Archive for 2020

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[Commlist] Call for Papers: Literary Journalism in the German-speaking World

Tue Jun 30 21:49:17 GMT 2020

Call for Papers

“Literary Journalism in the German-speaking World”
Special Issue Literary Journalism Studies

Guest editors: Tobias Eberwein (Austrian Academy of Sciences) & Hendrik Michael (University of Bamberg)

Journalism’s ‘information paradigm’ has been under scrutiny not just since the digital transformations of our mediascape in the last decades. For almost half a century, Gaye Tuchman’s diagnosis of a ‘strategic ritual of objectivity’ has served as a foil against which many critiques of conventional news journalism can be projected, e. g. its lack of transparency and bias towards institutional sources and ideologies as well as the impersonal stance news journalism often assumes to report and comment on events and ideas in the here and now. The recent crisis of media trust and accountability may arise in parts from these deficits. At any rate, it is largely undisputed that journalism needs to reflect (and possibly: adapt) its professional identity and its modes of presentation if it wants to continue to fulfil its social function in the long run.

In this context, it is worthwhile to turn attention to alternative forms of journalism that rely much more on personal experience, in-depth research, the presentation of different perspectives, and an authentic journalistic voice to make news, but also overcome social boundaries and engage readers emotionally. One of these approaches can be found in the concept of Literary Journalism. By combining aesthetic forms of literature with journalistic methods of research, Literary Journalism presents readers with a mix of discursive strategies and professional practices that differ substantially from standard reporting.

However, Literary Journalism – which is also known as narrative journalism, literary reportage, reportage literature, New Journalism, and the non-fiction novel, as well as literary non-fiction and creative non-fiction – is a deep-layered and arbitrary phenomenon. For over a decade the International Association of Literary Journalism Studies (IALJS) has helped to establish a shared foundation of knowledge and explored manifestations of journalistic narratives in various cultural contexts. What has become apparent in this ongoing scholarly debate is that different countries and cultures adopt different names for the phenomenon.

In Germany, for instance, the term Literary Journalism is not widespread. Instead of tapping into the vast research on the subject in recent decades, literary forms of journalism are often discussed with regard to the (mostly North-American) New Journalism of the 1960s and 1970s or to the tradition of the great reportage (e. g. Kisch and Roth). More generally, it can be stated that an overarching critical scientific discourse about the history, practices, forms, and functions of Literary Journalism that joins the global debate has not evolved in Germany yet.

Therefore, it is the aim of this special issue of Literary Journalism Studies to shed light on the phenomenon in the German-speaking world (i. e., essentially, in Germany, Austria, and the German-speaking parts of Switzerland) from all possible perspectives. How and when did the genre that is described as Literary Journalism come up in the German language? How did it evolve over the centuries? What are notable examples in the (digital) media landscapes of today? Do any continuities exist? These and further questions are expected to be answered on the basis of selected research articles.

Possible topics of contributions for the special issue “Literary Journalism in the German-speaking World” may include, but are not limited to:

• theoretical justifications of a German Sonderweg of Literary Journalism;
• the origins of Literary Journalism in the German-speaking World;
• historical phases of literary journalism from the Kaiserreich to the Federal Republic; • the prototypes and pressures of professionalization in German-language Literary Journalism; • the current structures (and notable media) of Literary Journalism in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland; • German-language practitioners and projects of Literary Journalism in the era of digital news; • the effects and consequences of Literary Journalism in the German-speaking World;
• examples of literary reporting from the margins in German media;
• examples of media criticism in German-language Literary Journalism;
• ethical reflections of Literary Journalism in the German language;
• the role of Literary Journalism in journalistic training programs in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland;
• and many more.

Literary Journalism Studies ( is a peer-reviewed journal sponsored by the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies (IALJS). The journal is international in scope and seeks submissions on the theory, history, and pedagogy of Literary Journalism throughout the world. All disciplinary approaches are welcome. All manuscript authors are obliged to participate in the double-blind peer review process. No fees or charges are required for manuscript processing and/or publishing materials in the journal.

Submission guidelines:

All submissions for the special issue of Literary Journalism Studies should be informed with an awareness of the existing scholarship. Interested authors are invited to submit an abstract of their paper (500 words max.), along with 4–5 keywords and an author bio of no more than 50 words, to the guest editors Tobias Eberwein ((tobias.eberwein /at/ and Hendrik Michael ((hendrik.michael /at/ The deadline for abstract submission is 15 August 2020. Authors will be notified about the acceptance/rejection of their submission by 1 September 2020.

Full papers are due on 31 December 2020 and should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length, including notes. E-mail submission (as a Microsoft Word attachment) is mandatory. A cover page indicating the title of the paper, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and contact information, along with an abstract (250 words), should accompany all submissions. The cover page should be sent as a separate attachment from the abstract and submission to facilitate distribution to readers. No identification should appear linking the author to the submission or abstract. All submissions must be in English Microsoft Word and follow the Chicago Manual of Style (Humanities endnote style) ( All submissions will be blind reviewed. The special issue is scheduled to be published in December 2021. Copyright reverts to the contributor after publication with the provision that if re-published reference is made to initial publication in Literary Journalism Studies.

Important dates:

Abstract submission: 15 August 2020
Notification of acceptance/rejection: 1 September 2020
Submission of full papers: 31 December 2020
Publication of special issue: December 2021


Any questions with regard to the special issue should be addressed to the guest editors:

Dr. Tobias Eberwein Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies (CMC) Austrian Academy of Sciences / University of Klagenfurt
Postgasse 7/4/1 | 1010 Vienna, AUSTRIA (tobias.eberwein /at/

Dr. Hendrik Michael
Institute for Communication Studies
University of Bamberg
An der Weberei 5 | 96045 Bamberg, GERMANY
(hendrik.michael /at/
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