Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of MFS: Modern Fiction Studies
Cover image of MFS: Modern Fiction Studies
Share this Title:

MFS: Modern Fiction Studies

Editor :

Robert P. Marzec, Purdue University

69 (2023)
MFS publishes theoretically engaged and historically informed articles on modernist and contemporary fiction. The journal's substantial book review section keeps readers informed about current scholarship in the field. MFS alternates general issues with special issues focused on individual novelists or topics that challenge and expand the concept of "modern fiction."
Jump to

Journal Details

(These guidelines apply to general submission. To submit an essay for a special issue, please see those specific instructions.)

Mfs invites the submission of articles (6,000-9,000 words) offering historical, interdisciplinary, theoretical, and cultural approaches to modern and contemporary narrative. Please visit our online submission system to upload your essay:

Documentation format should include internal citation, endnotes, and full Works Cited in accordance with the latest edition of the MLA Style Manual. Mfs welcomes the submission of illustrations. Low-resolution images are acceptable for submission, but authors must provide high-resolution images for publication.

Publication is contingent on authors granting exclusive license to Johns Hopkins UP to publish their essays for the Department of English at Purdue University. Authors may subsequently reprint their essays in books that they publish, provided they acknowledge the material's previous publication in Mfs.

Address editorial correspondence to

The Editors
Modern Fiction Studies
Purdue University
Department of English
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038
Phone: (765) 494-3758
FAX: (765) 494-3780

The Hopkins Press Journals Ethics and Malpractice Statement can be found at the ethics-and-malpractice page.

Peer Review Policy

MFS: Modern Fiction Studies publishes original essays of 6,000-9,000 words. We do not permit simultaneous submission. We have initial in-house screening of essays. If we decide not to send an essay out for external review, it will be rejected within a month. Essays we like are sent out to two external readers using the blind review system. After external review, essays are either 1) accepted, 2) accepted contingent on revision, or 3) marked as revise and resubmit. This review takes around 6-9 weeks. If accepted contingent, the author must address concerns of the external reports and send us a revised essay and explain to us how the revised version engages the reader reports. A decision on these essays is then made in house, typically within a week or two of receiving the revision. Authors who are invited to revise and resubmit must also explain how they’ve addressed the readers’ concerns. We send the revised and resubmitted essay out again for external review (often to one or both of the original readers). This may take another 6-9 weeks.

All book reviews are solicited. We do not consider unsolicited reviews.

Call for Papers: 

Call for Papers: Upcoming Special Issue Women Thinking in Public

Guest Editors: Debra Rae Cohen and Catherine Keyser     
Deadline for Submissions: 1 December 2023

Although the inclination to read fiction was historically understood as a sign of women’s exclusion from the realm of intellection, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, fiction has become a place where women perform philosophical and political reflection and debate, revel in cleverness, place essayistic and novelistic voices in conversation, challenge the mind-body divide that would consign them to–and devalue–the flesh, and redefine the shape of intellectual labor.

As the Dobbs decision denies women’s constitutional right to bodily autonomy in the United States (on the heels of a pandemic that drove many women out of the workplace and into caregiving roles) and as social media amplifies both a new breed of female public intellectual and the virulent backlash against them, the keywords of this special issue take on renewed urgency. This special issue of MFS seeks neither to collapse intersectional experience into a white-washed mass of Women Thinking nor to project a Habermassian public sphere of rational individuals, abstracted from race, sexuality, ability, or any other coordinates of identity. Rather, we see the phrase “women thinking in public” as a provocation, a modern problem, that fiction both catalogs and catalyzes.

We take inspiration from recent work that recovers women’s communications and collaborations, modes of thought, and even strategies for survival in the academy: Rachel Sagner Buurma and Laura Heffernan’s The Teaching Archive; Saidiya Hartman’s Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments; Melanie Micir’s The Passion Projects; Mo Moulton’s The Mutual Admiration Society; Imani Perry’s Vexy Thing; and Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life and Complaint! Like these works, we take seriously pedagogy, performance, friendship, intimacy, gossip, bitchiness, and embodiment as templates for new intellectual modes.

We seek essays that illuminate the way that fiction can itself serve as a mode of public intellectualism, as both depiction and enactment of women thinking, attending to the connections between gendered expression, the forms of thought and the forms of fiction. Questions to be considered might include the following:

What styles, tones, and personae in modern and contemporary fiction signal authorial wit while perhaps disowning the institutional and masculinist inheritances of intellectualism? What role do cleverness, banter, and syntax play in the presentation of the woman thinking in public? How does such cleverness provoke, unsettle, and engage politically? How does fictional form serve to activate new ways of thinking, to draw new constellations of publics? How have women mobilized traditional associations with gossip, “chatter,” and folk tale to turn quotidian talk, intimate improvisation, and collaborative sociality into the tools of thought? How does fiction about women thinking in public challenge the identification of intellectualism with abstraction and disembodiment, which is also a patriarchal and white supremacist inheritance? How do queer fiction, trans fiction, science fiction, and other genres and modes invested in the visceral and the material, generate new models for women thinking? How does the scandal of the thinking woman as a literary character move from The Female Quixote to The Group to Conversations with Friends?

Essays should be 7,000-9,000 words, including all quotations and bibliographic references, and should follow the MLA Handbook (8th edition) for internal citations and Works Cited. Please submit your essay via the online submission form at the following web address:

We encourage queries ahead of submission: please direct them to Debra Rae Cohen ( and Catherine Keyser (

Special Issue Call for Papers: Fictions of the Pandemic

Guest Editors: Roanne Kantor (Stanford) and Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan (Rice) 
Deadline for Submissions: 1 July 2024

For this special issue, MFS invites contributors to consider and problematize the role of literary scholarship in apprehending, producing, and critiquing fictions of the pandemic. “Fictions of the Pandemic” pursues the imaginative structures, disputed narratives, cross-pollinating conspiracies, and contested discourses emergent from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the recognition of the novel coronavirus in late 2019, various interconnected fictions of the pandemic have circulated in the public sphere, from the idea of universally shared trauma to the promise of technological solutions. These fictions have been countered in turn by the realities of entrenched racial and class disparities and of global vaccine apartheid. Meanwhile, new characters have emerged as the ambivalent subjects of this historical conjuncture: the essential worker, the antimasker, the long-hauler, the COVID minimizer, and the masked minority. Likewise, the dominant plot points, narrative frameworks, and even genres of fictions of the pandemic have shifted (from the romance of revolutionary change to the tragedy of eclipsed horizons) as we move from the acute phase of coordinated global response to COVID to the chronic phase of capitulation to the virus as a normalized and never-ending event.

We propose that the COVID pandemic necessitates a thoroughgoing rethinking of literary objects and literary methods. What kind of object is “pandemic fiction,” given the slipperiness of the COVID response itself: alternately criminal or progressive, inadequate or an overreaction, depending on where you sit on the Zoom chessboard? What is the work of critique when reactions of suspicion, paranoia, and denial—about the gravity of the pandemic, the motives of policymakers, or even the actions of one’s neighbors—feel owned by the right, seemingly to relegate progressive scholarship to gestures of hope, faith, and repair? How do we, as thinkers of the present and explainers of the future, reckon with a world in which our critical practices are so evidently entangled with and defined by our others? What stories did we tell during the pandemic, and why? Whose stories can we tell now, and whose are verboten? What kinds of questions should we have asked, and why didn’t we ask them? What fictions of the past, present, and future have we had to forgo or forget in light of COVID-19? And in what ways might we, as literature scholars, be exactly the right, and wrong, constituency to pursue these questions, given dueling investments in the reparative potential of narrative, on the one hand, and widespread skepticism about the radicality of close reading, on the other?       

Contributors are invited to pursue any of the above questions and other related topics, including:

  • Counterfactual thinking and theorizing in the pandemic-era; narratives that imagine the (lost) pasts and futures that-would-have-been in the absence of COVID-19; questions of periodization    
  • Real-time collaborations in fiction-writing and fiction-reading (such as Wattpad, Scriggler, Booksie, and similar sites)    
  • Critique and post-critique in an era of conspiracy, denialism, suspicion, cruel optimism, and in light of pandemic affects such as doubt, melancholy, relief, fury, jealousy, and grief


  • Infrastructural aesthetics, architecture, and the built environment given transformations in work from home, the real estate market, and evolving relations to public space; the literary registration of infrastructural decay    
  • Technologies and artifacts of the pandemic; objects such as masks, tests, vaccines, and ventilators, as well as software applications for infection surveillance, video communications, and the circulation of information in both its original and “mis” variants; the narratives of “UX” that frame their ideal anticipated user and inevitable obsolescence    
  • The suppression and minimization of pandemic narratives by mainstream media, global publishing houses, and literary agents 
  • Reading the atmospheric and affective traces of the COVID-19 pandemic in fiction that does not explicitly deal with the pandemic    
  • Transformations in the “pandemic fiction” genre before and after COVID; teaching fictions of the pandemic; pandemic-era transformations, innovations and upheavals in literary pedagogy; the aesthetics of pandemic fiction; ecocritical and health humanities approaches to fictions of the pandemic


We seek surprising, ambitious, theoretically-rich, and provocative responses to this CFP. Essays that creatively introduce elements of fiction, fictionality, or generic hybridity into their analyses of fictions of the pandemic are also welcome.    

Essays should be 7,000–9,000 words, including all quotations and bibliographic references, and should follow the MLA Handbook (9th edition) for internal citations and Works Cited. Please submit your essay via the online submission form at Queries ahead of submission may be directed to Roanne Kantor ( and Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan (    


Robert P. Marzec

Associate Editor

Maren Linett

Editorial Assistants

Matt Morgenstern    
Rochel Bergman    
Emily M. Pearson

Editorial Collective

Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra, Pennsylvania State University  
Elizabeth DeLoughrey, UCLA     
Joseph Keith, Binghamton University     
Anne Garland Mahler, University of Virginia  
Timothy Melley, Miami University   
Kalpana Seshadri, Boston College     
Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, Rice University     
Aarthi Vadde, Duke University  
Jay Watson, University of Mississippi    

Purdue Advisory Board

Marlo Denice David    
Wendy Flory    
Sandor Goodhart    
Shaun F. D. Hughes    
Robert Paul Lamb    
Alfred J. López    
Jennifer Freeman Marshall    
Daniel Morris    
Nancy J. Peterson    
Arkady Plotnitsky    
Aparajita Sagar

Editorial Advisory Board

Paul B. Armstrong, Brown University    
Herman Beavers, University of Pennsylvania    
Michael Bérubé, Pennsylvania State University    
Stephen J. Burn, University of Glasgow    
Debra Rae Cohen, University of South Carolina    
Laura Doyle, University of Massachusetts    
Jonathan Eburne, Pennsylvania State University    
Anne Fernald, Fordham University    
Ellen G. Friedman, College of New Jersey    
Scott Herring, Indiana University    
Peter Kalliney, University of Kentucky    
John T. Matthews, Boston University    
Deborah E. McDowell, University of Virginia    
Mark McGurl, Stanford University    
James McNaughton, University of Alabama    
Alan Nadel, University of Kentucky    
Kinohi Nishikawa, Princeton University    
Stacey Olster, SUNY, Stony Brook    
Robert Dale Parker, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign    
Adam Parkes, University of Georgia    
Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, University of California, Irvine    
Judith Roof, Rice University    
Michael Rubenstein, SUNY, Stony Brook    
Ramón Saldívar, Stanford University    
Urmila Seshagiri, University of Tennessee, Knoxville    
Stephen Hong Sohn, Fordham University    
Siobhan Somerville, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign    
Susan Strehle, SUNY, Binghamton    
John J. Su, Marquette University    
Phillip Wegner, University of Florida

Send books for review to:

The Editors
Modern Fiction Studies
Purdue University
Department of English
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette IN 47907-1389

Please send book review copies to the address above. Review copies received by the Johns Hopkins University Press office will be discarded.

Abstracting & Indexing Databases

  • Clarivate Analytics
    • Arts & Humanities Citation Index
    • Current Contents
    • Web of Science
  • De Gruyter Saur
    • Dietrich's Index Philosophicus
    • IBZ - Internationale Bibliographie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Zeitschriftenliteratur
    • Internationale Bibliographie der Rezensionen Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlicher Literatur
  • EBSCOhost
    • Academic Search Alumni Edition, 6/1/1990-
    • Academic Search Complete, 6/1/1990-
    • Academic Search Elite, 6/1/1990-
    • Academic Search Premier, 6/1/1990-
    • Biography Index: Past and Present (H.W. Wilson), vol.29, 1983-vol.55, no.1, 2009
    • Book Review Digest Plus (H.W. Wilson), Jan.1983-
    • Current Abstracts, 1/1/2000-
    • Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907-1984 (H.W. Wilson), 4/15/1965-3/1/1983
    • Humanities Abstracts (H.W. Wilson), 6/1/1983-
    • Humanities Index (Online), 1983/01-
    • Humanities Index Retrospective: 1907-1984 (H.W. Wilson), 4/15/1965-3/1/1983
    • Humanities International Complete, 3/1/1982-
    • Humanities International Index, 3/1/1982-
    • Humanities Source, 4/15/1965-
    • Humanities Source Ultimate, 4/15/1965-
    • MasterFILE Complete, 3/1/1982-
    • MasterFILE Elite, 6/1/1990-
    • MasterFILE Premier, 6/1/1990-
    • MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
    • OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson), 6/1/1983-
    • Poetry & Short Story Reference Center, 3/1/1982-
    • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (Repertoire International de Litterature Musicale)
    • Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies
    • Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907-1983 (H.W. Wilson), 1965/03-1973/09
    • SocINDEX, 6/1/1982-
    • SocINDEX with Full Text, 6/1/1982-
    • TOC Premier (Table of Contents), 1/1/1995-
    • Women's Studies International, 6/1/1970-
  • Elsevier BV
    • Scopus, 2002-
  • Gale
    • Academic ASAP, 03/1987-
    • Book Review Index Plus
    • Gale Academic OneFile
    • Gale Academic OneFile Select, 03/1987-
    • Gale General OneFile, 03/1987-
    • Gale OneFile: High School Edition, 06/1985-
    • Gale OneFile: Leadership and Management, 03/1971 -
    • General Reference Center Gold, 03/1980-
    • General Reference Centre International, 3/1980-
    • InfoTrac Custom, 3/1987-
    • MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
  • OCLC
    • ArticleFirst, vol.38, no.1, 1992-vol.57, no.4, 2011
    • Electronic Collections Online, vol.40, no.3, 1994-vol.57, no.4, 2011
    • Humanities Index (Online), 1983/01-
    • Periodical Abstracts, v.35, n.1, 1989-v.56, n.4, 2010
  • Personal Alert (E-mail)
  • ProQuest
    • Art, Design & Architecture Collection, 04/01/1989-
    • Arts & Humanities Database, 04/01/1989-
    • Arts Premium Collection, 4/1/1989-
    • Literary Journals Index Full Text
    • MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)
    • Periodicals Index Online
    • Professional ProQuest Central, 04/01/1989-
    • ProQuest 5000, 04/01/1989-
    • ProQuest Central, 04/01/1989-
    • Research Library, 04/01/1989-
    • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (Repertoire International de Litterature Musicale)

Abstracting & Indexing Sources

  • Children's Book Review Index   (Active)  (Print)
  • Abstracts of English Studies   (Ceased)  (Print)
  • Academic Index   (Ceased)  (Print)
  • Chicano Index   (Ceased)  (Print)
  • Index to Book Reviews in the Humanities   (Ceased)  (Print)
  • MLA Abstracts of Articles in Scholarly Journals   (Ceased)  (Print)
  • Middle East: Abstracts and Index   (Researched / Unresolved)  (Print)

Source: Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.

