A Brief Introduction to Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art
Full Journal Title: Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art (TSLA)
ISSN: ISSN0257-0254 and CN31—1152/I
Journal Publisher: East China Normal University Press
Publisher’s Address: 3663 N. Zhongshan Rd., Shanghai 200062
Editor’s Name(s): Professor Tan Fan and Professor Zhu Guohua
Editor’s Address: Department of Chinese Language and Literature, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Rd., Shanghai 200241
Domestic Distribution: Post office of Shanghai, China
International Distribution: China International Book Trading Corporation, P. O. Box 399, Beijing, China, 100044
Website: http://tsla.ecnu.edu.cn/ and https://tsla.researchcommons.org/journal/
Contact No.: +86-21-62232881
Fax No.: 86-21-62232881
History and Significance
Launched in June, 1980, TSLA is the journal of the state-certified first-tier China Literary Theory Association (founded in May, 1979), one of the earliest and most prominent national academic associations of the post-reform and open-up era. It is China’s first and the leading journal of studies of literary and art theory. Rooted in China’s fundamental realities and endowed with a global reach, it has contributed enormously to Chinese scholarship.
For its contributions and performance, TSLA has received many national awards and titles, such as “Key National-level Journal in the Humanities and Social Sciences” (2011), “Excellent Journal of East China” (2016). It ranks the third on the CSSCI (Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index) Journal Rankings under the broad category of “Chinese literature”.
In recent years, TSLA has been promoting Sino-Western exchange through bringing Chinese scholarship to the world via Scopus and EBSCO, publishing original English articles by international scholars, and co-hosting international conferences with Euro-American academic journals. All these scholarly exchanges are intended for cross-fertilization of knowledge with both local and global impact.
Representative of Scholarship
Since its launch, TSLA has remained the most important journal in studies of literary and art theory in China. In its relentless pursuit of originality, quality and autonomy, it has established its own academic personality and commitment.
1) As a theory-oriented journal, it particularly emphasizes theoretical depth and breadth, in distinction from other journals which focus on or confine themselves to either textual interpretation or historical resource retrieval – both of which can be important in their own right.
2) TSLA embraces a wide scope of inquiry, ranging from remote and antique Chinese literary and art theory to state-of-the-art literary and art theory and criticism, and from classical Western aesthetics and literary theory to contemporary concerns. It also values comparative perspectives, engaging with both China and the West, and with both antiquity and modernity.
3) TSLA also takes its place in the movement towards cross-disciplinary studies the humanities and social sciences. For instance, in addition to its long-established aesthetic, cultural and art studies, TSLA also publishes articles on (or from the perspectives of) cultural studies, political sciences, sociology, history studies, and anthropology.
4) Each of its six annual issues features two or three special topics, engaging prestigious scholars in direct or indirect dialogue, through the juxtaposition of their respective studies on the same topic(s) or issue(s). This practice always informs and inspires scholarship in a particular academic area, thus becoming highly visible.
5) Each issue also publishes at least one original English-language article, authored by a famous international scholar. Past contributors have included Jonathan Culler, Jacques Rancière, Richard Wolin, Jeffery Alexander, Wolfgang Welsch, Douglas Kellner, Simon During, Jacques Ezra, to name but a few. It also publishes exclusive interviews with prestigious international scholars such as Fredric Jameson, Martha Nussbaum, and Stephen Owen. Through these interviews, their latest ideas can be communicated to a larger readership, facilitating conversation between Chinese and Western literary theory.
6) With the patronage of China Literary Theory Association, which covers the most influential Chinese scholars in literary and art theory and annually organizes a range of conferences and events, the journal has further enhanced its role at the vanguard in studies of literary and art theory in China. In addition, the highest quality papers that are submitted to the association’s conferences and events will be published on the journal. Thus, the quality and originality of our inquiries is guaranteed.
