Literary studies listservs

Every now and then I have the good fortune of having mesmerizingly interesting conversations with bright and promising young students and scholars, and every now and then they ask me the question: “So dude, how’s it that you find these conferences and calls and s**t you write those thingies for?”
Good question, one I used to ask my professors back in the days myself (with slightly  different phrasing though).

Of course you can always simply google the topic you’re interested in, amended with phrases like “cfp” or “call for papers,” but it needs patience to try and pick the suitable ones from the plethora of results. In short, you can search for them, but it means buttwork.

A better way is, therefore, to let those calls come and find you instead of running around looking for them. A very convenient and also highly expedient method is subscribing to thematic email lists, or listservs, in your topic of interest.

Being primarily a literary scholar, I’ll point out a few such listservs, which deal with subjects related to literary studies. Most of these require only an email address to subscribe. If you have any questions about the list or about subscribing, drop an email to the lists’ admins.

And if you know of any other lists that do not appear here, let me know in the comments!


AFRLIT – contains discussions and calls related to the literatures of Africa.


ALCS – affiliated with the Association for Low Countries Studies in the UK and Ireland, this list aims to promote the scholarly study of the language, culture, history and society of the Low Countries.


BALLADS – news and discussion relevant to the study of popular / folk / traditional ballads, international and multilingual as well, and it’s been with us since 1997(!).


BAMS – the official listserv of the British Association for Modernist Studies, containing announcements, events and discussion threads.


BARS – mailing list of the British Association for Romantic Studies, the list is only open to members of the Association and primarily contains CFPs and conference announcements.


BOOK-HISTORY – features occasional announcements, calls and discussions related to the history of the book.


CCBC-NET – an electronic forum of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to discuss ideas and issues related to literature for children and young adults. “Every month on CCBC-Net members focus on a new topic or issue, which are selected and posted in advance. The CCBC-Net Community includes librarian, teachers, university educators and students, authors, artists, editors, publishers, and other adults with an interest in literature for the young.”


CCWW – list maintained by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing at the Institute of Modern Languages Research (School of Advanced Studies, University of London), it promotes events and calls related to research on contemporary writing by women in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish (including Catalan and Galician).


CLASSICISTS – discussions, CFPs and announcements for Classicist scholars.


COMPARATIVE-LITERATURE – pretty self-evident, this one is affiliated with the British Comparative Literature Association.


ENGLISH@UPENN – maintained by the Department of English at UPenn, this list mainly features calls CFPs for publications and conferences in the fields of English and American literature, culture and society; see also the CFPs@UPenn website as well for a thematic list of CFPs.


FEAST – provioided by the Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Theory for those with an interest in feminist ethics and social theory. A somewhat unusual feature of this list is that it’s unmoderated, so it requires self-descipline.


MILTON – a listserv featuring discussions, news and calls related to John Milton and his time.


TEXTUALSSCHOLARSHIPDH – “a significant group within the DH community is engaged in the creation of various types of electronic editions and yet we still lack a theoretical framework specifically dedicated to digital editions. This list provides a space to start conversations about this fundamental aspect of or work.”


VICTORIA – a discussion forum for scholars and students interested in Victorian Studies, maintained by Indiana University.


I’ll hear you out now.

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