Call for papers
Dacoromania litteraria, 7/2020


The conceptual reassessment of literary genres (and especially that of novelistic genres) represents a major issue for contemporary theoretical debates. Starting with Franco Moretti’s research during the last decades of the 20th century and undergoing a rapid expansion through the increasingly influential computational analysis projects conducted within digital humanities, reflecting upon literary genres opens a series of debates considered to have been already resolved. The relationship between the emergence, the evolution or the disappearance of (sub)genres, alongside that of social, ideological or historical backgrounds is slowly becoming the focus point of new inquiries and even the object of conclusive demonstrations; at the same time, the genre classifications and definitions featuring in literary dictionaries and encyclopaedias are constantly invalidated or go through rigorous revisions that take into account the hybridizations, the dislocations, the ramifications or the transformations of certain subgenres into hyper-genres etc.

For Romanian literary theory, criticism and historiography, this reassessment (which is presumably “formalist” in nature, but actually allows for an even broader cultural expansion) should be heralded as a great opportunity. Poorly conducted or inadequately represented lexicographical projects dedicated to literary concepts and ideas, alongside the nearly total absence of substantial theoretical debates, led to the uninformed acceptance and employment of preconceptions prevalent in the literary press, which take no heed to the genres’ relationship to their transnational cultural history or, on the contrary, are unknowingly mirroring western positions.

As the “Sextil Pușcariu” Institute for Linguistics and Literary History prepares the second, revised edition of the Chronological Dictionary of the Romanian Novel from its Origins until 2000, we propose a reflection on the novelistic (sub)genres in Romanian literary history while focusing on establishing a series of their possible taxonomies, definitions, internal histories, influential models, local variants, etc. Our interest lies in igniting a debate on the multitude of novelistic forms within the Romanian literary space, on the cultural codes thereby set in motion, as well as on the historical forces that give them a voice and transform them into a reflection of society.

Therefore, the special issue of Dacoromania litteraria to which we are inviting you to send your contributions aims to touch on the following themes:

  • The Romanian rendition of western subgenres, alongside the specific problems raised when deploying them in a “minor” culture;
  • The manner in which the subgenres influence literary systems during various historical periods;
  • “indexing” the subgenres and closely following the spread of certain novelistic labels – which either compete or complement each other and which are either close translations or merely free adaptation of western counterparts – in the Romanian literary field. Examples include the novel of manners, the relationship between the historical novel and the crime fiction novel during the communist period, the aesthetic and cultural history inherent to the import of the “romance”, and so on.

The proposal submission deadline (consisting of an abstract of 150 to 200 words) is March 31, 2020. The acceptance notification of your submitted proposal extends to April 15, 2020. The paper submission deadline is June 30, 2020. The manuscript Submission Guidelines can be found here: Styleguide.

     Alex Goldiș –
     Cosmin Borza –