Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Current Calls for Submissions

Spring 2023: Issue on the Theme "Affective Labors"

The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association invites submissions for its spring 2023 special issue focused on the theme “Affective Labor.” The special issue editors seek essays from across historical periods that address the role of affective labor in literature, film, and media. We seek analyses of the role of kin work, caring labor, nurturing and maternal activities; of pink collar, gendered labor; and other ways in which the affective is put to work, broadly conceived. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2023.
A non-exhaustive list of subjects we would appreciate reading essays on includes:
  • Kin as work, including motherhood and patriarchy in representations of affective labor;
  • Care work memoirs, including representations of pink-collar labor;
  • Race and affective labor, including the perpetuation of empire through affective labor;
  • The commercialization of nurturing, including gender and queerness in narratives of affective labor;
  • “Feeling rules” and how they are learned and exploited;
  • Precarity, class, and feeling: how particular styles of feeling in work reproduce class distinctions;
  • “Cruel Optimism” and the falsity of affective labor as the promise of meaningful work;
  • Pleasure, love, hate, and violence in representations of affective labor.
The special issue editors seek essays that are inflected by affective labor’s major theorists. Essays may draw inspiration from:
  • Arlie Hochschild’s sociological analyses of emotional labor and its gendered effects;
  • The International Wages for Housework Campaign’s analyses of social reproduction work and work by or inspired by its leaders (g., Selma James, Mariarosa Dalla Costa, Silvia Federici, Maria Mies, Claudia von Werlhof, Kathi Weeks);
  • Sara Ahmed’s examination of affect for its political divvying up of work environments and sorting of subjects;
  • Sianne Ngai’s unravelling of the work that contemporary capitalist aesthetics does to and for its consumers;
  • Feminist arguments to abolish the family, most especially contemporary accounts made by Sophie Lewis, M.E. O’Brien;
  • Immaterial labor theorists’ analyses of affect’s relation to language-work and just-in-time production in the emergence of post-Fordism (g., Paolo Virno, Maurizio Lazzarato, Christian Marazzi, Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, Franco Berardi).
We also invite mini-essays (about 2,000 words) for a cluster within this special issue devoted to affective labor in the academy. We are interested in brief takes that explore the intertwining of the affective and the prelogical; affect as a pressure to perform university service; the affects of alt-ac; and the affective complexities of academic precarity.
Queries may be directed to the issue co-editors, Joshua Gooch (goochj@dyc.edu) and Douglas Dowland (d-dowland@onu.edu).
Prior to submission please review the JMMLA Style Guide and JMMLA Manuscript Manager Instructions.