[UPDATE] - Mia Couto: A Critical Companion (Abstracts - 15 December, 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Grant Hamilton & Dr David Huddart
contact email: 


Submissions are invited for an edited anthology of new and existing research on the work of Mozambican writer, Mia Couto.

The novelist, poet, and journalist Mia Couto is one of Africa's best-known writers. Born in Mozambique in 1957, Couto is today internationally acclaimed for the way in which his intoxicating writerly style crafts hallucinatory environments of thought and geography. The author of over twenty works of poetry and prose fiction – most recently The Tuner of Silences (Biblioasis, 2012) –, Mia Couto is read today as a significant voice in world literature.

For many of those who do not read Portuguese, the encounter with Couto's work is often through the excellent translations of David Brookshaw. However, it is perhaps because of this implied distance from Couto's original writing that one sees an overall reluctance in the English-speaking world to critically engage with Couto's work. Indeed, book-length critiques of Couto's work in the English language can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

It is the position of the editors that this "implied distance," commonly regarded in any work of translation, should not quieten critical response to the work of this important figure of world literature. As such, this edited anthology – provisionally titled Mia Couto: A Critical Companion – seeks to gather together both the most significant extant critical work in English on Couto and new research from those who understand the significance of Couto's writing to contemporary discussions of African literature, lusophone studies, and world literature. Ultimately, then, this anthology of criticism aims to be a comprehensive introduction to the critical terrain of Mia Couto's literary thought.

Those who have already committed work to this project include Professor David Brookshaw, Professor Phillip Rothwell, Professor Patrick Chabal, Professor Bill Ashcroft, and Henning Mankell.

Potential contributors offering new research to this collection are invited to consider, but are in no way limited to, the relationship between Couto's writing and the broad notions of:

• Nation / nationalism
• Translation (into English)
• Revolution / war
• Identity
• Literary context / intertextuality
• Story-telling
• Eco-criticism
• the generations

Expressions of interest/abstracts (300 words) with brief author biography (100 words) should be submitted before 15 December, 2013.

Final articles will be 5,000–6,000 words in length and submitted by email before 1 May 2014 (provisional). All original articles will be peer-reviewed.

Enquiries should be directed to the editors, Dr Grant Hamilton or Dr David Huddart, at coutocompanion@gmail.com

Deadline for abstracts/expressions of interest: 15 December, 2013
Deadline for articles: 1 May, 2014 (provisional)

About the Editors:

Grant Hamilton is Assistant Professor of English Literature at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has published in the fields of African literature, post-colonial literature and theory, and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. He is the editor of Reading Marechera (James Currey, 2013), and author of On Representation: Deleuze and Coetzee on the Colonized Subject (Rodopi, 2011).

David Huddart is Associate Professor of English Literature at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has published widely in the fields of post-colonial literature and theory, and world englishes. He is the author of Homi K. Bhabha (Routledge, 2005) and Postcolonial Theory and Autobiography (Routledge, 2008).