NEMLA Seminar: Encounters with Globalization in the 19th century

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Jenny Strakovsky, Georgia Institute of Technology
contact email: 

Encounters with Globalization in the 19th Century Seminar, Northeast MLA Annual ConventionApril 12-15, Pittsburgh, PA

Application Deadline: September 30, 2017

Conference Theme: "Global Spaces, Local Landscapes, and Imagined Worlds"


Seminar Description:

The 19th century saw the watershed expansion of political, economic, and cultural networks beyond national borders. The literature of this period strives to be both globalized and radically localized, revealing the fraught relationship between modern cosmopolitanism and the emergence of the modern nation-state.

This seminar invites papers that explore how 19th century texts confront globalization, foreignness, and multiculturalism. We are particularly interested in projects that reflect on real and imagined spaces of cross-cultural contact. What constitutes an encounter with globalization as a phenomenon? What kinds of cross-cultural encounters are possible in the literary texts of this period? How does fiction veil, subvert, or provide access to imagined worlds and people? How do these encounters negotiate the tension between proximity and distance (among individuals, ideas, artifacts, and events)? Novels like Flaubert's Madame Bovary highlight the commodification of the foreign in the urban market of this period, but what forces besides market expansion drive globalization? Or does globalization itself serve some other force? How do these forces function alongside imagination, narrative, history, politics, and identity? Where is the borderline between globalization, cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, and imperialism? 

We welcome projects from across the languages in order to foster a cross-disciplinary and multinational conversation. 

To Apply, submit 200-300 word abstract and brief bio here: 


NeMLA seminars take place in a 2-hour session, in which 5-10 participants discuss pre-circulated papers. Participants give a brief presentation of their work followed by an exchange among participants. Respondents may be invited by the chair.

No NeMLA Membership required to submit abstract. See policies here:

Further information: