EXTENDED DEADLINE


Vol. 57, No. 1, July 2020

Guest Editors: Susan Philip and Surinderpal Kaur


“Re-visions and Re-imaginations in Asian Speculative Fiction”

Speculative fiction of all kinds has long been seen as something of a niche market, the purview of nerds and small fandom communities. More recently, however, there has been an upsurge of interest in the genre, as well as an increase in the number of subgenres within speculative fiction. Apart from the more traditional epic fantasy, sci-fi and horror, we now see dystopia, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, zombies, steampunk, magic realism, gothic, horror and so on as subgenres within this growing field of research and academic interest.

Part of this increasing popularity and diversity has to do with society’s fears, hopes, desires, dreams, nightmares. As Bruce Sterling points out, “A genre arises out of some deeper social need; a genre is not some independent floating construct” (2011). Much as these works represent vast leaps of the imagination and, often, wholesale invention, they are grounded in some “deeper social need”, and are therefore in some way expressive of the conditions of society. This idea is emphasized by Margaret Atwood, who contends that her own speculative fiction “invents nothing we haven’t already invented or started to invent” (2005).

Works of speculative fiction address or embody questions that affect us, even when dressed up in the seemingly medieval garb of epic fantasy, or the futuristic space stations of science fiction. Because speculative fiction is not tied to the strict demands of realism, it enables us to play with reality in exciting ways. It may help us to examine pressing and urgent questions, while allowing for critical distance, or to explore and expand our mythologies, dreams and legends, or to highlight and focus on that which is not dominant or mainstream.

In line with the potential of speculative fiction to shine a light on the margins, this special issue will focus on speculative fiction with a strong Asian connection. It could be written by Asian authors, be set in Asia, make use of Asian mythologies, feature Asian lead characters. The sub-genres to be covered include (but are not limited to) fantasy, science fiction, horror, gothic, dystopia, steampunk, and magic realism.

We invite papers that explore the interweavings of alternative and, even, radical possibilities of imagined futures as well as the re-imagination of current socio-political metanarratives. We also invite short fiction or poetry, as well as reviews of Asian speculative fiction.

 Some of the issues that could be explored are speculative re-visionings of:

  • Language
  • Race
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Technologizing Asianness/Orientalism/Race
  • The Asian body and (dis)ability
  • Belonging and marginality
  • Nostalgia
  • Migration
  • Environment
  • Power
  • Medicine
  • Justice
  • History
  • War

This special issue will be guest edited by Susan Philip (marys@um.edu.my) and  Surinderpal Kaur (surinder@um.edu.my). Abstracts (maximum 200 words) with a short bio (of up to 50 words) are to be sent to The Editor, SARE at sarejournal@gmail.com (with a copy to the Guest Editors at marys@um.edu.my and surinder@um.edu.my). Our call for abstracts has been extended to 30 November 2019.

Decision notifications will be sent from 1-5 December 2019. 

The deadline for the submission of full papers (6000-7000 words) is 15 March 2020. Submissions should be in English and uploaded to the SARE website through the “Make a Submission” portal at https://sare.um.edu.my. 

Further submission guidelines can be found on our website.

Publication date: July 2020

About our Guest Editors: 

SUSAN PHILIP is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Her main area of interest is Malaysian English-language theatre. She has several publications in this field, in journals such as the Asian Theatre Journal, World Literature Written in English, Australasian Drama Studies and Journal of Commonwealth Literature. Her research interests have expanded to include crime fiction, digital media, and community theatre, as well as ideas of culture and heritage. She has published on digital media in Asiatic, and on community theatre in Kajian Malaysia, and on crime fiction in SARE and International Journal of Indonesian Studies.

SURINDERPAL KAUR is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics at Universiti Malaya. Her research interests are in gender, sexuality and language, political discourse, social media communication, and migrant issues.


If you have any questions related to the special issue, please direct your inquiries to The Editor, SARE at sarejournal@gmail.com or spgabriel@um.edu.my.






Vol. 56, No. 2, December 2019
Guest Editor:  Wernmei Yong Ade

One can think of only a few works of literature that do not tell a “love story” or two.  Perhaps the most explored theme in literature, love has, however, only enjoyed a marginal status in critical literary scholarship.  The reluctance to take love seriously might be attributed to the fact that love is itself a subjective experience, one that at best offers, as Jean-Luc Marion informs us, “a non-interpretation”.  Thanks, however, in part to the philosophical writings of Levinas, Irigaray, Barthes, Kristeva, and Badiou, who have not only “praised” love (in reference to the title of Badiou’s book In Praise of Love) but insisted on its continued relevance towards ethics and politics, love is now seen as an important topic, one that is to be approached on its own terms in multiple fields of study, including the literary.  

Echoing Arthur Rimbaud, who in 1873 had insisted that love needed reinventing, the feminist poet and essayist Adrienne Rich wrote a hundred years later in 1972, that love remains in need of “re-vision”, referring to the act of looking back with renewed critical vision.   This special issue on love is inspired not only by the resurgence of love as a fertile field of study within the humanities, but is also driven by the conviction that love, in our age of advanced capitalism, globalisation, mobility and technology, is, more than ever, in need of re-vision.  

