CFP: Contemporary Literature and the State (3/26/07; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Hart
contact email: 

CFP: Contemporary Literature and the State (Collection 3/26/07)

Edited by Matt Hart and Jim Hansen
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We seek one or two essays and an author interview to complete the contents of a proposed volume on the subject of "Contemporary Literature and the State." The essays already committed to the volume discuss how problems of political representation, transnationalism, state violence, and social policy affect the work of 20th- and 21st-century writers; they discuss novels and plays that are rooted in diverse histories that stretch from World War II to the present day; they consider literary texts from America, Europe, South America, and Africa; and they show how authors as different as Samuel Beckett and Susan Choi, working with dissimilar notions of political commitment, address their work to distinct emanations of sovereign power.

The collection engages with political paradigms that are of increasing moment to literary studies, from Giorgio Agamben’s work on the “biopolitical” nature of state power to the idea, addressed in different ways by Bruce Robbins and Daniele Archibugi, of a “cosmopolitics.” Perhaps most importantly, our contributors consider whether and how the institution and idea of the state is relevant to contemporary writers in an age of global commerce, digital telecommunications, and mass migration. Although the volume is not yet under contract, a proposal is circulating at the present moment and we anticipate relatively rapid progress towards book and/or peer-reviewed journal publication.

We are especially interested in the following subject areas:

* Sexuality, queer publics, and literary responses to state sexual policy

* Gender, feminist politics, the state, and literary production

* State patronage of the literary arts

*Semi-public literary patronage (e.g., public university writing programs, grants to literary non-profits, etc.)

*Interviews with poets, novelists, or dramatists on any of the above topics

Please email short abstracts (max. 500 words) to AND We prefer PDF or Word attachments. Email the editors with questions about the scope, content, and intent of the volume.

Matthew Hart
2006-07 Fellow
Society for the Humanities
Cornell University
A. D. White House,
27 East Ave., Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-9285

Assistant Professor,
Department of English
Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
208 English Building, MC-718
608 S. Wright St.,
Urbana, IL 61801

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Received on Sun Feb 11 2007 - 15:25:58 EST