CFP: Why World Literature? August 2017 issue
The emergence of ‘world literature’ as a critical framework of reading in literary studies has not only recalibrated older methodologies of comparative and postcolonial literature but has also foregrounded the aspect of circulation and reception of literary works in a transnational context. The emphasis that this method of reading puts on the cross-cultural travels of a literary text is reinforced by the global technology of social media and web 2.0 which promises instant connectedness and conjures a virtual world which is self-contained, even though it reflects and engages with the actual world of the socio-political, outside itself. On the one hand, if ‘world literature’ is an effect of globalisation and multiculturalism in the field of literary studies, we would like to ask if this critical framework can be used as a way of pressurising the ‘globe’ of the ‘global’ with its notion of the ‘world’ which is more ambiguous and accommodating in a philosophical sense.
What is the ‘world’ of world literature? How can this ‘world’ pose a challenge to or offer a model of critique for the ideology of globalisation? How does world literature’s accent on the circulation of literature reflect back on the content that gets circulated? If world literature underlines literary circulation, how do we consider the role of technology as a means of instant global circulation? What does it mean to create literature in the world which is also of the world in the current realities of Brexit and Trump when the very notion of the world is eaten up by heterogeneous zones of conflict? Can a local, untranslated, and little-circulated text have ‘world’ features?
What we look for in this volume is to understand if ‘world’ as a category can be used analytically. A lot of theorization of ‘world’ in world literature mystifies the term and makes it into a descriptive, flat, essentialist filter that betrays a set of globalized (Euro-American), institutionalized values. We need a concrete theorising which is able to critique these values as well as to understand the dynamics of power and contestation that the interface of the world and the local holds. What is the meaning of the term world literature for a country that has suffered centuries of colonial exploitation and hegemony and tries to find autonomy sandwiched now between the residues of the past and the increasing Americanisation of the present? We invite articles that engage with the varied polemics in the contemporary field of ‘world literature’ and give us insightful, enabling and critical readings of the term and of the field.
Some relevant topics include but may not be restricted to:
Comparative, Postcolonial, and World Literature
World, Global, Planetary, Transnational
World Literature and Translation
Ecology, Modernity and World Literature
Globalisation and World Literature
World Literature and Technology
The World Market of Books
Multiculturalism and World Literature
The World and the Local
The Reader in World Literature
Prospective papers should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15, 2017. The decisions will be communicated to the authors by July 15, 2017. The issue will be published in August, 2017. The papers should be between 4000 and 7000 words in length including notes and references, sent along with an abstract not exceeding 200 words and five or six keywords.
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