Southeast Asian Review of English (SARE), No. 50 - Singapore & Malaysia Special Issue (January 31st, 2011)

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Southeast Asian Review of English (SARE)
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takoh@ntu.edu.sg

Southeast Asian Review of English (SARE), No. 50 (July, 2011 publication date)

Theme: Re-Framing Contemporary Malaysian and Singaporean Literature

SARE, the international refereed Journal of the Malaysian Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies Association (MACLALS) which first appeared in December, 1980, celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a special issue on contemporary Malaysian and Singaporean literature in English or in English translation on the above theme in collaboration with the Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University. To commemorate the historical links between the two countries and their literatures, it will be co-edited by Assoc Prof Susan Philip, President, MACLALS and Head, English Department, University of Malaya; Assoc Prof Neil Murphy, Head, Division of English, Nanyang Technological University; and Prof Koh Tai Ann, Senior Associate, Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University.
Writing in the inaugural issue, its founding editor, the late Professor Lloyd Fernando declared that while SARE ‘will be a specialist journal’, covering ‘an already diverse and still expanding area of literary, cultural and social interest: Malaysian and Singaporean literature in English through Commonwealth literature to Third World literature in English’; but ‘it won’t be a journal of a jealously and zealously delimited specialism’. It certainly has not been. However, thirty years on, ‘Commonwealth’ and ‘Third World’ literature have virtually been subsumed under ‘postcolonial literature’ and even that term is problematical and being continually re-imagined in literary studies. All these categories presume, among other things, the existence of ‘national literatures’; but with the development of gender and cultural studies, and other extra-national approaches, as well as the emergence of new literary-critical constructions like neo-formalism, the new aesthetics, and the ‘return to reading’ that is being mooted in some contexts, is a national literature still conceivable? To what extent is the concept, function or role of a ‘national’ literature still meaningful in relation to cultural identity in an age of transnational culture, globalisation, cyberspace, easy travel and migration, and when ‘new Englishes’ continue to flourish and English is de facto the world language?
The post-independence generation of writers represented by Fernando and Muhammad Haji Salleh in Malaysia and Edwin Thumboo and Goh Poh Seng in Singapore had ‘national agendas’ as writers and cultural or literary activists; but what inspires the writings of their successors and subsequent generations – those born in the 60s and 70s – and the so-called ‘diasporic’ writers who despite migration and new citizenships continue to write about the ‘home’ they left behind, whether Malaysia, Singapore or Southeast Asia?
We invite contributions to this anniversary issue of not only scholarly articles on the literature in English (including the diasporic) in light of the above, but also works available in English translation (we particularly encourage comparative studies), on language, and on the teaching of the literature in school and university curricula; short stories, poems, and other creative writing, interviews, and review-essays.
All final contributions to be submitted by 31 Jan, 2011 in soft copy and emailed to takoh@ntu.edu.sg - Articles are to be double-spaced in Times New Roman font, no longer than 5000 words in MLA style (see http://www.mla.org/style).

cfp categories: 
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
general_announcements
interdisciplinary
journals_and_collections_of_essays
popular_culture
postcolonial
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond