Other Islands: Shaw, Beckett, and World Literature (MLA 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Modern Language Association / Boston, MA

Despite their considerable differences, Bernard Shaw and Samuel
Beckett were born into an Anglo-Irish axis but envisioned worlds
beyond it that incorporated and transfigured their national heritage. This panel seeks papers that address how Shaw and Beckett might be read together, particularly through new definitions of world literature. How do Shaw and Beckett envision modern drama as a series of parables or demonstrations of world creation and destruction; as a negotiation between the local and the global; or as the erasure of historical geographies in favor of flexible places (landscapes, theatres) and spaces (the past, the future, the state)? Papers might also address Shaw and Beckett's shared Protestantism and Neo-Protestantism, their universalism or rejection of universals, their insistence on science fiction and fantasy as ramifications of realism, and their dramatization of engagements with and retreats from inner and outer worlds, among other related topics.

Please send a 300 word-abstract and CV to Lawrence Switzky at
lawrence.switzky@utoronto.ca by March 10, 2012. Proposals and queries are welcome before the deadline.