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Politics & Poetics – call for papers

December 17, 2013

Politics & Poetics, a new peer-reviewed journal of the humanities with a focus on philosophy, invites high-quality submissions on the topic of Tragic Poetry for its inaugural edition.

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Politics & Poetics seeks articles that engage with questions of interest both to readers specialising in the relevant field and a wider academic audience.

The topic for the inaugural edition is Tragic Poetry. The editors request submissions that approach this subject philosophically. However, authors need not limit themselves purely to tragic poetry, and articles addressing tragedy in the broader context of poetry, the arts, and their relationship with philosophy, will also be considered. Articles are expected to be of professional quality. Excellent submissions from students are encouraged. The best article by an undergraduate or graduate student to be selected for publication will be awarded a prize of 200 GBP. The editors seek around seven articles and five book reviews for the first edition. If you wish to review a book relating to tragic poetry please contact the editors who will be happy either to suggest a suitable book or to consider suggestions from potential authors.

The historical precedent for philosophical engagement with tragic poetry stretches back to Plato and Aristotle. Plato famously bans the poets from his Republic, though he himself began his literary career as a poet-playwright. By contrast, both Aristotle’s Politics and his Poetics give tragic poetry an important role in moral education and the polis. Later philosophers have emphasised the importance of the historical emergence of tragic poetry to our understanding of human nature. In The Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche returns to Athenian tragic drama, identifying in it the unification of the Dionysian and the Apollonian drives. Rene Girard grounds his philosophical anthropology in the role which tragic art plays in stemming mimetic violence. More recently in Shame and Necessity, Bernard Williams expounds and defends the conceptual framework of Ancient Greek ethics as recovered from the Athenian tragedies. Williams claims that present-day ethical thought is closer to that of classical antiquity than is commonly supposed. Likewise Martha Nussbaum in The Fragility of Goodness presents a distinctive picture of morality drawn from works of tragedy.

 Subjects which authors may wish to focus on include:

  • Tragic poetry as a form of art
  • Tragic poetry and early society
  • Tragic poetry and postmodernity
  • The problem of tragic pleasure
  • Tragic poetry and religion (or theology)
  • Anthropological views on tragedy
  • Tragic poetry and the second person perspective
  • Tragic poetry and the origins of justice (or law)
  • Aesthetic value of tragic poetry
  • The distinction between the tragic and the merely horrible
  • Defining the tragic
  • Scapegoating, sacrifice, and tragic poetry
  • Tragic poetry and philosophical anthropology
  • Tragic poetry, Greek theatre, and the performative aspects of personhood
  • Tragic poetry and the polis


Information for Authors

Articles should be submitted as an email attachment in rich text format to and The submission deadline is April 4, 2014.

Previously published articles and articles under consideration for publication elsewhere will not be considered for publication in Politics & Poetics. All articles are subjected to blind peer-review, and should be formatted for that: the submitted article itself should not indicate the identity of the author; and a separate cover sheet should be provided stating the author’s name and affiliation of the author (if any). The author may include a CV, but this is not required. Submissions should also include an article abstract of about 200 words. Articles should be between 2000 and 8000 words in length including footnotes. Footnotes should be numbered sequentially throughout the article. Font size should be 12, in a serif font. It is not necessary for manuscripts to conform strictly to our style guidelines on initial submission (full style sheet available upon request). However, the author must ensure that articles meet these standards prior to publication. The editors aim to inform authors of the results of their submission within two months of submission.

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