As one of the fastest growing regions in economic, political, and cultural terms, Southeast Asia, together with South and East Asia, are uniquely poised to contribute towards re-visioning love. What can the writings of these regions tell us about loving in an age such as ours  –  one of change, transience, and mobility? How is love experienced between individuals whose subjectivities are increasingly fragmented, non-unitary, multi-layered, and complex?  What can it mean to love, at a time when love is often experienced in between locations, or as Rosi Braidotti confesses “in translation”? What material and cultural factors condition our experiences, expressions, and representations of love? If love, as Barthes tells us, is nothing other than the discourse that constitutes it, then what does it mean to love between and across ideologies, cultures, traditions, and identities – gendered, sexual, racial, national, or otherwise?  What can the rhetorical tradition of love, as revealed in the regions’ literary and other cultural productions, tell us about the way we have loved and continue to love? How do the “love stories” embedded within the literatures and cultures of these regions open up spaces for ideological debate?

This issue welcomes proposals that explore the myriad experiences of love in Southeast, South, and East Asia, including diasporic sites of literary and cultural production,  which are related but not limited to the following:

- Love in/ of literature, film, television, art and other cultural productions
- Love and mobility
- Love and capitalism and/ or globalisation
- Love and ethics
- Love stories/ narratives of love  
- Love and textuality/ the lover’s discourse
- Love in popular culture/ media
- Love and gender
- Love and sexuality  
- Love and the environment
- Cross-species experiences of love
- Love and borders (textual and geographical/ geopolitical)

Abstracts (250 words) with a short bio (max 70 words) are to be sent to The Editor at sarejournal@gmail.com (with a copy to the Guest Editor at WMYong@ntu.edu.sg) by 15 April 2019.  

Decision notifications will be sent by 15 May 2019.

The deadline for the submission of full papers (5000-7000 words) is 31 August 2019. All papers should be in English and uploaded to the SARE website through the "Make a Submission" portal at https://sare.um.edu.my.  

Further submission guidelines can be found on our website.

If you have any questions related to the special issue, please direct your inquiries to spgabriel@um.edu.my. 

About our Guest Editor:

Dr Wernmei Yong ADE is Assistant Professor and Deputy Head of the English programme at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where she lectures and researches in the areas of feminist studies, contemporary women's writing, critical theory, and love. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her main research addresses the ideological and ethical dimensions of love, and their representations in literature, philosophy, and film. In recent years, this research has converged with her long-standing interest in women’s issues and feminism.  Most recently, she co-edited the volume Contemporary Arts as Political Practice in Singapore (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and has forthcoming a co-edited collection, Fluid Gender, Fluid Love (Brill, 2019).  She is a member of the steering committee for the International Society for the Study of Gender and Love, and has published several articles on love including “Mourning Diary: Love’s Work” (Textual Practice, 2015) and “The Sacred: Of Violence, Intimacy and Love” (Philosophy Today, 2012).  Her book chapter, “Becoming-Woman in Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve”, which examines intersections between love and nomadism, is currently under review by Brill.  In 2018, she was commissioned to write an essay for Oh Soon-Hwa’s Quiet Dream, a photoessay series on the subject of Vietnamese migrant brides, which will be sold through the Asian Art Museum in Nice.  




(Image Credit: Desenio) 






Special Issue on Asian Children’s Literature, Film, and Animation  
Vol. 55, No. 2, December 2018

Guest Editor: Bernard Wilson


This special edition of SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English invites papers on Asian children’s literature, film and animation, and on intercultural and cross-cultural comparisons between Asian (Eastern, Southeastern, and Southern) cultures and other children’s literature and film. Papers may include - but are not limited to - analyses and comparisons of traditional children’s stories such as fairy tales, folklore, myths, fables and legends, as well as young adult fiction, such as fantasy and realistic fiction and film. Papers may deal with one specific genre or culture, or may involve "inter-Asian", cross-cultural,  or cross-national comparisons, while also subjecting the notion of "national" children's literature to contestation.

SARE particularly welcomes papers on these  topics or thematic areas:

  • Southeast Asian children’s literature and film.
  • Representations of other Asian societies or cultures in children’s literature, film or animation.
  • Representations of gender expectations and gender roles in children’s literature, film or animation from these regions.
  • Representations of cultural and ethnic aspects in Asian children’s literature, film or animation.
  • Border Crossings in children’s literature, film, or animation, which may also include translated texts
  • Problems in translating children's literature 
  • Adaptations for children
  • Literary theory and children's literature
  • Going Global in Asian children's literature

The deadline for the submission of full papers (5000-7000 words) is 30 September 2018. All papers should be in English and uploaded to the SARE website at sare.um.edu.my.  

Further submission guidelines  can be found on our website.

If you have any questions related to the special issue, please direct your inquiries to the Editor at sarejournal@gmail.com.

About our Guest Editor:

Associate Professor Bernard Wilson teaches at the University of the Sacred Heart, Rikkyo University, and Gakushuin University. He has spent the past two decades teaching at universities in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, as well as Japan, and specializes in postcolonial literature, children's literature, and cinema. He is widely published in Southeast Asian literature in English, Indian and Chinese diaspora literatures, and East/West theory, and his work has appeared in leading international journals in the United States, Asia, Australia, and the U.K. He is currently writing a monograph on Western cinematic interpretations of Asia.