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The Work of Literature: Literary Studies in the Classroom

Special Issue of Journal of Language, Literature, and Culture 

English is evolving...

English is evolving and the classroom is at the forefront of witnessing its flux and transformation. The Work of Literature: Literary Studies in the Classroom invites an enquiry into the work of English at the sites of learning in these times of rapid change. 

For scholars of teaching and learning, “teaching is becoming less a job and more an intellectual activity worthy of serious consideration and investigation” (Chambers and Gregory 3 ).

Arguably, literary scholars have always used the classroom as a living laboratory of ideas, but what exactly are the main questions that frame teaching and learning of literature, at this present time? What is the relationship between research and classroom teaching, in literary studies at this moment? 

How is the field of English studies, worldwide, changing in the twenty-first century in response to the shift to digital technologies, the advent of machine learning, the rise of aliteracy and disengagement from reading, the internationalisation of the university, our increasing awareness of the climate crisis and its diverse impacts, and the need for anti-racist and anti-colonial pedagogies? What is the ‘work’ that English as a field of study undertakes, and how can an increased reflectiveness about teaching best address that work?

This special issue of the Journal of Language, Literature, and Culture welcomes proposals for essays from scholar practitioners of literary studies (broadly conceived) that focus on present and future challenges for teachers and learners in literature classrooms including but not limited to: 

  • anti-racist and anti-colonial pedagogies in literary studies
  • changes to practices of reading and writing and assessment (including but not limited to digital assessment innovation or the challenges of AI)
  • collaborations across sectors and disciplines
  • aliteracy and student reading habits
  • place-based / eco-based pedagogies for literature teaching and learning
  • empathy, affect, and the teaching of English
  • trauma and grief in the English classroom
  • transferable skills and ‘industry’-ready graduates of literary studies
  • the changing nature of postgraduate literary studies
  • the internationalisation of ‘English’ in the 21st century: engaging international students in international conversations
  • the changing classroom and the place of the canon

We Invite Proposals

We invite emailed proposals of up to 250 words with bios of 50 words by May 25, 2023 for papers of up 7000 words (including references).

Full papers are due December 15, 2023.

Please note that all papers and proposals should be formatted according to Journal of Language, Literature, and Culture (JLLC), which is committed to scholarly rigour and clear, reader-oriented language that caters for scholars of many audiences.

Edited by Clare Archer-Lean, Clare Hansen, Victoria Kuttainen, Larissa McLean Davies and Philip Mead

Further Information

For an open access issue of JLLC and for further information about the journal’s values and style, please see the February 2021 editorial “Plenitude: Values for a Journal that Speaks to Language, Literature, and Culture Studies”


Please emails submissions and any enquiries to the editorial team at