CFP : "Brevity is the soul of wit" for Angles (first issue)
Brevity is the soul of wit
Call for papers, Issue #1
For its inaugural issue, Angles : French Perspectives on the Anglophone World
welcomes original proposals inspired by the celebrated aphorism : ‘Brevity is
the soul of wit’.
Often used to describe a literary and social form (humor or sarcasm) or to
illustrate commonplaces, the dictum encapsulates beliefs about the
relationship between ‘brevity’ and ‘wit’ which have numerous implications in
different disciplines and forms of expression. The aphorism not only suggests
that brevity is a gateway to revelatory truths, it also implies that true
‘wit’ exists only in shortened form, paradoxically positing depth of meaning
(‘soul’) in brevity of form, and also hinting that humor loses its essence
when explicated. Additional contradictions emerge when one recalls the context
in which the line appears in Hamlet, when Polonius tires the audience by
giving some words of wisdom to his departing son.
This issue of Angles will be an opportunity to discuss the links with humor,
irony, and short forms of expression (mots d’esprit, soundbites, slogans) in a
host of contexts : literary, linguistic, social, political and artistic.
Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to, the following :
* the formal aspects of aphorisms and other brief forms of wit, and their
evolution. What constitutes brevity has varied over time and cultures,
influenced by the materiality of certain forms of production – oral quips in a
public or private context are delivered and received differently than when
they appear on the page, for instance. Proposals may address issues of syntax,
analyze occurrences of, say, nominal sentences, double entendre, nonsense,
etc. Proposals addressing the idiosyncrasies of the English language are also
* certain literary and other artistic forms : verse, short stories, haikus, as
well as cartoons, comics, caricatures, or sitcoms, stand-up comedy, etc.
Papers can discuss the formal, aesthetic and metaphorical aspects of these
forms of expression. Case studies as well as comparative analyses are welcome.
* new forms of communication and social media : tweets, Facebook posts, text
messages, as well as short forms in the arts (video, short films, etc.)
Proposals may dwell on humorous reappropriations of new forms of communication
which share one technical stricture : their limited length and/or lifespan.
* the cultural and political use of jokes and repartee in the media, be it by
professional comedians, journalists, political commentators or politicians.
Proposals may compare speeches read at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
for instance, quips during televised debates, verbal jousts during Prime
Minister’s Questions or other parliamentary debates, etc.
* transhistorical and transcultural analyses of what constitutes ‘brevity’
and ‘wit’, from the late Middle Ages to contemporary poetry and television,
via the early modern era and the long eighteenth-century, in British, Irish,
North American, Colonial and Postcolonial literatures.
* Proposals can also address the pedagogical and social uses of aphorisms and
other mots d’esprit, as well as psychoanalytic approaches to the topic.
Scholars from all disciplines are invited to submit 500-word proposals
addressing these or other topics. In addition to traditional academic
articles, Angles accepts scholarly contributions addressing the topic partly,
or wholly, in non-traditional forms (documentary film, short story, comic
book, manifesto, pamphlet…). Angles also encourages proposals meeting high
standards of scholarship from academics wishing to experiment with different
All submitted articles are subject to a double-blind review process.
* Abstract submission due for issue #1 : 15 August 2014
* Completed paper submission due : 15 December 2014
* Publication date : 15 March 2015
We encourage submissions from both graduate students and established
researchers in the field. Submitted papers should not have been previously
published, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
All submissions should be sent to the Editor : firstname.lastname@example.org
Material submitted to Angles must not been published previously, in part or
in whole, and should not be simultaneously under consideration for publication
Submissions should be written in English. Please use standard formatting :
Times New Roman, 12pt, single spaced. Avoid personalized layouts.
All submissions go through a double-blind peer-review process. Please try to
obfuscate references in the body text and footnotes which could compromise the
anonymity of the submitted material.
Standard length for articles should vary between 5,000 and 8,500 words.
Audiovisual submissions should not exceed 40mn.
For submissions of material in non-traditional forms, please contact the
Editor for more details.
More details will be found online (address provided soon).
Angles : French Perspectives on the Anglophone World is an international
online peer-reviewed journal published bi-annually by the SAES
<http://www.saesfrance.org/> (Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement
This interdisciplinary journal has a triple aim :
1. to encourage innovative interdisciplinary research ;
3. to make cutting-edge research freely available ;
5. to make full use of the possibilities offered by digital publication by
encouraging the use of different modes of expression : text, image, video,
Each thematic issue contains 8–12 articles selected by a guest editor after a
double-blind peer-review process. Additional, off-topic articles submitted to
the same double-blind peer-review process are published in a separate section.
These off-topic articles may respond to articles previously published in
The journal fosters scholarly risk-taking and experimentation by junior and
senior researchers. Angles accepts academic contributions partly, or wholly,
in non-traditional forms (documentary film, short story, comic book,
manifesto, pamphlet…). Angles also encourages proposals from specialists
wishing to explore a different field of study than their own.
For further information, please contact the Editor : Yan Brailowsky,