Édouard Glissant: Totality and Poetics of Relation

full name / name of organization: 
American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)
contact email: 
frances.mcdonald@duke.edu, melody.jue@duke.edu

This seminar invites a discussion of Édouard Glissant’s “poetics of relation” as a literary strategy for rethinking the concept and experience of “totality” away from the “totalizing” pretentions of the West. Critical of the language of center and periphery, Glissant offers an alternate spatial poetics that allows us to recognize “accumulation” as timely sedimentation, and “global flow” as passing along errant lines of joyful communication rather than the violent forward thrusts of capitalism. By recovering this terminology from the domain of capitalism, Glissant asks us to rethink totality in terms of multiple strands of relation that include the evolutions of language, economy, and ecology all at once. We invite papers that engage with Glissant’s rearticulation of globalization and totality both within and beyond Caribbean contexts. We especially encourage papers that consider:

  • How Glissant’s “poetics of relation” speaks to and diverges from other theoretical and literary visions of totality and worlding.
  • How Glissant’s tactical poetics (opacity, errancy, networks, mobility, openness) are practiced in genres such as SF, slipstream, weird fiction or horror, ecological literature, border fictions, and speculative literature.
  • How Glissant’s tactical poetics bear upon the political concerns of small-scale communities relating to totality (environmental justice, identity politics, decolonization).
  • The significance of the archipelago to Glissant’s discussion of economy, accumulation, and time.
  • How Glissant’s concepts of hybridity, méstissage, chaos and Créolization contribute to a broader shift in perspective towards totality.

SEMINAR KEYWORDS: Glissant, totality, accumulation, SF, poetics, relation, Caribbean, revolution, history, decolonization, environment, ecology, collectivity, mobility, worlding

NYU is hosting ACLA 2014 over the weekend of March 20-23. Please submit paper proposals (max. 250 words) through ACLA's website and select this seminar from the drop-down list: http://www.acla.org/submit/.

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
ethnicity_and_national_identity
interdisciplinary
poetry
popular_culture
postcolonial
rhetoric_and_composition
science_and_culture
theory
travel_writing
twentieth_century_and_beyond