Call for papers

  • World Literature Studies 2/2024



    Mgr. Bogumiła Suwara, PhD., The Institute of World Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava

    doc. Mgr. Jana Tomašovičová, PhD., The Faculty of Arts, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava

    On the background of the concept of interdiscursive relations (Maingueneau, 2004)[1] and the concept of narrative bioethics (Dubiel, 2011)[2], we are currently witnessing a gradual dissolution and opening of the boundaries between different scientific and artistic discourses. The topic of this monothematic issue is to explore these shifts through the example of interdisciplinary communication between literature and bioethics. The relationship between literature and bioethics has largely been reflected from the point of the traditional biomedical relationship between doctor and patient. In the present day, however, bioethics is an interdisciplinary field that actively engages with the studies of culture, art, and the humanities, but also with the natural sciences and biomedicine. In contrast to the common ethical issues in medicine, modern biomedical technologies reveal entirely new topics to literature, such as preimplantation genetic diagnostics, regenerative medicine, gene editing, or human enhancement, which are becoming increasingly recurring motifs in contemporary literature, film, and visual arts. They are also examples of the mutual opening of discourses and the emergence of a new interdisciplinary area, which includes narrative bioethics. The moral dilemmas emerging in the context of accelerated technological development affect not only the individual but also the society. These dilemmas need to be captured in their complexity, and that is why the approach of extending purely rational ethical discourse and logical argumentation to include humanistic perspectives and narrative aspects is proving to be particularly fruitful.

    Contributions to the thematic issue will explore the intersection of literature and bioethics on two levels: First, it will delve into the ways in which literature reflects bioethical dilemmas and thus simultaneously shapes, cultivates, and deepens bioethical discourse. Subsequently, it will analyze the themes and motifs that bioethics introduces to contemporary literature and art. In the forthcoming issue, we welcome interdisciplinary contributions that will also develop these contexts:

    • The contribution of literature in mapping ethical problems and dilemmas through moral imagination, empathy, and moral progress concepts.
    • The representation of the discourse of literature (literary motifs, literary categories, literary communication) in bioethical discourse.
    • Analysis of textual and extra-textual representations of bioethical discourse in selected literary, cinematic, or popular science works.
    • Ethical issues related to the concepts of transhumanism and posthumanism that arise in the context of the applications of state-of-the-art technologies in biomedicine.
    • The humanization of bioethics systematically aims to deepen the concern for the mental, empathic, and emotional side of the person in the context of the various biomedical situations in which humans find themselves.


    Language of contributions: English

    Please email your abstracts (maximum 3,600 characters) to the volume editors at, and a copy to by 8 October 2023. Authors will be notified about further cooperation by 17 October 2023. The deadline for submissions (maximum 36,000 characters with spaces) is 31 January 2024.

    WLS_2_2024_CFP_Literature and Bioethics

    [1] MAINGUENEAU, D., 2004. Le Discours littéraire. Paratopie et scène d’énonciation. Paris: Armand Colin.
    [2] DUBIEL, H., 2011. What is “Narrative Bioethics”. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 5/10. DOI: 10.3389/fnint.2011.00010.

  • World Literature Studies 4/2024


    Edited by: Johannes D. Kaminski

    Languages of contribution: English, German

    Please send your abstracts and short bio to and a copy to by 31 October 2023. (The submission of the full articles will be February – March 2024. Publication: issue 4/2024.)

    In the wake of Russia’s prolonged attack on Ukraine, this special issue of World Literature Studies reconsiders theoretical and literary ideas of how peace can be established in the long term. Provocatively, this also includes the question why a perennial state of peacefulness might not even be desirable.

    In philosophy and political thought, the teleological end of history is frequently imag-ined as a state of Eternal Peace, even if its characteristics vary significantly. Its success is at-tributed to contradictory criteria, including the worldwide installation of republics (I. Kant), the “withering away” of the state (F. Engels), the advent of post-scarcity economics (M. Bookchin), the installation of a centralized World Government (Zhao Tingyang) and the over-coming of patriarchy (O. Richmond). In recent years, the focus of peace scenarios has shifted from inter-human affairs to include sustainable forms of coexistence with the planet (J. M. Meyer) and interspecies relationships (D. Haraway).

    While Eternal Peace represents an elusive but necessary goal in philosophy, speculative fiction evinces a striking ambivalence about its desirability. One the one hand, the climaxes of science-fiction narratives frequently coincide with a utopian promise. On the last page of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy (1992–96), for example, Ann describes her new habitat in glowing terms: “Nowhere on this world were people killing each other, nowhere were they desperate for shelter or food, nowhere were they scared for their kids.” Peace has come, finally. On the other hand, the joyful prospect of Eternal Peace stands at odds with the experiences of those unlucky protagonists who indeed inhabit a society that has already been harmonized. Especially in dystopian writing, the beneficiaries of Eternal Peace are bound to suffer from oppressive laws and homogenized lifestyles. Others simply feel bored beyond belief. The Controller in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) already knows: “Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune.”

    Research questions: Individual pieces may address—but are not limited to—the following questions: Does the contrast between prescriptive visions of Eternal Peace and their sobering literary accounts point at our limits of understanding, for existing societies are not quite ready for a world of non-aggression? How are related political philosophies (e.g. just war theory, pacifism, cosmopolitanism) translated into fiction? Which dismissive or affirmative accounts of Eternal Peace exist in literature? In what ways do philosophical treatises avoid the “peace fatigue” frequently found in narrative fiction? Since every variation on Eternal Peace presup-poses a set of universally shared values, what are the possibilities to achieve the establishment of such consensus by non-coercive means?

    Interdisciplinarity: This special issue features contributions in which philosophy, political thought and literary criticism intersect in multiple ways. Subjects include: Comparative Liter-ature, Philosophy of Ideas, Utopian Studies, Science Fiction Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Anthropocene Studies.

    Languages of contribution: English, German

    Please send your abstracts and short bio to and a copy to by 31 October 2023. (The submission of the full articles will be February – March 2024. Publication: issue 4/2024.)