MLA 2019: Postcolonial Textual Transactions and Critical Reception
In his 2001 book, The Postcolonial Exotic: Marketing the Margins, Graham Huggan contends that writers from formerly colonized societies negotiate their marginality and the “realpolitik of metropolitan economic dominance” by providing “exotic registers” and making them “palatable” for “predominantly metropolitan audiences” (viii). This non-guaranteed MLA session organized by The Africa Since 1990 forum invites submissions examining literary texts from the Global South that circulate well beyond their immediate contexts of production. To what extent is this circulation due to the exoticism that Huggan elaborates in his book? What other factors may be at work in the appreciation and appropriation of these works in new environments? How are these narratives transformed in their new contexts and what is the role of the reader, whose taste is cultivated by writers and whose interpretation shapes the texts in novel sites? What formal and thematic considerations underpin the transformations of such texts into film and other generic categories? And if entities in such interactions cannot escape “without being changed at any essential level,” as Anna Gere notes in her description of the 2019 MLA Presidential Theme, how are readers transformed by their encounters with these texts in circulation? Prospective panelists should submit a 200-word abstract to Cajetan Iheka (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 15, 2018 with “MLA Panel” in subject line.