EXTENDED DEADLINE - Literature in the Gulf Conference: Cosmopolitanism in an Era of Globalization

deadline for submissions: 
February 2, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Qatar University

Literature in the Gulf Conference: Cosmopolitanism in an Era of Globalization

 Qatar University, Doha
March 31 – April 1, 2020

 Our present moment is, as the sociologist Ulrich Beck insisted, inescapably cosmopolitan: “nowadays, there is no point in arguing over whether patriotism, although practical, is too petty, whereas cosmopolitanism, by contrast, is splendid, but cold and unlivable. The important fact now is that the human condition has itself become cosmopolitan.” As Beck demonstrates, we live in a world in which engagement with strangers is no longer optional, and in which inherited identities and familiar boundaries are put under increasing pressure by globalization: the world is interconnected as never before; populations, capital, and cultural products all move at unprecedented rates; and individual identities are forged not only in relation to national cultures but also in relation to an increasingly globalized cultural landscape. Because world citizenship is no longer an aspiration of the select few, but rather a lived reality of millions, cosmopolitanism has become one of the dominant themes of literary and cultural studies in recent years. The 2020 Literature in the Gulf Conference welcomes proposals for individual papers exploring the relationship between literature and cosmopolitanism in a globalized world. Some of the topics the paper may address include: 
  • What is the impact of globalization on literary production in the 21st century? 
  • What is the meaning of concepts such as “world literature” in an era of globalization?
  • What does it mean to proclaim oneself cosmopolitan in a cosmopolitan world?
  • How does contemporary literature explore the boundary between national and transnational? 
  • What is specific about cosmopolitanism in the Arab world?
  • What is the significance of cosmopolitanism for the development of literary theory?


The Keynote Speaker for the Literature in the Gulf Conference will be New York University Professor Cyrus R. K. Patell. A specialist in 19th- and 20th-century American literature and culture, Professor Patell's recent scholarship and teaching has centered on the theory and practice of cosmopolitanism and on the literature and culture of New York City. Forthcoming publications include the Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York City (co-edited with Bryan Waterman) and U.S. Multicultural Literatures: An Introduction to Emergent Writing since 1940 (NYU Press). 

 Please submit 250-word abstract, along with a short biography, no later than February 2, 2020 to Dr. Erin Holliday-Karre at eholliday.karre@qu.edu.qa. Acceptance notifications will be sent by February 15, 2020.