Towards a World Literature - thematic section of "Ticontre" journal (n°2-2014) - deadline 05/04/2014

full name / name of organization: 
Stefano Calabrese, Antonio Coiro, Alice Loda
contact email: 

Movement is a crucial factor in our time. The multiplication of paths, contacts, exchanges on a global scale is having a significant impact on literary production worldwide and, consequently, on the ways researchers and scholars observe, read and classify it. Over the last decades, as a consequence of the multiplication of migration writings and market extension, an increasing need for transnational views on literature has emerged. Whilst the notion of 'national' literature has been significantly problematized and discussed, numerous theoretical approaches entailing comprehensive and newest perspectives have arisen. A crucial and fascinating concept, which has been introduced over the last decade, is that of 'world literature', which has been developed especially in Francophone and Anglo-Saxon contexts.

On the one side, revisiting and adapting a concept in use even before the early theorization of Goethian Weltliteratur, a group of scholars including David Damrosh, Franco Moretti, Emily Apter, Pascale Casanova, contributed to the theoretical foundation of the discipline, basednot only on the circulation and diffusion of literary works,but also on aesthetic and formal features that have progressively emerged or are still emerging.

On the other side, with a different but related critical perspective, a significant contribution to the definition of world literature has been provided by the French post-colonial and migratory literary discourse, in particular with the manifesto Pour une littérature-monde en français followed shortly after by the eponymous theoretical volume edited by Michel Le Bris and Jean Rouaud (2007). In that case 'world literature' refers, more than to circulation or reception of works, to the hybrid and 'creole' nature of creative productions in the age of movement and migration, following findings and perspectives of Édouard Glissant among others.

In the Italian context the notion of world literature has been addressed in two recent studies: Vittorio Coletti's Romanzo mondo. La letteratura nel villaggio globale (2011) and Rosanna Morace's Letteratura-mondo italiana(Morace, 2012). These studies reflect the abovementioned dual nature of the debate. In fact, Coletti explores the de-nationalisation of the novel as a form and its characteristics, whilst Morace investigates – through a number of case studies - migrant and transcultural writing in the Italian context, tracing a map of common textual features in narrative works such as polyphony, multiple focuses and hybridisation of forms and genres.

In light of this framework we accept contributions that address the theme of world literature and transnational writing through diverse approaches and perspectives and in particular:

  • Theoretical and methodological contributions revolving around world literature, transnational and transcultural literature. This stream includes contributions that will discuss impact, potential, and critical aspects related to the notion of world literature on the Italian, European and global scene.
  • Contributions crossing the notion of world literature through one or more thematic or conceptual analyses. We particularly encourage contributions dealing with the categories of space and time, the idea of movement, the creation of hybrid spaces.
  • Contributions lying on an historical-comparative axis, addressing one or more literary genres. In particular we encourage papers focusing on the genre of novel: on the 'weight' of the western novel in a transnational literary field, on the relation between its diverse typologies in a comparative or diachronic perspective, on the category of 'global novel', on the influence that other narrative forms have on this genre, which is still dominant in the contemporary panorama.
  • Contributions addressing translation and self-translation, dealing with production, audience and reception within the framework of world literature, translingual and multilingual writing.
  • Contributors may well be inspired by cognitive poetics, the approach followed by a growing number of scholars, especially in the British and American traditions, who in the last twenty years have tried to take advantage of the recent discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and cognitive psychology: the research focus in this case may be centred on the cross-cultural processes activated in our mind when reading literary texts, with special attention to fiction: from the complex mind reading operations we apply to characters to the sophisticated abilities necessary to construct fictional worlds, from readers' evaluation of narrators' reliability (source tagging) to the 'cognitive costs' of genre conventions.
  • Monographic contributions focusing on one or more author/work that could represent debates and reflections upon world literature, transnational and transcultural writing.

300-word abstract for 40,000-50,000 character papers (approx. 6,500-7,000 words), with a separate, short (150words) bio-bi should be sent to before April, 5th. Accepted contributions will undergo peer review before publications.

Please send inquiries to Alice Loda and Antonio Coiro,

Thematic section: «Towards a World Literature» edited by Stefano Calabrese, Antonio Coiro, Alice Loda


Language: Italian, English, French, Spanish

Max length: 40,000-50,000 characters (approx. 6,500-7,000 words)

Abstract: 300words

Bio-bibliographical note: 150words

Deadline for abstracts & bio-bi: April, 5th, 2014

Notice of acceptance: April, 20th, 2014

Dead line for accepted contributions: July, 5th, 2014

Peerreview: yes

Mail for abstracts and papers: