Penn State University




CLS publishes scholarly articles that are comparative in nature and which deal with literature from more than one linguistic tradition. Ideally, articles should be 6,000 to 13,000 words, including endnotes. We ask that you submit along with your manuscript a cover letter that includes an abstract (200 words or less) of your project.

Our journal’s review process usually takes 6–8 months and we accept roughly 20% of the essays submitted. Most papers are evaluated by at least two, and sometimes three, experts in the relevant field(s) in addition to our editor-in-chief. CLS employs a doubly anonymous review system, meaning that the identities of the referees are not revealed to the author, and papers are forwarded to the referees without any identification of authorship. Please do not include any personally identifying features (name, university affiliation) in the main manuscript of your initial submission.

To submit a manuscript electronically, please create an account at Editorial Manager, where you must register before uploading your submission. If you have any other questions, you may direct them to:

Please note: CLS no longer accepts submissions by email. 

A comparative article for CLS should contain most if not all of the following:

  • demonstrated polylingual competence;
  • an approach that illuminates the various authors explored, or that treats in breadth and pluriexemplarity national traditions, literary forms, literary theory, or world literature;
  • a unique contribution that is clearly articulated and demonstrated through coherent argument;
  • situation of the author’s contribution within relevant existing criticism of the work(s) under investigation;
  • one or more close readings of the text(s) under discussion, that bring to light aspects not immediately discernible on a cursory or uninformed perusal of the passages; and
  • at minimum, reference to, and most likely active deployment of  the most prominent theoretical elaborations of the topic(s) being explored.


A Style Sheet for Authors

All manuscripts should follow the guidelines for scholarly writing set forth in the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), especially chapter two, "Manuscript Preparation and Manuscript Editing," sections 2.1–2.87. In preparing notes, authors should use "endnote style"—CLS does NOT use the "Works Cited" style. All quotes should be in both the original language and in English translation, and for the sake of readability we request that you use a 12-point font, double-spaced.  


  • Titles should appear centered and in roman letters. Please do not use boldface or quotation marks (unless the title itself or part of the title is a direct quotation from a work). The author's name should appear centered directly beneath the title in italics. Authors need not place "by" before their names. Example:



Judith Ryan


  • At the conclusion of the essay, the author should give his or her affiliation hard against the right-hand margin in italics. Example:

The Pennsylvania State University



  • Authors should begin the first sentence of the first paragraph flush left with the left-hand margin. Thereafter, each paragraph should be indented five spaces by using the "tab" key. Please do not justify the right-hand margin. Also, all parts of a manuscript—text, quotations, and notes—should be double-spaced. Printers do not accept single-spaced copy.

  • Please begin the notes on a new page, with the word “Notes” flush against the left-hand margin, italicized.



  • Quotations should be given in the original language with English translations immediately following in square brackets. When providing your own translation of a short passage (fewer than five lines), place the English in parentheses, without quotation marks, followed by a citation and a period.

Example: The grandfather's first words--"Il me semble qu'il ne fait pas très clair ici" (201) (It seems to me that it is not very light here)—signal his obsession with the signs indicating death's approach.

  • If you are utilizing a published translation, follow the format below, adding quotation marks around the translation and including the page number inside the parentheses.

Example: The grandfather's first words—"Il me semble qu'il ne fait pas très clair ici" (201) (“It seems to me that it is not very light here” [85])—signal his obsession with the signs indicating death's approach.

  • When the quoted passage runs more than five lines in prose or three in verse, set the passage off from the main text, remembering to retain the double-spacing. After the quotation, the author should skip two lines and place the translation in parentheses. Neither the original nor the translation need be enclosed in quotation marks. Citations should follow the original, not the translation—unless, of course, the translation is a published one.



            L'Aïeul: Personne n'est entré dans la chambre?
Le Père: Main non, personne n'est entré.
L'Aïeul: Et votre soeur n'est pas ici?
L'Oncle: Notre soeur n'est pas venue. (226–29)

            (Grandfather: No one has come into the room?
Father: Why no, no one has come in.
Grandfather: And your sister is not here?
Uncle: Our sister has not come.)

  • If you modify a translation in any way please see CMS 13.7 for instructions on the proper format.
  • For foreign institutions, and publishers follow CMS 10.
  • For Latin titles follow the SBL Handbook: capitalize only the first word and proper nouns (not proper adjectives; per SBL, and if the case ending of the proper word is the same as that of the noun it’s probably an adjective).


Example: Beata Virgo Maria

  • When providing a title’s transliteration give the original script as well as the English translation in the running text. Typically, the order is the transliterated title followed by the original script in parentheses followed by English title in parentheses.

Example: Han Shan Shih Zhu《寒山詩注》(Annotated Poems of Han Shan).

  • Use a lowercase “a” when spelling out Arab names beginning with “al.”


Example: al-Ṭahṭāwī

  • No accents should be used on capital letters of Romance languages.


