ACLA 2022: Multilingual, Transregional, Comparative Approaches to South Asian Literature
The concept of South Asian literature is inherently unstable; South Asia is a regional term that covers several countries, some of which are still enemies recovering from shared histories of violence. In addition, the region of South Asia encompasses dozens of literary languages, including English – ironically the one “common” language of the region that is also the most "foreign." This panel seeks to animate comparison as a postcolonial and decolonizing practice in South Asian literary criticism. Comparison calls on scholars to think across boundaries of language, region or nation-state to imagine new points of connection among authors, texts, genres and modes. We are especially interested in regional approaches to the literary field (for instance, considering Indian and Pakistani literature together or writers working in different regions with a nation-state), work that straddles multiple languages and genres, questions of diaspora and translation, papers on texts that circulate in both local and global circuits, the impact of literary festivals, and various mediations between the world, the text, the critic and the reader that make criticism possible.
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