach us about ethnic otherness in American life” (1).Since this issue, not only has the number of works written about the self-image of the American Irish continued to grow, more significantly, the ways in which we’ve come to understand this self-image has been exponentially developed and deepened. Along with the list of exciting new transnational writers of the Irish American image has come a new and often challenging critical reflection on the construct and contours of the Irish American ethnic subject. Issues such as race, gender, space, performativity, and national sympathies have been reexamined as part of an engaged study of the Irish American stereotype as it has developed over the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. New studies have emerged in Irish American autobiography, interethnic relations, and the Irish American subject in the popular and political press. This new issue seeks to gather and reflect some of these new directions in Irish American studies. We invite broad understandings and a varied approach to the theme of this issue. Topics to be addressed might include, but are not limited to, the following:

– Irish American literature and culture in a multi-ethnic context

– Interethnic relations in Irish American literature and culture

– Race and Irish American ethnicity

– Gender, sexuality, and Irish American ethnicity

– Transnational Irish American literature

– The Irish language in Irish American culture

– The ‘new wave’ of Irish American writers, dramatists, filmmaker, artists, etc.

– Performance and performativity in Irish American literature

– Irish and American nationalism

– Staging Irishness in literature, drama, film, art, music, photography, television, etc.

– The role of space in registering Irish American ethnicity

– Private and public identity

– Popular culture and the Irish American subject

– The American press and the Irish American subject

– Ideology and the Irish American subject

– The Irish American as paradigmatic ethnic American citizen

– The conflicts of generational ethnicity

– Irish American autobiography

Submissions should be between 7,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and works cited, prepared according to the MLA Style Manual 8th edition. Please do not include the author’s name anywhere in the manuscript. Essays under review at other journals or previously published in any form will not be considered for publication in MELUS. Please also include a 250-word abstract with your submission. All submissions will go through MELUS’s normal refereeing process.

Please submit completed papers through the MELUS online manuscript system: by 15 April 2018. Also, you will need to indicate in the “custom questions” section of the online submission form that you are responding to the CFP for the special issue on New Directions in Irish American Literature and Culture. For questions about the issue, please contact James Byrne (