‘Reading Shirley Jackson in the Twenty-First Century’ is an online hub dedicated to exploring Jackson’s current literary and cultural standing. It consists of this site, updated once a month with new Jackson-related content, a Discord research network available here, and regular live events. Information about our 2021 live zoom event is available here.

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) is perhaps still best known for her short story “The Lottery” (1948) and her horror novel The Haunting of Hill House (1959), but her work also encompassed psychological thrillers, domestic humour, children’s writing, and short fiction, as well as cultural commentaries and advice for budding writers. In his preface to the 1966 posthumous collection, The Magic of Shirley Jackson, Jackson’s husband, the academic Stanley Edgar Hyman, presciently suggested that ‘the future will find her powerful visions of suffering and inhumanity especially significant and meaningful [..] and Shirley Jackson’s work is among that small body of literature produced in our time that seems apt to survive’. After decades of relative critical neglect, Jackson’s critical and cultural standing has been transformed by a surge of academic and popular interest. As such, it is the ideal time to discuss the current state of critical work on Jackson and begin to map the future landscapes of Shirley Jackson studies.

‘Reading Shirley Jackson in the Twenty-First Century’ is interested in work investigating the underexplored and frequently undiscussed aspects of Shirley Jackson’s work for our online publication. We are looking for works-in-progress, critical reflections, short pieces of new work, or similar pieces on any element of Jackson studies, within certain guidelines:

  • Submissions should focus primarily on Jackson and her work. Pieces on adaptations, influences, cultural impact, etc. will be considered, but the work should centre Shirley Jackson.
  • Though we all love Jackson’s three most famous works (The Haunting of Hill House, “The Lottery,” and We Have Always Lived in the Castle) and agree that they are masterpieces, a very large amount of critical work has been done on these texts. Unless a piece approaches these works from a completely new perspective or discusses them in tandem with lesser-known texts, we will probably not consider it.
  • Submissions can be relatively informal but should still be academically informed.

Submissions are accepted on a rotating basis and will be posted around the 27th of every month, in the order in which they are received. Submission guidelines are available here.

The editorial board reserves the right to edit content for space/time and to decline submissions for any reason. Submissions that include hateful content will be automatically refused.

Editorial Board: Janice Deitner (TCD Provost’s PPA holder, School of English), Dr Dara Downey (Former IRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow based in the LRH), Dr Bernice Murphy (TCD School of English), Dr Rob Lloyd (Cardiff University), and Dr Luke Reid (Dawson College).

‘Reading Shirley Jackson in the Twenty-First Century’ is supported by the Long Room Hub and the School of English, Trinity College Dublin, and is a project of the TCD 2019 Provost’s PhD Project Award “Shirley Jackson: Beyond Hill House.”