"The Location of Transnational Literature"

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American Comparative Literature Association (Toronto, Canada, April 4-7, 2013)
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Seeking paper proposals for a seminar on "The Location of Transnational Literature" at the 2013 ACLA Conference.

In recent debates on the global, cosmopolitan, and diasporic aspects of contemporary cultural productions, transnational literature often designates those fictional works that cross national boundaries, are produced by migrant writers, and circulate in a global marketplace. Yet what is transnational literature? What are its spatial and temporal coordinates? Who are its readers? While definitions abound – veering from a focus on writers' ethnic origins and geographical locations, to questions of form and content, or of translation and circulation – the transnational remains a porous concept term. In literary studies, the transnational turn was triggered by the rise of minority, multicultural, and postcolonial studies as well as globalization studies (Jay 2010). This focus on mobility and hybridity resulted in a large-scale remapping of the geographical spaces of national literatures.

This seminar invites papers that explore works that transnationalize literary canons and the means by which they do so. What are some of the models for the reading of fictional works that are both a product of and engaged with the forces of globalization? How does transnational literature transform our sense of location, identity, and identification? Who navigates transnational spaces? What about place-bound texts that underscore obstacles to mobility, especially for the sans-papiers, refugees, and stateless people? How can we explore transnational literature outside the center-periphery model or beyond nationality and race? How productive is the transnational as a framework for interpreting contemporary literature in the age of globalization? Papers may explore the transnational in earlier centuries and in various linguistic traditions.

SEMINAR KEYWORDS: transnational literature, the transnational turn, migration, literary canons, the global literary marketplace

Please submit a paper proposal on the conference website:

More info on the conference topic: http://www.acla.org/acla2013/