Unique Features that Distinguish TSLA from Other Journals
In addition to its timeliness of publication (bimonthly), its adherence to International Editorial Conventions and commitment to academic integrity, its English-language bibliographic information (including English titles, abstracts, keywords, author bios, and works cited) and its international diversity of its editors and authors, TSLA is distinguished from other core journals in studies of literary and art theory in the following aspects:
1) As China’s earliest and most influential academic journal of literary theory, TSLA is a trail-blazer in studies of literary and art theory, thanks to the fact that it is independently administered, managed and edited by scholars committed to academic autonomy and freedom.
2) It has remained to date the most professional academic journal under the category of “literary theory” in China. It values theoretical depth, breadth, domestic pertinence and international relevance, and cross-disciplinary perspectives, which distinguishes itself from journals of literary or art studies solely focused on or confined to the sorting out of historical resources.
3) It pays special attention to rediscovering the quintessence of traditional Chinese literary and art theory through bringing it vis-à-vis modern concepts and contexts; meanwhile, it encourages the construction of Chinese theoretical discourses that address local issues and participate in academic debates in the world.
4) It ranks the third on the CSSCI journal rankings under the broad category of “Chinese literature” and is one of two journals (under the category of “Chinese literature”) among the first 100 state-sponsored journals. Thus, it represents the highest academic quality of a non-governmentally run journal in China.
5) It adheres to a double-blind peer-review mechanism. Its reviewers include the most prestigious scholars in the field of literary and art theory at home and abroad, thus guaranteeing fairness and impartiality in its selection of articles.
6) It remains the only journal of literary and art theory in China that publishes English-language articles on a regular basis, and that provides bilingual bibliographic information including “works cited”. Though challenging, its practice of bilingual bibliographic information is worthwhile; the translation of many book titles, concepts and categories that are exclusive to China, which have to be cross-contextualized and accessible, in an inclusive journal is of tremendous value for China-West dialogue in the field of literary theory, among other things.
7) It is the earliest journal in studies of literary and art theory in China to have adopted the MLA citation style.
8) It is China’s only journal of literary and art theory to have established active cooperation with international journals, collaborating with Comparative Literature Studies and Neohelicon to publish each other’s representative articles and to co-host or co-sponsor conferences and events.
9) It is one of the few journals of literary and art theory in China to feature international authors and to include influential international scholars on its editorial committee (See Appendix II).
In a poetically and aesthetically-inclined China with long-established scholarship on literary theory, literary and art theory per se has become an important source of Chinese culture and thought. From modern times onwards, the series of reforms and epoch-making campaigns in China are always preceded and promoted by the introduction and absorption of Western literary and art theory as is the case with the New Culture Movement where the earliest Chinese Marxists began to draw on and apply Marxist literary theory, and from the aesthetic fervor made possible by the introduction of modern Western literary and art theory. The two cases are proof enough to the pivotal role of literary and art theory in shaping ideology and promoting social transformation in China. Because of the significance of studies of literary and art theory in Chinese society, it has become Chinese intellectuals’ common pursuit to facilitate the exchange between and integration of Chinese and Western literary theory, and such pursuit epitomizes their aspiration to the organic community of the nation and the world. Committed to this ideal, TSLA has been trying to translate abstract ideals into tangible, rewarding efforts on our part to shape that community. To this end, we wish that TSLA can be covered by AHCI, and, as a token of international recognition of our performance and pursuit, its coverage will greatly encourage and inspire Chinese scholarship on literary and art theory and potential scholars who will devote themselves to this critical undertaking shaping people’s life in a meaningful way.
TSLA publishes original articles on ancient Chinese literary theory, Western literary theory, Western aesthetics, modern and contemporary Chinese literary theory, theoretical studies of ancient, modern and contemporary Chinese literature and art, and foreign literature and art, ideally from cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural and cross-contextual perspectives. Its contents have both reasonable international representation and Chinese characteristics. Up to date, no journal of this kind in China has been covered by AHCI, and therefore, your coverage of TSLA will enrich AHCI’s breadth and at the same time make Chinese scholarship on literary and art theory accessible to the international academic community. We believe this will be of much value for the development of literary and art theory of China and the world alike.