[UPDATE] Kennesaw State University's First World Literature Conference / March 16-17 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Khalil Elayan / English Department
contact email: 

The bourgeoisie has, through its exploitation of the world market, given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. […] In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature. —Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
In the 1848 Manifesto of the Communist Party, Marx and Engels coin "world literature," a term that currently names an area of study for students and academics and oftentimes a survey course that many Western universities require. Marx and Engels, though, also anticipate trends of uneven development and the destruction of indigenous cultural materials under the conditions of super-imperialism and a constantly expanding marketplace. In consideration of the revolutionary wave in the Middle East with the ongoing "Arab Spring" there and in China with calls for a "Jasmine Revolution," the 2012 World Literature Conference at Kennesaw State University will address the role of World Literature in reflecting, mediating, and transforming the concepts of empathy, democracy, forgiveness, cosmopolitanism, and the status of the nation-state. We invite scholars to take interdisciplinary approaches to the reading, reception, interpretation, translation, and teaching of World Literature. Possible topics may include:
• Exilic, diasporic, or counter-national texts
• The commodification, marketing, and consumption of other cultures
• Ethnic, sexual, generic, or media-textual hybridity
• Empathetic reading and the role of forgiveness in World Literature
• Aesthetic form, cultural capital, and uneven development
• Shifting geographic, topographic, and identitarian markers in World Literature
• Specters of utopia and ideologemes of democratization in World Literature
• Historiography and canonicity of World Literature
• Peripheral, transcultural, and "global village" notions of modernity
• Genre or medium in relation to visual/textual economies
Conference papers should read no longer than 20 minutes. Please send a 300-word abstract and a 50-word biographical sketch to Larrie Dudenhoeffer at ldudenho@kennesaw.edu or Khalil Elayan at keleyan@kennesaw.edu by 30 December 2011. Kennesaw State University is located in Kennesaw, GA (North-metro Atlanta area). Our Website address is www.kennesaw.edu.