Maghrebi Writing and the Unfungibles of World Literature(s) (Vancouver ACLA March 31-April3, 2011)
This seminar examines how writing from the Maghreb intersects with word literature(s) and how language becomes a function of world literary value. How do the concepts of world literature or comparative literature relate to, elucidate, or occlude regional, national, or local concerns? How has critical and creative writing attempted to come to terms with the legacy of French colonial language politics in the Maghreb since 1830 and the enduring effects of Orientalism as a radical re-organization of forms of knowledge and cultural practices? How to trace the development of Arabization (and its discontents) and the range of "postcolonial" language wars and contestations? An important aim of this seminar will be to complicate the meanings attributed to global French by considering the ways that Arabic and "Berber" languages can be said to trouble not just the older concept of francophonie but also the more recent idea of a "littérature-monde" in French. Papers might also explore literatures of the Maghreb in other languages and literary spaces, addressing issues of translation, marketability, as well as the question of the unfungible, the untranslated, or the untranslatable values, concepts, forms, novels, and authors caught between national literary space and world literary space.