CFP: [General] Expanding the Frontiers of Comparative Literature

full name / name of organization: 
Seunghyeok Kweon
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"Expanding the Frontiers of Comparative Literature"

In this era of globalization, Comparative Literature faces new
challenges. As an academic discipline, for the past ten years Comparative
Literature has had to embrace or often compete with other emerging
interdisciplinary studies, including cultural studies, regional studies
and translation studies. Today, as new technologies redefine the
boundaries of knowledge and globalization draws the world closer
together, Comparative Literature faces the added challenge of expanding
its boundaries and frontiers to rethink its identity and role as a
discipline. The conference theme “Expanding the Frontiers of Comparative
Literature”can be interpreted on many levels. We believe that Comparative
Literature needs to move beyond its Western origins to become a
productive arena for scholarly work on all literatures across the world.
We also believe that Comparative Literature can take the lead in
redefining the boundaries of “literature.”Hyper-textual, multi-visual
media cultures are changing the ways in which we approach textuality
today. In addition, Comparative Literature can become a fruitful site for
discussions on nature, the environment, and technology, as well as their
impact on human civilization. In other words, Comparative Literature can
and should provide the grounds for new communication, dialogue, and
insight in our greatly expanded world. By expanding the frontiers of
Comparative Literature, we hope to raise questions about ethnicity,
region, religion, and ideology in a globalized context, as well as to
place literature at the center of all initiatives to change society and
human lives for the better. Korea is the only divided country on the face
of the earth. This is all the more reason why we believe that a
Comparative Literature conference on breaking down boundaries and
overcoming frontiers will be both appropriate and timely. We would
like to invite the global community to meet in Korea to discuss how to
expand the frontiers of Comparative Literature in
imaginative ways.

Session I : Making Comparative Literature Global : New Theories and
The 21st century having brought us properly into the age of
globalization, Comparative Literature must now re-establish a
new concept and identity for literature through theory and practice
founded on a new knowledge that reaches beyond the boundaries of
ethnicity, culture, region, politics, and scholarship to expand and unify
its horizon. In particular, the globalization of Comparative Literature
must seek out a means to expand the direction and range of research by
breaching the fence of Eurocentric literary theory and discourse, and
canonizing the long-standing and tenacious literary traditions of
other regions. To this end, we must find a new consilience through the in-
depth discussion of different literary theories accompanied by a
comparative study of Western literary theory.

Session II : Locating Literature in the Hypertextual Age
Comparative Literature must present a new method of co-existence within
the complex culture of a hypertextual age. With the appearance of
hypertext, cutting-edge technology seems on the verge of replacing the
classical concept of text culture. Thus, literary texts must seek out a
means of surviving the age of text-surpassing multiple media. In this
advent of the age of hypertext, Comparative Literature must be able to
present a concrete vision and plan regarding the existential value and
direction of literary text.

Session III : Nature, Technology, and Humanity in Different Traditions
Comparative Literature must carry into a new arena of discussion the
issues of nature and environment, science and technology, humanity and
ethics-issues addressed by the diverse cultures of many nations-and
thereby present a new discourse that may be jointly owned by all of
humanity. The advancement of technology continues to bring environmental
destruction, and this damage will be carried over to the next generation.
In particular, the First and Third Worlds hold sharply divergent views on
such issues. Therefore, to approach and discuss from a comparative
perspective such issues of environment and technology, and the issues of
humanity and ethics to which everything eventually returns, is especially
important for the direct connection of such discussion to the survival of
human civilization.

Session IV : Writing the Conflicts and Otherness
In the 21st century we have moved beyond the age during which ideological
differences brought about the Cold War. But humanity still faces an
endless array of new discriminations and conflicts of region, religion,
ideology, wealth, and generation. By embracing cultural diversity, and by
expanding and re-manufacturing such concepts of acceptance, Comparative
Literature must offer a concrete means of co-existence and econciliation.
In this way, Comparative Literature will be able to take on the practical
and revolutionary function that falls to literature when it faces the
concrete problems of the real world. We will re-visit the various
concepts of otherness that have been discussed thus far, and seek out the
role of Comparative Literature in creating a foundation of dialogue and
reconciliation that moves beyond politics and conflicts of difference.

Session V : Translating Differences, Connecting the World
Translation has emerged as one of the most important means of exchange
and communication between diverse cultures. Translation can overcome the
gap between nations, ethnicities, periods, cultures, and languages to
provide a new space of exchange and communication. If existing works of
translation have contributed primarily to the one-sided transmission of
Western culture to the Third World, translation in the 21st century must
stand on the front lines of genuine mutual exchange between different
cultures. In this light, cultural translation that examines the
negotiations of culture taking place at many levels between source-text
and target-text offers a new direction for translation in the 21st

Session VI : Asia in the Changing Comparative Paradigm
Asia has developed various paradigms of knowledge, sensibility, and value
through its long tradition and history. Asian literary tradition and
culture have also disseminated and transformed through communication and
exchange within Asia as well as across Asian boarders. After a century of
western modernization, the significance of Asian classical literature and
culture is being discussed once again and is being distinguished as a way
of providing new vision. Expectantly, discussions on such Asian paradigms
will go beyond the limitations of Orientalism and Occidentalism and give
Asia a chance to self-examine productively. In the midst of dynamic
change in the concept of Comparative Literature and World Literature,
Asia must be actively discussed as the focal point for the integration
and re-construction of knowledge for the future.

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts for the session themes received by March 31, 2009 will be
considered under the standard review process. Late abstracts will be
considered as space permits. Online abstract submission is highly
recommended after proper online author sign-up. The format and submission
guidelines will be available at in December 2008.
Abstracts should be between 250 and 500 words. Authors are asked to
submit original abstracts only. All submitted abstracts will be referred
for correctness, originality, relevance to the congress, and quality of
exposition. The abstracts will be published in the abstract book of the

Call for Proposals

Proposals for workshops, symposia, round tables, and seminars should be
submitted to the ICLA 2010 secretariat no later than November 30, 2008 at The Individual abstracts for workshops, symposia,
round tables, and seminars are to be sent to each organizer. The format
and submission guidelines will be available at or
in the 2nd Announcement.

Important Dates

Abstracts Submission Due March 31, 2009
Acceptance Notice September 15, 2009
Advance Program February 1, 2010
Early Registration Due April 30, 2010
Hotel Reservation Due April 30, 2010

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Received on Fri Sep 12 2008 - 02:03:30 EDT