Special Issue "Contemporary Brooklyn Fictions"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787). This special issue belongs to the section "Literature in the Humanities".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. James Peacock
Guest Editor
School of Humanities, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
Interests: contemporary American fiction; gentrification stories; literary depictions of urban neighbourhoods; interactions between local and global identities in changing urban spaces; transnationalism in the music of The Clash; Quakerism and American literature; detective fiction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Humanities calls for papers on twenty-first-century Brooklyn fictions. By “Brooklyn Fictions,” I mean novels and short stories set wholly or partly in New York City’s most populous borough, and ones that explicitly engage with Brooklyn’s neighbourhoods as distinctive communities. Although it has become a commonplace to declare, often ruefully, that “Brooklyn has changed,” the specific texture of those changes is worthy of close consideration. Brooklyn, “a small town in the world city,” has seen virtually all of its diverse neighbourhoods undergo gentrification since the 1960s, and a borough that has in the popular imaginary prided itself on a down-home, neighbourly authenticity at odds with the flinty-eyed aspiration of Manhattan now finds itself almost as expensive and as inaccessible to lower-waged populations as its rival across the water. Contemporary Brooklyn fictions inevitably engage with these economic, social and demographic transformations, and they do so from a wide variety of perspectives, reflecting the diversity that still exists, but is widely perceived as being under threat. Brooklyn has become a test case for literary investigations of, among many other issues: local and global relations, definitions of multiculturalism, class antagonisms, and the commodification of the very idea of neighbourhood.

Topics might include, but are by no means limited to:

  • representations of the lived experience of gentrification
  • the effects of “supergentrification”
  • local and global relations (or “glocalisation,” if you prefer)
  • historical Brooklyn fictions
  • genres of Brooklyn fiction, popular forms (e.g. detective thrillers)
  • mobility, selfhood and place; Brooklyn as a transnational space
  • competing conceptions of “authentic” neighbourhood living

Proposals from postgraduate researchers and early career scholars are warmly welcomed

Abstracts of 150–200 words, along with 150–200-word bios, should be submitted by 31 May 2020. Completed articles of 5000–7000 words should be submitted by 31 December 2020.

Prof. Dr. James Peacock
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Brooklyn
  • contemporary fiction
  • gentrification
  • globalization
  • neighbourhood
  • community

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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