Critical Survey

Editor: Graham Holderness, University of Hertfordshire

Subjects: English-language Literature

 Available on JSTOR  

Browse the Editor's selection of recent issue covers!

Call for Papers: Anglo-Saxon England

Latest Issue Table of Contents

Volume 34 (2022): Issue 2 (Jun 2022): Strangeness in Early Stuart Drama. Guest editors: Joachim Frenk and Lena Steveker

Critical Survery 34.3 (Fall 2022) 



Harold Bloom and William Shakespeare: The ‘Saints of Repetition’ and the Towers of Babel 

Taoufiq Sakhkhane  


The Cultural Transformation of the Trope of the Renegade in Late Seventeenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century English Drama: John Dryden’s Don Sebastian and Frederick Reynolds’s The Renegade 

Hussein A. Alhawamdeh 


Susan Abulhawa’s Appropriation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet  

Yousef Abu Amrieh  


‘Besmeared with Sluttish Time’: Resisting Lateness or Trying to in Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Poetry 

Mohamed Salah Eddine Madiou  


‘Failed Feminism’: Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl in the Chinese Market 

Junwu Tian and Yingjie Duan 


Manipulation of Theatrical Audience Size: Non-existent Plays and Murderous Lenders 

Anna Faktorovich 


‘A Scorneful Image of this Present World’: Translating and Mistranslating Erasmus’s Words in Henrician England 

Luca Baratta 


‘Moving back and forth of the I’: Parasite and Para-site in Beckett’s The Unnamable 

Jagannath Basu and Jayjit Sarkar 


Critical Survey 34.4: Shakespeare and Rome (Winter 2022)


Graham Holderness


The Question of Culpability in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra: Revealing Cleopatra’s Humanity
Sali Said

Reflecting upon Coriolanus as Being-in-and-for-Mother through the Gaze of Existential Semiotics
Maryamossadat Mousavi and Pyeaam Abbasi

A Kingdom for a Mirth: Shakespeare’s ‘Fatal Cleopatra’ and the Worm’s Turn
Roger Stritmatter and Shelly Maycock 

The Last Roman King
Ian Ward 

‘Our Troy, our Rome’: Classical Intertextuality in Titus Andronicus
Graham Holderness

Ninagawa’s Ancient Journeys
Daniel Gallimore 

Titus and Coriolanus in Tehran: Shakespeare’s Roman Plays and Iran’s Politics
Mohammadreza Hassanzadeh Javanian  

Nathaniel Lee’s Politics of Sovereignty
Aspasia Velissariou 

Volume 34 / 2022, 4 issues per volume (spring, summer, autumn, winter)

Aims & Scope

Critical Survey addresses central issues of critical practice and literary theory in a language that is clear, concise, and accessible, with a primary focus on Renaissance and Modern writing and culture. The journal combines criticism with creative writing, including poetry, providing an essential resource for everyone involved in the field of literary studies.

"A superb journal, fast becoming 'required reading', especially for those interested in cutting-edge work in early modern studies." —Barbara Hodgdon, Drake University

"A lively, inventive and eminently readable journal." —Catherine Belsey


Critical Survey is indexed/abstracted in:

  • Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (Proquest)
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science)
  • Bibliometric Research Indicator List (BFI)
  • Biography Index (Ebsco)
  • British Humanities Index (Proquest)
  • Currant Contents  Arts & Humanities (Web of Science)
  • Humanities Abstracts (Ebsco)
  • Humanities Index  (Ebsco)
  • IBR – International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences (De Gruyter)
  • IBZ – International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences (De Gruyter)
  • MLA Directory of Periodicals
  • MLA International Bibliography
  • Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers
  • Periodicals Index Online (Proquest)
  • ProQuest Research Library (Proquest)
  • Scopus (Elsevier)

Editor: Graham Holderness, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Poetry Editors:
John Lucas, Nottingham Trent University, UK
Ben Parker

Editorial Board:
Yousef Awad, University of Jordan
Catherine Belsey, Swansea University, UK
Terri Bourous, Florida State University, USA
Michael Bristol, McGill University, Canada
Peter Brooker, University of Nottingham, UK
Dympna Callaghan, Syracuse University, USA
Daniel Cordle, Nottingham Trent University, UK
John Drakakis, University of Stirling, UK
Roger Ebbatson, Lancaster University, UK
Richard L. Godden, University of California, Irvine, USA
Nicholas Grene, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Sir Derek Jacobi, London, UK
Paulina Kewes, University of Oxford, UK
Richard H. King, University of Nottingham, UK
Dallas Liddle, Augsburg, Germany
Ania Loomba, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Leah Marcus, Vanderbilt University, USA
Annabel Patterson, Yale University, USA
Ruth Robbins, Leeds Beckett University, UK
Antony Rowland, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Stan Smith, Nottingham Trent University, UK
Paul Stevens, University of Toronto, Canada
Tian Yuan Tan, University of Oxford, UK
Cedric Watts, University of Sussex, UK
Stanley Wells, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, UK


Manuscript Submissions

Please review the submission and style guidelines carefully before submitting. 

The editors welcome submissions of articles in the general fields of modern and early modern literature and culture—especially articles that indicate a clear familiarity with current critical and theoretical thinking. Submissions should generally be between 5,000 and 7,000 words in length, though exceptionally strong longer pieces will also be considered. Submissions should be e-mailed to the editor at

To submit poems for consideration, please send three or four to

Guest Editors, please review the Guest Editor Guidelines carefully.

Manuscript Preparation

Submissions should be e-mailed as Microsoft Word files and may initially be supplied in any internationally recognized academic style. After the article is accepted for publication, it is the author’s responsibility to convert the text into the journal’s house style, available here. Each submission must be accompanied by a short abstract and a brief author biography including institutional affiliation and contact details.
The Journal does not accept unsolicited books for review.

Have other questions? Please refer to the Berghahn Info for Authors page for general information and guidelines including topics such as article usage and permissions for Berghahn journal article authors.

Ethics Statement

Authors published in Critical Survey (CS) certify that their works are original and their own. The editors certify that all materials, with the possible exception of editorial introductions, book reviews and some types of commentary, have been subjected to double-blind peer review by qualified scholars in the field. While the publishers and the editorial board make every effort to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. For a more detailed explanation concerning these qualifications and responsibilities, please see the complete CS ethics statement.

Annual Subscriptions

Volume 34/2022, 4 issues p.a. (spring, summer, winter)
ISSN 0011-1570 (Print) • ISSN 1752-2293 (Online)
(rates include handling & surface postage)

Free Sample Issue
Recommend to Your Library


Contact Berghahn or your subscription agent to subscribe/renew:

2022 Pricing

Institutional Rate (Print & Online)
$407.00 / £275.00 / €335.00
Institutional Rate (Online Only)
$339.00 / £229.00 / €279.00
Individual Rate (Online Only)
$34.95 / £22.95 / €30.00 / Purchase here
Student Rate (Online Only)
$19.95 / £13.95 / €15.95 / Purchase here*
*must include valid student ID

Print & Online for individual subscriptions are available. Please contact Berghahn for pricing.

Single issues:
Contact Berghahn for pricing and availability.

Please direct all inquiries regarding subscriptions to

Berghahn Journals Subscriptions
c/o Berghahn Books
20 Jay Street, Suite 502
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 212-233-6004

Don't have a subscription? Find other ways to access the journal here, or recommend the journal to your library.


Shakespeare &


Graham Holderness, University of Hertfordshire

Shakespeare is everywhere, permeating culture at every level; yet it is less well-recognized that culture also permeates Shakespeare. Shakespeare & explores Shakespeare and his work outside the lens of traditional literary studies. By intersecting the worlds beyond fiction and poetry with those disciplines outside of literature and drama, this series offers nuanced approaches that reveal a more diverse and complex legacy left by Shakespeare.

'Reading for Life'

Prison Reading Groups in Practice and Theory

This article considers the theoretical and practice-based evidence for the therapeutic effects of the shared reading of literature (poetry, fiction, plays, short stories) in prison communities. Taking as its starting point recent research and practice relating to the successful intervention ('Get into Reading') pioneered by UK charity The Reader Organisation, the article situates the components of this model in the context of established theories of reader response, as well as new research on reading and the brain. Yet its focus is always shared reading in practice and, through specific examples and testimony from prisoners and those who read with them (including health professionals), the article demonstrates the vital relation of this intervention to current recommendations in respect of the mental health needs of prisoners. It also offers a possible model for future interdisciplinary research in this field.

Author: Jim Clarke

J.G. Ballard's early novels The Drowned World (1962) and The Crystal World (1966) take a climatological approach to apocalyptic dystopia. This has led survey studies of climate fiction to identify these novels as founding texts of the genre. Yet Ballard wrote in an era before global warming had been identified by climate scientists, and his fiction is as much psychological and ontological as it is physiological. Ballard both adheres to and deviates from the global warming narrative now accepted by contemporary climatology, working within and beyond the SF subgenre of post-apocalyptic fiction. This paper assesses the extent to which these dystopian narratives can be understood as climate fiction and explores the debt that more recent cli-fi may owe to Ballard.

Author: Michael Wilding

Henry stood groaning in front of the pigeonholes, holding out a letter in one hand in passable imitation of Hamlet. ‘Good news from your agent?’ asked Dr Bee. ‘Agent, what agent?’ said Henry. ‘My agent is a secret agent. She doesn’t reveal her existence to me or mine to any publisher. No, there’s this letter saying Rollo said to get in touch with me and thanking me for arranging lunch and I can’t read the signature. Can’t remember arranging any lunch’.

Author: George Lipsitz

A social warrant is a collectively sanctioned understanding of obligations and entitlements that has the force of law, even though it is rarely written down. Social warrants author and authorize new ways of knowing and new ways of being; they challenge and transform what is permitted and what is forbidden. The social warrant of the Fourteenth Amendment opened the door to equality for many more people than the slaves and their descendants. Yet the triumph of abolition democracy did not destroy the regime of white male propertied power. Social warrants do not only succeed one another, they answer one another, contest one another, and constrain one another. The social warrant of white male Protestant propertied power in the United States is not simply the mal-distribution of rights, resources, and recognition, but also a systemic structured advantage, a way of life and a world view. Most important at this particular moment of danger, the social warrant of white male Protestant propertied power perpetuates itself through state sponsorship of spectacle, sensation, and sentiment connected to the war on terrorism.

The purpose of this article is to describe the meaning of incarceration for African American women as depicted in the narratives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated African American women. This article uses black feminist thought as the primary theoretical framework to provide the relevant context for understanding the race, sexual, and gender oppressions that contribute to African American women's experiences with imprisonment. I argue that black women's prison narratives offer a unique insight into interlocking patterns of oppression that contribute to their incarceration, and how discrimination based on race, gender, and sexuality extends into prison.