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History & Mission

From its inception, Studies in the Novel has been dedicated to building a scholarly community around the world-making potentialities of the novel. Studies in the Novel started as an idea among several members of the English Department of the University of North Texas during the summer of 1965. They determined that there was a need for a journal “devoted to publishing critical and scholarly articles on the novel with no restrictions on either chronology or nationality of the novelists studied.” The founding editor, University of North Texas professor of contemporary literature James W. Lee, envisioned a journal of international scope and influence. Since then, Studies in the Novel has staked its reputation upon publishing incisive scholarship on the canon-forming and cutting-edge novelists that have shaped the genre’s rich history. The journal continues to break new ground by promoting new theoretical approaches, a broader international scope, and an engagement with the contemporary novel as a form of social critique.


The editorial vision of Studies in the Novel is informed by our tradition of showcasing fresh perspectives on canonical authors while extending our founders’ mission to highlight scholarship on novelists from around the globe. As an ongoing scholarly endeavor, Studies in the Novel is committed to the belief that there is more at stake in novelistic inquiry than the study of a literary genre. In its fullest meaning, “novel” represents the study of what is truly novel: “Of a new kind or nature; not previously imagined or thought of” (OED). As a vehicle for critical reflection and social transformation, the novel remains what it always has been: a vital source of new ways of thinking and relating to a rapidly changing world. To the extent that the journal embodies the same dynamism and impact, we will have realized our vision.