21st century writing | 21st century approaches

Current Issue

Decentring the “Scumbag” Veteran

Posted by on Jul 13, 2020

"How do you get to be a scumbag?” wonders the veteran protagonist of Nico Walker’s novel, "Cherry". A tale of war, dope fiends and bank robbery, Walker’s auto-fictional debut isn’t short of despicable people doing despicable things. The scumbag veteran, however, marks a striking departure from the veteran hero familiar to the contemporary cultural landscape.

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Current Issue

Now “The Fact That” Then

Posted by on Jul 13, 2020

This article examines the dissolution of the centre as a fecund literary frame of reference. Lucy Ellmann’s "Ducks, Newburyport" (2019) is a novel that is written on the precipice of crisis. It is an experimental novel of (mostly) one sentence that documents a contemporary crisis of distraction so engrossing that we do not have time to acknowledge its magnitude.

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Current Issue

Class, Authenticity and Centrism

Posted by on Jul 13, 2020

The wider political formation of centrism within the last two decades can be more thoroughly articulated by examining its cultural expressions. This article argues that no accounting of the political centre’s literary and cultural mediations would be complete without Ian McEwan, who has shown remarkable permanence as the pinnacle of a specifically English, middlebrow literary culture.

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Current Issue

The Centrality of the Trivial

Posted by on Jul 13, 2020

At the centre of our collective inability to apprehend the climate crisis is our failure to imagine ourselves as anything other than the centre of everything. This article examines Jenny Offill's novel "Weather" arguing that it stages the contemporary Western subject’s centring on its own trivialities as necessary to survival on an individual scale, yet also as threat to the survival of the planet.

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Recent Posts

Call for Proposals: Articles on Contemporary Representations of Homelessness

Call for Proposals: Articles on Contemporary Representations of Homelessness

Aug 31, 2020

We invite proposals for articles in our Autumn 2020 issue of Alluvium: Contemporary Representations of Homelessness The deadline for abstracts is the 15th of September and we particularly welcome proposals from post-graduate researchers and early career researchers. This issue will focus on confronting and representing homelessness in contemporary...

Now “The Fact That” Then

Now “The Fact That” Then

Jul 13, 2020

This article examines the dissolution of the centre as a fecund literary frame of reference. Lucy Ellmann’s "Ducks, Newburyport" (2019) is a novel that is written on the precipice of crisis. It is an experimental novel of (mostly) one sentence that documents a contemporary crisis of distraction so engrossing that we do not have time to acknowledge its magnitude.

The Centrality of the Trivial

The Centrality of the Trivial

Jul 13, 2020

At the centre of our collective inability to apprehend the climate crisis is our failure to imagine ourselves as anything other than the centre of everything. This article examines Jenny Offill's novel "Weather" arguing that it stages the contemporary Western subject’s centring on its own trivialities as necessary to survival on an individual scale, yet also as threat to the survival of the planet.

Decentring the “Scumbag” Veteran

Decentring the “Scumbag” Veteran

Jul 13, 2020

"How do you get to be a scumbag?” wonders the veteran protagonist of Nico Walker’s novel, "Cherry". A tale of war, dope fiends and bank robbery, Walker’s auto-fictional debut isn’t short of despicable people doing despicable things. The scumbag veteran, however, marks a striking departure from the veteran hero familiar to the contemporary cultural landscape.

Class, Authenticity and Centrism

Class, Authenticity and Centrism

Jul 13, 2020

The wider political formation of centrism within the last two decades can be more thoroughly articulated by examining its cultural expressions. This article argues that no accounting of the political centre’s literary and cultural mediations would be complete without Ian McEwan, who has shown remarkable permanence as the pinnacle of a specifically English, middlebrow literary culture.

Alluvium Editorial 8.2

Alluvium Editorial 8.2

Jul 13, 2020

This special issue of Alluvium takes as its subject contemporary literature’s relationship with the political centre. The editors remind us that there is more than one answer to this question. Indeed, locating this ideological ground is in part so difficult because of the constantly shifting discursive environment concerning centrism, and its relationship with both the left and the right.

CfP Alluvium 8.2: Locating the Centre in Contemporary Literature

CfP Alluvium 8.2: Locating the Centre in Contemporary Literature

Feb 10, 2020

We invite proposals for our April 2020 issue on the idea of ‘the centre’ in contemporary literature.

CfP Alluvium 7.6: Contemporary Storytelling and Seriality

CfP Alluvium 7.6: Contemporary Storytelling and Seriality

Aug 27, 2019

Alluvium is an open access journal featuring short essays of around 2000 words on key issues and emerging trends in 21st century writing and criticism. The journal publishes six issues a year, employing a system of post-publication peer-review by the engaged commentariat on the message boards of the journal’s website, enabling vital current...

Alluvium Panel at English: Shared Futures

Alluvium Panel at English: Shared Futures

Jul 10, 2019

Call For Papers for the Alluvium Panel at English: Shared Futures, Manchester 2020.

Highlighting Invisible Media: Television Subtitles in the Split-Attention Economy

Highlighting Invisible Media: Television Subtitles in the Split-Attention Economy

May 5, 2020

A striking demand of many theoretical texts which engage with the formal aspects of media is the importance of paying attention.

Returning to the Scene: Seriality and the Serial Killer in Mindhunter (2017-)

Returning to the Scene: Seriality and the Serial Killer in Mindhunter (2017-)

May 5, 2020

The perennial popularity of films, mini-dramas, and documentary-style TV shows depicting serial killers reflects the symbiotic state between production and our fascinated consumption. As a culture, it seems we return to the scenes of violent and notorious crimes compulsively. Mark Seltzer implies the extent of our interest in this particular configuration of masculinity when he writes that representations of the serial killer and serial murder ‘have by now largely replaced the Western as the most popular genre-fiction of the body and of bodily violence in our culture’ (1).