[UPDATE; revised deadlines] Asia and the Historical Imagination: Edited Volume

full name / name of organization: 
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Asia and the Historical Imagination is an edited volume of essays that explores papers concerned with representations of Asia's past. The essays submitted will complement a 3-day workshop held at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) from 30th July to 1st August 2015. The volume aims to generate vibrant discussions about fictional interpretations of historical narratives and events in Asia (both ancient and modern). We are interested in examining how frameworks from different disciplines can be used to assess the idea of an "imagined" Asia, and how we can explicate the intersections of history and fiction alongside the social, economic, cultural, and political exigencies of the region; for instance, how can we read Paul Theroux's Kowloon Tong: A Novel of Hong Kong (1997) against the backdrop of the recent protests in Hong Kong? How do we interpret Vyvyane Loh's Breaking the Tongue (2004) alongside Singapore's Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2015? How do contemporary events and recent historical developments reconfigure our understanding of fictional histories and historical fictions?

The volume is also keen to explore the representations of Asia's past in relation to ongoing debates about World Literature. Scholars like David Damrosch, Eric Hayot, Franco Moretti, and Pankaj Mishra have examined some of the pitfalls in the study of World Literature, most notably its Western-centricity: how can we develop theoretical frameworks to "de-provincialize" literary studies? We would like to explore how historical representations of Asia "speak" to this debate, and consider how historicized readings of fictional works (in English and native languages) can potentially produce a more nuanced and thoughtful understanding of the cultural and political landscape in the making and shaping of a continent.

We are especially interested in papers on Japan, India, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.
Please send abstracts (about 250 words) and CVs to asia_imagination@outlook.com by 1 July 2015. Papers are due by 30 September 2015.