Call for Chapters: JUSTICE: edited collection on Expressions of Intersectional Justice in Modern and Contemporary Literature, Film and Theatre

From the earliest expressions of humankind in literature, drama and film, writers have always sought to represent the values, impacts, and merits of justice, in particular, how it is conceived, championed, administered, abused, exploited, denied.

Particularly, the evolution of justice in terms of equality and fairness has almost always been a central concern in writing from the Greeks to Renaissance, from the 19th Century to those that responded to the new world orders that emerged in the 20th and 21st centuries.

This later period is central to our collection. As a consequence, it is the administration and impacts of justice or the lack thereof that have proved a fascination for many writers of literature, theatre and more recently film and multi-media platforms. This concern takes many forms from ideological impositions of the  norms of justice to matters of policing practices, from the political proclamations of state formation in response to imperialism or occupation to issues of protest, revolt, resistance, anarchism and vigilantism.

The relationships between capital and justice is a convoluted one. Complex iterations and reflections on justice across art forms offer intriguing ways of engaging audiences with dilemmas around fairness, equality, objectivity and truth, that have multiple intersectional implications in terms of ideology, gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity and class.

Why does justice need to be done and seen to be done; why have drama, film and literature long created situations where justice is problematized, but equally performed and public?

One of the objectives of this collection is to find those telling, anomalous moments when justice is not an achieved outcome, or when legal investigations lead to miscarriages of justice, and why other types of horrors often follow. By testing issues of objectivity, impartiality, proportionality and timeliness, various representations of justice raise all kinds of complicated issues about rights, freedom, equality, responsibility, accountability and above all else, local and global citizenships.

Accordingly, we are looking for a range of essays that addresses the presences, absences, denials, distortions and enchantments of justice across literature, film, theatre and multimedia platforms. How is justice conceived, valued, absent or diverse?

— How is justice/injustice served, marginalised, denied?

— How aware are the writings/films of various creative artists to the complexity and consequences of justice?

— How universal is the claim on justice addressed in such works?

— How in such writing are the challenges, provisionality, rival or other calls on justice articulated/foregrounded?

— How are distinctions made between religious, social, legal, and political calls on justice in such texts/performances?

— When can justice be an ideological fiction,  a consoling narrative of sorts?

We are looking for book chapters that consider the interfacing of justice and writing in their broadest embodiments, imaginings, complications and interpretations. We wish to include scholars from around the world, writing from various subject positions, not only about their own regions and histories, but also about elsewhere, ancient, contemporaneous, or imagined.

Once we have a line up, we will pitch the idea to highly reputable publishers. There is no commitment until contracts are agreed.

Contributors can rely on or draw upon ideas, concepts and  theoretical approaches from across the humanities, social sciences, politics, economics and the law.

Chapters might address, but are not restricted to the following areas:

·       Justice and the Canon

·       Justice and the Law, Institutions

·       Justice and Ideology

·       Distributive, Retributive and/or Restorative forms of Justice

·       The language of justice in drama, film and literature

·       Justice and Activism

·       Justice, Genre and Convention

·       Justice and Citizenship

·       Justice and Borders

·       Justice and Trauma

·       Justice and Neo-liberalism

·       Justice and Intersectionality

·       Justice, Privilege and Citizenship

·       Justice, Truth and Reconciliation

·       Justice and Memory                         

·       Justice, Virtue, Duty and the Common Good                                              

·       Justice and Corruption and Miscarriages of Justice

·       Justice and Protest

·       Justice and Innocence

·       Justice and Incarceration, Retribution and Punishment, Rehabilitation, Reparation

·       Justice, Equality and Gender

·       Justice and Sexualities

·       Justice and Race

·       Justice and Class

·       Justice and Disability

·       Justice and Ethnicity

·       Justice and Age

·       Justice and Mercy

·       Justice and Religion

·       Social Protest, Cancel Cultures and Carceral Justice

·       Justice, Vigilantism and Kangaroo Courts

·       Hollywood and toxic formations and expectations of Justice

·       Poetic Injustices/Justices

·       Or Anything you might be keen to propose

Please submit the following by 30 January 2022.

An Abstract (300 words) along with:

your name, contact details, affiliation, if any, and short biographical note


Dr Maha Alatawi, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia-


Professor Eamonn Jordan, University College Dublin –

Likewise contact either of us for an informal discussion before you submit an abstract