World Literature as Book History

deadline for submissions: 
January 11, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Anna Muenchrath, SHARP

This CFP is for a 2 person plus moderator panel at SHARP 2021, (to be held virtually July 26-30, 2021).

World Literature as Book History

There is probably no literary field as indebted to the circulation and distribution of texts as world literature. In fact, in his field-shaping 2003 work What is World Literature?, David Damrosch famously defines world literature as “all literary works that circulate beyond their culture of origin, either in translation or in their original language.” It seems then that there are obvious overlaps between world literature, a field conditioned by the transnational or global circulation of texts, and book history and the study of print culture, whose methods involve trace the routes of texts through their networks of production, distribution, and reception. While there is fascinating and important work happening at this intersection, the overlaps between these two fields are often not examined systematically within the central discourse of world literature studies. This panel aims to parse the particular methodological affinities between these two fields. What do these two fields have to say to each other? And how can the methods of one answer the questions of the other?

Case studies are welcome, but papers should also think more broadly about questions of methodology applicable to the fields as a whole. The two papers will be selected in order to maximize the diversity of approaches, time periods, and geo-political regions.

This panel will consist of 2 speakers giving live formal 20-minute papers, plus moderated discussion (60 minutes total).

Please submit a paper title and a 300-word abstract to by January 11, 2021.