CFP: Cartographies of Dissent: Resistance and Revolution in the Transnational Imaginary ACLA 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Sarah D'Adamo (McMaster University) & Karim Mattar (UC Boulder)
contact email:,

American Comparative Literature Association Annual meeting: "Capitals"
March 20-23 2014, New York University

In recent years, the transitive practice of “worlding” literary studies has often, implicitly or explicitly, presupposed a globalized cartography. Global literary forms are symbolically mediated in the peripheries of the world-system (Moretti); global cultural capitals bestow the status of littérarité on the otherwise not-quite literatures of the world (Casanova); and globalization itself, its capitalist sublime, demands the reinvention of comparative literature from a planetary perspective (Spivak). Et cetera. While certainly critical, such approaches bear the largely unacknowledged, unexamined weight of a cartographic imagination historically in the service of the very structures of power they criticize. As early as Orientalism, Edward Said foregrounded the overlaps between the cartographic impulse, what he called “imaginative geography”, and the imperial impulse to designate boundaries and define others. Through its globalized cartography, does world literature inevitably, as Djelal Kadir suggests, “circumscribe the world into manageable global boundedness”?

In this seminar, we seek to explore the relationship between cartography and world literature, and to envision alternative cartographies, what we call “cartographies of dissent”, that cut across the circuits of globalization. We welcome submissions that:

--Revise cartographic assumptions in world literature through spatial theory
--Critique Eurocentric chronologies and periodicities of literary history
--Trace transnational mappings of resistance to globalization in literary and cultural texts
--Chart the circulation of revolutionary texts and genres across borders
--Investigate material practices of dissent in transnational contexts

Can we perceive the stirrings of a transnational imaginary alternative to that of globalization precisely though such cartographies of dissent?

All submissions welcome; proposals are due on ACLA's online portal by November 15:

Please be advised that if you submit a proposal directly to the organizer, you must also submit it through the portal by the deadline. Participation at ACLA will require that you join the organization prior to the conference date.

cfp categories: 
modernist studies