0.3 (2022)
0.3 (Five-Year Impact Factor)
0.00052 (Eigenfactor™ Score)

Rank in Category (by Journal Impact Factor):
Note: While journals indexed in AHCI and ESCI are receiving a JIF for the first time in June 2023, they will not receive ranks, quartiles, or percentiles until the release of 2023 data in June 2024.

© Clarivate Analytics 2023

Published quarterly

Readers include: Scholars and students of literary criticism

Print circulation: 381

Print Advertising Rates

Full Page: (4.75 x 7.5") - $450.00

Half Page: (4.75 x 3.5") - $338.00

2 Page Spread - $675.00

Print Advertising Deadlines

March Issue - January 15

June Issue - April 15

September Issue - July 15

December Issue - October 15

Online Advertising Rates (per month)

Promotion (400x200 pixels) - $338.00

Online Advertising Deadline

Online advertising reservations are placed on a month-to-month basis.

All online ads are due on the 20th of the month prior to the reservation.

General Advertising Info

For more information on advertising or to place an ad, please visit the Advertising page. 

eTOC (Electronic Table of Contents) alerts can be delivered to your inbox when this or any Hopkins Press journal is published via your ProjectMUSE MyMUSE account. Visit the eTOC instructions page for detailed instructions on setting up your MyMUSE account and alerts. 


Also of Interest

Cover image of Studies in American Fiction
Studies in American Fiction
Editors :

Maria Farland, Fordham University and Duncan Faherty, Queens College and The CUNY Graduate Center

Cover image of Studies in the Novel
Studies in the Novel
Editor :

Dr. Nora Gilbert, University of North Texas

Special Issue
Cover image of South Central Review
South Central Review
Editor :

Richard J. Golsan, Texas A&M University

Cover image of SubStance
Editors :

David F. Bell, Duke University; Pierre Cassou-Noguès, Université de Paris 8; Églantine Colon, California Institute of the Arts; Marion Froger, Université de Montréal; Paul A. Harris, Loyola Marymount University; Éric Méchoulan, Université de Montréal; Thangam Ravindranathan, Brown University; and Rebecca Walkowitz, Rutgers University

Cover image of l'esprit créateur
l'esprit créateur
Editors :

Mária Minich Brewer and Daniel Brewer, University of Minnesota

Cover image of ASAP/Journal
Editor-in-Chief :

Elizabeth Ho, University of Hong Kong

Cover image of The French Review
The French Review
Editor in Chief :

Carine Bourget, University of Arizona

Cover image of Callaloo
Editor :

Charles Henry Rowell

Cover image of ariel: A Review of International English Literature
ariel: A Review of International English Literature
Editors :

Michael T. Clarke and Faye Halpern / University of Calgary

Cover image of The Sewanee Review
The Sewanee Review
Editor :

Adam Ross, The University of the South

Cover image of Diacritics
Editor :

Andrea Bachner, Cornell University

Cover image of New Literary History
New Literary History
Editor :

Bruce Holsinger, University of Virginia

Cover image of ELH
Senior Editor :

Jeanne-Marie Jackson, Johns Hopkins University

Cover image of Dickens Quarterly
Dickens Quarterly
General Editor :

Dominic Rainsford, Aarhus University, Denmark

Cover image of Studies in Romanticism
Studies in Romanticism
Editor :

Adriana Craciun, Boston University

Cover image of SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
Publisher and Executive Editor :

Logan D. Browning

Cover image of MLN
Editors :

Visit the Editorial Board tab for the full list of Editors.

Cover image of Victorian Review
Victorian Review
Editor :

Christopher Keep, Western University