Sunday Submissions: Critical Flame’s Special Translation Feature

The Critical Flame — a bimonthly online journal of book reviews, criticism, essays, interviews, and literary nonfiction — earlier this month announced a special translation feature set for their November-December 2016 issue:

CFAccording to an online release, “the editors seek submissions and proposals of the following:

  • “Reviews of recent books in English translation (all genres)
  • “Critical essays on writing not currently available in English translation (all genres)
  • “Essays on the theory, art, and practice of translation
  • “Criticism, reviews, and literary nonfiction translated into English for the first time
  • “Interviews conducted or available in English for the first time”

Details here.

Submission reminders:

May 27: Stephen Spender Prize, UK citizens or residents only.

May 31: The deadline for bursary applications for this year’s Translate in the City summer school, London. The 5-day intensive course in literary translation is held at City University London from July 11-15, 2016. It offers the opportunity to translate texts across the literary genres into English, working with leading professional translators. The Arabic section will be led by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp.

June 1: Submissions for “Play to Voices” – translations of radio drama.

June 8: Submissions for the Islamicate Short Story contest.

Scholarly submissions:

Shared by request of Abdulgawad Elnady, Department of English, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Popular culture in African has never been in want of scholarly attention. The seminal works done by Emmanuel Obiechina on the Onitsha market pamphlets (in Nigeria); Karin Barber on the heavily commentary-couched and ideologically-marked street performances across Africa; Ropo Sekoni on traditional Yoruba (Nigerian) literature as headwaters for popular cultural artforms; and only recently, Stephanie Newell and Onookome Okome on the varied contemporary African popular cultural arts attest to this. However, in this decade, a form of dramatic performance commonly referred to as jokes, but articulated herein as “joke-performance” in that it embraces standup comedy; jokes performed in form of newscasts; two-ten minutes’ videos of jokes performed on the streets, in shows, restaurants and rooms (reminiscent of Nollywood); and other joke-motivated shows, has emerged and is currently holding sway across Africa, capturing the anxieties of the time. A major reason for the African joke-performance is to humour a relaxedly-seated or standing audience for some gain. Yet not much is known about it in scholarship, even with all the visible imprints of modern technology such as CDs, DVDs, MP3s, YouTube, videos, TV, the internet, and lots more deployed in its rendition and transmission. The impact of this joke culture in the consciousness of Africa’s populace is too hefty to be ignored.

This current book project therefore seeks well researched papers on this little-known but pervasive phenomenon of joke-performance that would be published by Routledge in a volume titled: Joke-Performance: A Contemporary African Popular Culture. Themes include, but not limited to these:region-/nation-based survey of joke-performance; aesthetics of joke-performance; intermediality/multimodality in joke-performance; cultural/social stereotypes as matrices/sources of joke-performance; theorizing joke-performance; joke-performance as audience-conditioned; joke-performers’ background and the joke-art;  motifs of oral tradition in contemporary joke-performance; joke-performance as commentary on socio-cultural space; economic coordinates for joke-performance; and state responses to commentaries in joke-performance. Others are: technology and joke-performance; joke-performers and contexts; the psychology of hilarity and joke-performance; the therapeutics of jokes and joke-performance; ideology and joke-performance; motivation and joke-performance; joke-performance and the media; gender and joke-performance; religion and the joke-art; and joke-performance and the postcolony. Manuscripts focusing on these and others not mentioned, but centring on joke-performance in contemporary African context(s), are solicited. Any approach can be used.

 Irrespective of the theoretic approach, contributors are to direct their focus to their immediate communities/nations/regions. This, it is hoped, would enable readers come to grips with joke-performance in most parts of Africa. Abstracts of not more than 300 words should reach the book project editor: Dr. Ignatius Chukwumah, Department of English and Literary Studies, Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria,, via email on or before 31 July, 2016. Notification of abstract acceptance will reach contributors by 30 August, 2016. Thereafter, successful authors would be required to submit full papers conforming to the latest MLA style sheet to the book project editor by 30 November, 2016. All manuscript contributors would receive reviewers’ comments and editorial decisions by31 December, 2016. Contributors from the following regions should, when sending their abstracts (and later, manuscripts) to the project editor, also email a copy to any of the following editorial advisers pertaining to them: North Africa: Associate Professor Abdulgawad Elnady, Department of English, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt:; East Africa: Dr. Remmy Shiundu, Department  of Languages, Linguistics and Literature, Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya:; Southern Africa: Dr. Cheela Chilala, Department of Literature and English, University of Lusaka, Contributions from West Africa should be sent directly to the book project editor.