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Call for Articles: Alif 37
Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics on
“Literature and Journalism”

Guest Editor: Hala Halim, 
deadline: October 1, 2015
Article submission deadline: May 1, 2016

This issue of Alif is devoted to exploring the intersections between literature and journalism in a broad comparatist compass. A range of perspectives from different disciplines compels our attention to that intersection: Benedict Anderson’s “imagined communities” in relation to the newspaper; Walter Benjamin’s flâneur who dabbles, among other things, in journalese; and media studies’ “literary journalism.” Alif solicits articles that adopt new theoretically informed approaches to the topic of this special issue. Many writers, such as Gabriel García Márquez, have worked as journalists: How has each of these roles inflected the other and what practices of the public intellectual might we uncover if we attend to the intersections between the two domains? What uncharted literary histories might we map by attending to the labor of writer-editors in editing creative writing? What role have literary and cultural journals (or weeklies) played in promoting experimental work, giving expression to the sensibility of a literary generation or trend, supporting transnational reading publics (such as diasporas and exiles), and promoting non-Eurocentric comparatism? What understudied aspects and archives of modernity, for example the Nahda (revival) in the Arab context, would come to light if we attended to literary journalism, such as the impact of serialization on the early Arabic novel and the work of such figures as Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq? In more recent times, what generic effect have creative non-fiction, e-zines, and blogs had on our notions of what constitutes a literary text? What new phenomena relating to the intersection between literature and journalism has the movement of protest in the Arab world and elsewhere yielded? What is the influence of literary reviews (as distinct from criticism) on reception?

Alif is a refereed, annual, multilingual, and multidisciplinary journal published by the Department of English and Comparative Literature at The American University in Cairo. Each issue revolves around a theme or a problematic, bringing together the views and approaches of scholars from all over the world.

Alif has been selected by MLA as a distinguished journal and has been made available electronically through JSTOR academic service (

Submission instructions: Articles should be between 15 and 30 double-spaced pages (5,000 - 10,000 words) and may be submitted in Arabic, English, or French by electronic mail or on a CD together with a hard copy (on Microsoft Word, saved as a ".doc" file), together with an abstract of 100 words and a biographical note on the contributor of 50 words. If the article is in Arabic, the article must be typed on Microsoft Word (.doc) or QuarkXpress (version 8 or less) and submitted on a Macintosh-formatted CD (for further clarification contact Alif's office).

For references, use parenthetical citations. (Consult the MLA Handbook for style—other styles pertaining to different disciplines can be used as well, provided that consistency is observed and full bibliographical information is given.) If endnotes are used, they should be restricted to additional non-bibliographic information only and should be typed as text (that is, do NOT use computer electronic footnote facilities). However, if this is difficult, simply send the notes in a separate file from the text. Also be sure to include the following information for each Works Cited entry according to the example below:


Author's name. Complete title of work. Place of publication: Publisher, Date of publication. Page numbers.

Alif requests an abstract (300 words) in advance, including the title of the contributor’s article and the language the article is to be written in, and a three to four line note on contributor as soon as convenient—and no later than October 1, 2015, in order to plan for a balanced issue. Please include your mailing address, fax and telephone numbers, and your electronic mail address whenever possible.

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, Department of English and Comparative Literature
The American University in Cairo, 113, Kasr Al Aini Street, PO Box 2511,
Cairo 11511, Egypt
fax 20.2.2795.7565, tel 20.2.2797.5107
Hala Halim: