Philip Roth and Forms of Political Violence

Deadline for submissions:
September 1, 2018

In recent years, worldwide political events have caused Western readers and writers to reconsider concepts of political violence in both global and domestic terms. Although Roth wrote many of his novels before the turn of the century, when the most current manifestations of political violence came to pervade our almost daily consciousness and the discourse of the media, his career also spans the period that ushered in this consciousness. In his non-fiction Roth has been outspoken in his condemnation of the complicity in political violence of US presidents from Nixon to George W. Bush to the present incumbent of the White House; in novels such as The Great American Novel, The Prague Orgy, The CounterlifeOperation ShylockAmerican PastoralThe Plot Against America, and Indignation, Roth has explored a wide range of forms of political violence, from the domestic to the international, the private and public, the historical and the counter-factual.
For an issue of Philip Roth Studies offering a special focus on Roth and Forms of Political Violence, we invite scholars to consider how Roth’s novels may be said to represent, inquire into, anticipate, or challenge notions of political violence, material or psychological, as embodied within such forms as terrorism, fascism, authoritarianism, nationalism, and oppression.

Topics for essays might include but need not be restricted to the following issues:
the relationship in Roth’s work between individual and state-sponsored political violence; the representation of Zionism, “Diasporism,” and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the representation of antisemitism in Europe and the US; the legacy of the Holocaust; the representation of post-war authoritarianism in Eastern Europe; the impact of the Korean and Vietnam Wars on post-war US society; the ramifications of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”; the representation of crypto-fascism in the US.

For inquiries and submissions, please contact Executive Co-Editors David Brauner and Debra Shostak at The deadline for submissions is September 1st, 2018.