ACLA 2018: Sounding Transnational Literature

deadline for submissions: 
September 21, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)

Sounding Transnational Literature

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Meeting

March 29 – April 1, 2018, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Co-organizer: Julie Cyzewski, Murray State University

Co-organizer: Lisa Hollenbach, Oklahoma State University

This seminar investigates the role of sound media in the transnational circulation of literature from the early twentieth-century to the present. At a moment when digital audiobook producers and literary podcasters are altering the ways consumers listen to literature around the world--and listen to world literature--this seminar is interested in exploring transnational genealogies of literary sound. Building on the exciting growth of scholarship on sound and radio studies, transnational literature, and digital media in recent years, we seek papers that explore the methodological intersections between these fields. How does the literary spoken word travel within, between, and across borders? How have technologies from the phonograph to the radio to the digital file shaped the way literature is shared and stored? How have sound media institutions and producers helped construct regional, national, colonial, postcolonial, diasporic, and transnational literary cultures? How does mediated literary sound construct, materialize, and/or resist spatial forms and imaginaries? How have sound media technologies mediated oral and vernacular literatures? What are the politics of producing and listening to world literature?

We welcome papers that address a variety of topics at the intersections of transnationalism, sound studies, and comparative literary studies. These include but are not limited to:

  • sound media and the development of world/postcolonial literature;
  • the relationship between media forms and politics;
  • the effects of the mechanics of production (e.g. editing);
  • sound media and oral/vernacular/performative literatures;
  • the sounding of multilingual literature and literature in translation;
  • intermedial relationships (e.g. between print and sound networks);
  • disability, media accessibility, and audio literature;
  • the politics, cultures, methodologies, and/or pedagogies of listening.

Please submit your paper proposal through the ACLA portal after August 31 and by 9am EST on September 21, 2017: Direct inquiries to seminar organizers Lisa Hollenbach ( and Julie Cyzewski (