Example: “A la carte” versus “À la carte,” “Etats-Unis” versus “États-Unis”, etc…

Punctuation: The UP has various guidelines with regards to the use of commas, quotation marks, and colons and it is very important that the author takes these into account: 

  • You must use the series comma. This requires the use of an oxford comma before the conjunction in a list of three or more.


Example: The user of the manual can then choose one from several choices for subject, verb, indirect object, and so on.

  • No comma should follow abbreviations.


Example: Bobby Simms Jr. (no comma)

  • A complete sentence should come after a colon. The first letter should be lowercase unless it is in a quotation.


Example: An alternative approach would be pragmatic: we simply do not know what to do with texts without the "user's guide" that genre provides.

Example: Westerners remove the unwanted partners whose presence brings about the male double bind: "Be a hero, but don't rock the boat."

  • Use quotation marks for titles within titles.


Example: The Other Virgil: “Pessimistic” Readings of the “Aeneid” in Early Modern Culture.

  • The UP uses the CMS capitalization style ("down" style).


Example: President Lincoln, the president; Pope Pius, the pope; Professor Jones, the professor

  • Numbers and Dates: Follow the Chicago Manual of Style’s (CMS) guidelines for spelling out numbers. There are also other requirements, specific to the UP, which the author must consider: 


  • For contiguous page numbers and years you must repeat the last one to three digits of numbers following a dash per CMS 8.69 (1-3, 14-26, 506-78, 608-9, 618-19, 699-723, 1700-1787, 1702-3, 1756-75).

Example: 29Louis Althusser, For Marx, trans. Ben Brewster (New York: Random House, 1970) 233-34.

  • For dates, use a format that resembles the following: 2 January 1492. In notes, you should abbreviate the month.


  • When providing a range of years in the text use all digits:

Example: A second edition followed in 1842-1844.

  • Abbreviations: When abbreviating names, months, and States/Provinces the author should follow theses guidelines set out by the University Press:

  • You must add a space between the initials of people's names.

Example: W. E. B. Du Bois

  • Spell out months and the names of states/provinces fully in the text.


Example: In July 1966 a motorcycle accident caused Dylan to disappear from public view.

Example: The inability is equivalent to the incongruity of someone raised in the cold, humid environment of Quebec describing the hot, dry desert of the American Southwest.

  • Use abbreviations for months in notes.


Example: Jan., Feb., etc..

  • Compound adjectives should be hyphenated before the noun, and open after the noun. This also applies to a compound adjective that contains an adverb.



It was good-natured teasing.
He was good natured.
He good-naturedly teased her.
His good-naturedness was such that…

  • Allow, “comprise” to mean, “made up of.”


Example: Perspectivism results in a triptych of interior monologues that comprises each work.

  • Allow a singular “their” with indefinite pronouns.


Example: Their close proximity to each other increased their impact upon the reader.

  • Allow, “beg the question” to mean, “raise the question.”


Example: But the sentence also begs the question of what "well" means.

  • Use the abbreviation “chap.” to denote a specific chapter in a note.

Example: Jane Tompkins, Sensational Designs: The Cultural work of American Fiction 1790-1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), chap. 5. Many Students of speech and communication have also investigated the historicity of genre and genres…

  • Book Reviews should begin with a heading that resembles to following format:

Example: Beyond Terror: Gender, Narrative, Human Rights. By Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2007. 272 pp. Cloth $60.00, paper $23.95.

  • Use the abbreviation “qtd. in” when you quote an individual quoted in another author’s text, and cite it in parentheses or a note. 


Example: Gogol's depictions of Cossacks in these stories... epitomized Lev Tolstoi's exaggerated claim that "Cossacks have made the entire history of Russia" (qtd. in Bode 9).

  • Words or sentences that you wish to emphasize with italics (in a quote) should have the words “emphasis added” in parentheses immediately after the note’s number.


Example: A reviewer of Hannah More's Coelebs in Search of a Wife (1808) expressed the mores of the early modern period which drove fiction to seek adaptive coloration: "By the usual furniture of circulating libraries [i.e. novels], deceptive views of life, a false taste, and pernicious principles, have been disseminated; and it is the commendable object of the writer of these volumes before us to counteract the poison of novels by something which assumes the form of a novel"11 (emphasis added).

  • You should use the above format when you remove emphasis from a quote. When you do this, please write “emphasis in original” in parentheses after the note’s number. This also pertains to the removal of an ellipsis. If you choose to remove an ellipsis from a quote, type “ellipsis in original” in parentheses after the note’s number.


  • You should write, “Hereafter cited by page number” at the end of a note if you intend to cite extensively from a particular book/article. Once you do this, you can simply type the page number, in parentheses at the end of the sentence, after quoting/paraphrasing words or phrases from it. However, if necessary, you can also cite it using a note. This language is intended to resolve the problem with “further citations in text” as it’s not always the case that the cited item is only subsequently cited in the text; often such works are also cited in the notes.

