NEMLA 2018 Panel: World-Making and Anglophone Fiction (Abstracts due 9/30)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Shun Y. Kiang / Case Western Reserve University
contact email: 

In his recent work On Literary Worlds (2012), Eric Hayot examines how literature—through narration—gives shape and substance to worlds and ways of being in them. Literary worlds, Hayot argues,“[are] the diegetic totality constituted by the sum of all aspects of a single work, constellated into a structure or system that amounts to a whole” (44) and “they are always social and conceptual constructs, as well as formal and affective ones” (45). The idea that form gives world-constituting qualities to literature is also taken up by Pheng Cheah, who, in his work What is a World? (2016), cautions against “[a]ttempts to characterize contemporary literature as cosmopolitan” (19) and promotes instead a way of studying literature that better “responds to the need to remake the world as a place that is open to the emergence of peoples that globalization deprives of world” (19). Taking a cue from Hayot and Cheah, this panel seeks to further examine the idea of world-making in relation to Anglophone fiction, bearing in mind such questions as “What are some ways in which Anglophone writers constitute worlds or senses of being-in-worlds?" and “How do non-European modes of representing realities--magical realism, speculative realism, premodern or postcolonial ways of seeing and believing, etc.--challenge empiricism and colonial epistemologies." In addition, this panel wants to pay particular attention to the formal and aesthetic elements of Anglophone fiction and the ways in which they chart new narrative spaces—fantastical, subaltern, multi-ethnic, more-than-human, ecological, among others—and different ways of being in one or several of those narrated worlds.  

Please send 250-word abstract to the NeMLA website.  See for submission requirements and steps.