Call for papers for the fifth issue of the online journal

Revista Épicas dedicated to "Epic Asia"


Coordination number:

Anna Beatriz Paula (Universidade Federal do Paraná)

Claudine Le Blanc (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)

Thematic dossier: "Epic Asia"


Is there any sense in thinking about epic literature within the Asiatic space, where there are areas remarkably rich in epic traditions (Persia, India, Central Asia, Tibet, Siberia, Japan, etc.) and also China, often cited as an example of civilization without epic? The breadth and diversity of epic productions in Asia were, as we know, taken from the idea of the "Eastern epic" appreciated in the nineteenth century, which often referred to ancient epics (Gilgamesh, Sanskrit epics). If it was possible to publish a volume on Les épopées d'Afrique noire (Kesteloot and Dieng, 2009), with the Asian epic productions did not occur the same: several of them appeared in collective works with comparative focus (Labarthe, 2004, Feuillebois-Pierunek, 2011), but they remain excluded from the Cambridge Companion to the Epic (2010) – with the notable exception of Gilgamesh –and do not in any case give rise to a specific reflection.


The Asian world nevertheless presents a remarkable case of epic diffusion, that of the Indian Rāmāyaṇa in South-East Asia and Indonesia, exemplifying the unification of a vast space by an epic narrative, itself a story of a journey (ayaṇa), which diffusion leads to metamorphosis.


Thus, from the case of Asia, we would like to question the relation maintained by epic literature with aspects as the displacement, the migration, the geographical mobility and the configuration of space, and thus to reflect on the question of the scale in the analysis of epic literature: what meanings to give to the spaces traversed in the texts? How do these meanings articulate with the space traversed by the texts?


Because of the pertinence of a geographical thought on the epic genre that the number 5 of the Revista Épicas would like to devote itself in a privileged way the epic traditions of the Asian world, which are numerous, although often not considered in their singularity.


Several tracks can be explored in this perspective:


- Asia (or an Asian space) as a diegetic place in the epic traditions, both Western (from Alexander to Uma Viagem to Índia de Tavares) and extra-Western;

- the representation of space and the displacement in the Asian epic literature;

- the circulation of epic traditions in Asia, both in orally and in printed cultures;

- the identification of thematic or formal specificities of Asian epic traditions;

- the thematization of a cultural specificity in epic literature modernity (or on the contrary, its dissolution today, in an ambiguous patrimonialization, such as that of the Tibetan epic Gesar de Gling).


Articles may be written in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese or German. (please send to The deadline for submission is December 15th, 2018. The norms and procedures for publication can be found on the following website:


The Editorial Board’s evaluation will be sent to all authors by April 15th, 2019. This publication is scheduled for June 30, 2019.