Global Realism (ACLA, Toronto 4/4-7/2013; deadline 11/1/2012)

full name / name of organization: 
Geoff Baker and Ayelet Ben-Yishai / American Comparative Literature Organization
contact email: 

Global Realism

Presenters sought for a panel on "Global Realism" at the 2013 meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association in Toronto. Panel abstract below, and submissions should be made at You need not be a member of the ACLA to submit, but accepted participants will need to become members prior to registering for the conference.

"Global Realism"

If literary realism has often if not always been viewed as a European development, scholars have begun to challenge both Eurocentric versions of its rise and Eurocentric versions of its legacy. Recent work has suggested the role of imperialism and of the colonies in both the coherence and destabilization of realism as a mode, and studies of the exploitation and transformation of realism within and beyond Europe have begun to test theories of how literary forms and "movements" become transmitted and translated. Yet even as realism becomes an increasingly coveted commodity in a globalized marketplace, it continues to be sidelined as middle-brow or derivative by many critics. This panel seeks to address the endurance and importance of realism in a global sense. How do realist strategies of representation persist or evolve as they cross borders? How does the "worlding" of literature ask us to reappraise realism? How do movements begun in conscious tension with realism--such as magical realism or surrealism--contribute to the persistence of realism? And might thinking about realism in a global context help us to reconsider the entrenched polarization of realism and modernism?