Modern Fiction Studies Department of English

Call for Papers

Upcoming Special Issue

Call for Papers: Upcoming Special Issue
Memory, Migration, and Modern Fiction

Guest Editors: Ellen G. Friedman and Mindi McMann
Deadline for Submissions: 1 June 2019

While the current immigration crisis on the US/Mexico border and the plight of refugees in Europe make daily headlines, such problems are not new. Rather, the conditions of statelessness, displacement, and diaspora characterize modernity. The relationship between memory and migration help to articulate the literary genealogy of these mobilities. This special issue of MFS, “Memory, Migration, and Modern Fiction,” focuses on the dislocations that define the twentieth century and continue into the twenty-first century, including but not limited to the genocides in Europe, Asia, and Africa, the partition of India, the dirty wars in Argentina and other South American countries, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the repercussions of 9/11. Mobility remains a defining feature of how identity is attempted, challenged, and constructed. Memory plays a crucial role in these narratives. As Julia Creet suggests, migration may be a condition of memory. Memory is a mode of transmitting to the present accountability for traumatic and dislocating events of the past. In some instances it may help provide continuity within dislocation, while in other cases it reinforces a sense of discontinuity and exile.

For this special issue of MFS, we invite essays that explore the relationships between memory, identity, and migration in modern fiction. Essays may approach these ideas in any way that addresses their significance or untangles the complexities with which these topics are expressed. Some questions essays might consider are: how do migration, diaspora, and exile affect individual and collective memory? How is migration represented aesthetically and politically? What are the effects of migration on personal and community identity or ideas of home and belonging? Who is given the power to represent these experiences? How are accountability and responsibility represented in this fiction? What are the ethics of memory in relation to displacement and dislocation? Is there an ethics of memory? How does narrative and/or genre inform the transmission of memory?

Essays should be 7,000-9,000 words, including all quotations and bibliographic references, and should follow the MLA Handbook (8th edition) for internal citation and Works Cited. Please submit your essay via the online submission form at the following web address:

Queries should be directed to Ellen G. Friedman ( or Mindi McMann (

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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