DUE DATE EXTENSION - Call for Essays: “Rethinking Globalization: The Transnational and American Literature”

deadline for submissions: 
March 31, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
JTAS (Journal of Transnational American Studies)
contact email: 


“Rethinking Globalization: The Transnational and American Literature


Guest editors: José Liste Noya and Begoña Simal

jliste@udc.es; bsimal@udc.es


Intentionally and, implicitly, imperiously overarching terms such as “globalization” invite multiple (mis)readings, if not reductive simplifications. Globalization is generally equated with its hegemonic neoliberal, Western –now literally ‘world’– model and –through that expansion from ‘Western’ to ‘world’– it is often aligned with the supposed end of the nation-state. Ironically, this has produced qualms amongst those very leading nation-states who have most benefited from this process and not just those minor players who bear the brunt of providing the localized workforce that fuels this transnational dynamic. In this light, the transnational paradigm emerging from the process of globalization has begun to ambivalently question the relevance and future agency of such entities as the nation-state, even supposedly exceptional ones such as the United States. Ironically, part of this exceptionality may be seen to lie in its inherent globalizing impetus, whether economic or cultural, its inherent transcendence of mere nationalist boundaries from within the nationalist paradigm itself. Thus, a breach can be seen to open up between a globalization policed by powerful nation-states and their closely monitored international agencies, a transnationalism submitted to an established international hierarchy, and a globalization that sheds its totalizing ambitions in opening itself out to the worldly plurality and diversity of localized, though not necessarily geographically territorialized groupings and communities, a nationalism of the ‘trans-’, nationalism without the nation-state.

These world-wide changes have had an undeniable impact on literary and cultural studies, where the emphasis on identity-politics that emerged in the last decades as a counter to globalizing, hegemonic (Anglo)Americanisms within and without the United States, now finds itself realigned in the light of technological transformations and ongoing migrant shifts that redefine notions of a specifically placed and temporally contextualized cultural identity. The erosion of the traditional, unidirectional model of emigration, transformed by the increasing mobility of individuals that has brought about new identities, necessarily leads us to a revision of the American ethnic paradigm, especially visible in recent narratives. Similarly, American literature is not immune to the “discontents” created by the hegemonic notion of globalization. The implied unicity of the global is unsettled by the multiplicity it also opens up both within and without. Is globalization a wholly appropriate term to deal with the inherent unsettledness and deterritorializing movements of the transnational? Contrarily, is the transnational merely a necessary bridging term in the globalizing movement to some sort of post-national articulation? This more or less asymmetrical reciprocity foregrounded by these terms has been seen by some theorists as both cause and consequence of a transcultural artistic and literary production. How does American literature foster, reflect or problematize such transculturality. How do the transcultural and the transnational relate to each other? And can one be transcultural or transnational without also being translingual? Is the contemporary literature of the United States a site for such theoretical, analytical and pragmatic translations?


We seek submissions on topics including, but not limited to:


  • Theoretical foundations (and pitfalls) of Transnational American Studies.
  • “Roots vs routes” revisited: the revision of the American ethnic paradigm in the age of globalization and diasporas.
  • American literature and alternative models of globalization: minor transnationalism, discrepant cosmopolitanism…
  • Contemporary American literature: Post-ethnic or trans-ethnic? Multicultural or transcultural? Transnational or transcultural? Or a new mono-culture?
  • Globalization and language(s): the identity-politics of World English(es).
  • Global identities or identical worlds?: multiplicity and its containment.
  • Towards a World Literature? The end(s) of American literature?


Please send proposals (400-500 words), together with a short (one-paragraph) bio, as Word or PDF attachments, by 31 March 2017. Completed papers (6000-8000 words) will be due by 1 October 2017.