Example: Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave. A True History in The Works of Aphra Behn, ed. Montague Summers, vol. 5 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1973), 129. Hereafter cited by page number.

  • Parenthetic Citations should mostly be used for primary texts being analyzed after first mention in notes; use notes for most references to scholarship, etc. (except in cases where a piece of scholarship is the primary text being analyzed and is cited many times).


A Few Notes on Notes

For numbering endnotes, always use a base-aligned number followed by a period. “University Press” should NOT be abbreviated “UP”; a cited page number should NOT be preceded by “p.”; and, perhaps most important, when referring to a work for the first time, please give full publication information in an accompanying note, with subsequent references to the work given parenthetically in the text as needed. Parenthetical references should include only the author’s name and the page number, unless there are several works by the author; in those cases, a shortened title may be included in the parenthetical reference as well.

CLS does NOT print general acknowledgments, though acknowledgements referring to specific individuals are accepted.

CLS does NOT print discursive notes. CLS does not print discursive footnotes, by which is meant a note whose purpose is to further the article’s argumentation or provide illustration (see example below). The sole purpose of CLS footnotes is to help readers find sources used in the article. Authors should either incorporate discursive material such as in the example below into the text of their articles (using parentheses if appropriate), or cut as tangential.

25. One of the striking features of German middle-class tragedy is that it takes on, to a remarkable degree, the characteristics and flavouring of the literary period in which it was written: one finds, for example, the Enlightenment in Lessing's Sora, the Sturm und Drang in Lenz's Soldaten, Romanticism in Werner's play, and Biedermeier in Hebbel's Maria Magdalene. I have hesitated about the inclusion of Werner's play. However, in the final analysis, my decision has rested greatly on the considerable extent to which the actions of Kunz are related to a fear of social Schande. This element is virtually absent from Schiller's Braut and Grillparzer's .dhnfratl, nor for that matter does it, to the best of my knowledge, occur in Miillner's Schuld. In any case, all three deal with families of the rank of Count and above.


Book by one author:
1. Richard Wright, Native Son (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940), 100–01.

An anthology:
2. Sigmund Freud, Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis: Three Case Histories, trans. James Strachey, ed. Philip Rieff (New York: Collier Books, 1963), 63–66.

A translation:
3. Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master & Margarita, trans. Mirra Ginsburg (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1967).

A multivolume work:
4. Rainer Maria Rilke, Sämtliche Werke, 6 vols. (Frankfurt: Insel, 1955).

Or, if referring to a specific volume and page number,

4. Rainer Maria Rilke, Sämtliche Werke (Frankfurt: Insel, 1955), 1:13–15.

An edition:
5. Georges Rodenbach, Oeuvres complètes, ed. Claude Pichois, rev. ed. (Paris: Gallimard, 1975), 1:79–80.

A republished book:
6. Thomas Maurice, History of Hindostan (1795; New Delhi: Navrang, 1973).

An article in a journal with continuous pagination:
7. Jerry Varsava, "Calvino's Combative Aesthetics: Theory and Practice," Review of Contemporary Fiction 6 (1986): 17.

  • If vol. and issue number is given for a journal, no month or season is necessary.


A website:
8. Royall Tyler, “Translating The Tale of Genji,” Japan Association of Translators (2003), (accessed September 15, 2004).

To include the original date of publication:
9. Antoine de Rivarol, Discours de l’universalité de la langue française (Paris: Obsidiane, 1991 [1784]), 39.

Dual original language/English citations:
10. Pascale Casanova, La république mondiale des lettres, rev. ed. (Paris: Seuil, 2008), 28/Pascale Casanova, The World Republic of Letters, trans. M. B. DeBevoise (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), 10.

  • In general, use the original title rather than the English title in discussions of titles not published in English.


Spelling and Capitalization

The UP has various guidelines for the spelling and capitalization of a whole range of words/phrases. What follows are particular words/phrases, and the UP’s guidelines for their spelling and/or capitalization. When using any of these you must utilize the following format:

A: afterward, Anglophone, anti-semitic, arabophone, Asian American.

B: backward, biblical

C: catalog, Christianized, circumatlantic.

E: earth, East Asia.

F: façade, francophone.

G: German Jewish.  

M: midcentury, mid-eighteenth century.

N: naïve, naiveté, New Historicism, New World, Neoplatonic.

O: occidental/ism, oriental/ism.

P: panatlantic, post-totalitarian, post-traumatic, preexisting, Providence.

Q: Qur’an

R: romantic (to refer to the period), Ruist.

S: sinophone, Southeast Asia.

T: toward, transatlantic.

U: United States (n), U.S. (adj).

W: website, well-being (n).


*In addition to these style specifications, please make sure your submission conforms to the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) general guidelines.



Updated 13 February 2013 by Andres Amerikaner