Call for Submissions: Special Issue “Beyond Recovery”

Archive boxes; Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash


The recognition that archives are partial, filled with lacunae that demand scholarly attention, has fueled research engaging the epistemological, cultural, and political forces of early American materials and repositories. While powerful, positivist recovery work—efforts to fill gaps and hear silenced voices— has theoretically and materially expanded early American studies, the archive remains yet and always incomplete. This special issue of Early American Literature seeks essays that work around, across, or beside missing or marginalized records. “Beyond Recovery” invites submissions that address some of the following questions: What avenues exist for scholars when archival research reaches a dead end of missing or absent records? How can scholars and archivists intellectually and ethically engage with archival absence? Are there some archival gaps that not only cannot but also should not be filled? How can we respond to the powerful pull of absence—of that which has been lost or suppressed—rather than to what is found? How do the structures of archives—labor, the organization of and access to materials, institutional homes—enable or disable archival gaps, and their apprehension? What techniques and technologies can be used in archival work as or beyond recovery?  We welcome submissions exploring a wide range of methodological, material, and pedagogical approaches that engage with absences and exclusions. In particular, we invite full-length (8,000-10,000 words) articles from scholars engaged in archival research whose work models new approaches to records that are incomplete, biased, unrecorded, or unpreserved.  Send essays to Lauren Coats ( and Steffi Dippold ( by June 15, 2018.

Inviting Nominations of Second or Subsequent Books for the 2017 EAL Book Prize


Early American Literature invites nominations of second or subsequent books for its 2017 Book Prize, given to the best newly released academic book about American literature in the colonial period through the early republic.

The deadline for nominations is February 15, 2017.

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Early American Literature Book Prize for 2016

The Early American Literature Book Prize, which in even years recognizes a first monograph, has been awarded in 2016 to Professor Robert Gunn of the University of Texas at El Paso, for Ethnology and Empire: Languages, Literature, and the Making of the North American Borderlands (New York UP). The committee has also awarded an honorable mention to Professor Kathleen Donegan, of the University of California at Berkeley, for Seasons of Misery: Catastrophe and Colonial Settlement in Early America (U of Pennsylvania P).

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Call for Submissions:  Special Issue on "The Spanish Americas"


Historia General De Las Indias Capitan Gonzalo Hernandez De Oviedo Y Valdez 1536

This special issue of Early American Literature seeks to continue discussions on the linguistic and geographic resituating of the field through an emphasis on Spanish – as a language, an empire, a spatial conception, and an ideological stand-in for an “America” that is not English.  We seek essays on topics from the period of early contact through the Spanish American independence movements, engaging materials from textual, oral, or performance traditions. Essays might explore texts from or about the Spanish-occupied regions of North America which later became incorporated into the U.S.; perform comparative analyses of authors, works, or literary institutions from across the Americas; examine Anglophone representations of Mexican and Spanish American spaces; reflect on the relationship of writing to political organization; offer models for cultures of print that account for different systems of writing and patterns of censorship and distribution; or challenge and extend the hemispheric paradigm through new spatial models like Spanish Africa or the Latin Pacific. We also invite essays that introduce EAL readers to less familiar primary-source materials in Spanish or indigenous languages, and that consider questions of translation and communication in contact zones. In addition, we welcome essays that assess the state of the field and pedagogical reflections on what it means to teach early American literature in classrooms where the presence of an increasingly Latina/o student
population is felt.                  

Send essays to Kirsten Silva Gruesz and Rodrigo Lazo by February 15, 2017.


Inviting Nominations of First Books for the 2016 Prize  

Bradstreet 10th 1650


Early American Literature invites nominations of first books for its 2016 Book Prize, given to the best newly released academic book about American literature in the colonial period through the early republic.

The deadline for nominations is February 2, 2016. Read more



Fiftieth Anniversary Special Issue


Early American Literature is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. A special issue to mark the occasion is available from the University of North Carolina Press. The issue features articles by Rolena Adorno, Wai Chee Dimock, Simon Gikandi, David Shields, and Priscilla Wald, and an introduction by editor Sandra M. Gustafson.

Individual copies of the issue are available from the press now. Contact and subscription information is available.



Winners of the 2015 EAL Book Prize


Anna Brickhouse for The Unsettlement of America: Translation, Interpretation, and the Story of Don Luis de Velasco, 1560-1945 (Oxford UP)

Wil Verhoeven for Americomania and the French Revolution Debate in Britian, 1789-1802 (Cambridge UP)

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