What are the stakes of revision? Practiced across disciplines, revision encompasses a range of processes and contexts in both artistic and scholarly work. Ensconced as an interpretive imperative by the hermeneutics of suspicion, revision has attained a privileged status as a mode of inquiry governing a certain tendency of critique. Recent scholarship has put the concept of revision to work as a means of revisiting canonicity, problematizing literary inheritance, and engaging with the archives of Atlantic slavery and records of colonialisms — past and present — of which they constitute a part.
Revision is productive; yet what revision can or should be, what sites it can and should transform, and what foreclosures it reifies remain difficult questions, particularly when writing from within the university. We — students in and of the university — remain guilty of imagining that honing our critical capacities of revision can, in itself, dismantle the ongoing material legacy of the university. Cross-cultural study, the expansion of canons, and discourse analysis cannot correct the material imbalance of power which the machinery of the American university both exists within and seeks to sustain. Our own university’s ongoing violation of the labor rights of graduate students, staff, construction workers, and adjunct faculty, its array of investments in multinational corporations, and its violent expansion into West Harlem are only reminders that the university’s primary legacy has not been of intellectual inquiry but displacement and theft.
We must think, then, about revision as both a practice and a concept with stakes, possibilities and limitations. How and where has revision been practiced in the past and present, and to what ends? What is left out or added in the process? What is gained or lost? Whose interests does revision serve? What brings about the conditions that make revision necessary? How have authors revised their work and what is the significance of authorial and/or editorial revisions? What is an individual author’s relationship to their past? For this issue of CJLC, we invite pieces that consider revision in any form.
Topics may include (but also exceed): the process of composition (written or oral), redaction, [the violence of] the archive, fragments and ephemera, digital platforms of knowledge production and circulation (e.g. Twitter, Tumblr, etc.), pedagogy, authorship, translation, transgression, revolution, philology (world philology and/or the history of philology), manuscript traditions and palimpsestic works, anti-work, historiography, genealogy, conceptual history, economic history, revisionist history, poetics and comparative poetics, discursivity and materiality.
Writers should either be current undergraduates or recent graduates submitting undergraduate work. Submissions are due December 21st, 2018, but you are very welcome to submit them earlier. Please email email@example.com with a pitch, paper, or outline of your piece as a Word document and a proposed/provisional bibliography including your name, university, and year of graduation. If we like the pitch, we’ll contact you to set a deadline and work with you throughout the writing process.
Before submitting, please take a look at the PDFs of our past issues to get a sense for what we are after, accessible here
Feel free to send any questions you may have to the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to reading your pitches and submissions.
CJLC editors and staff