Rethinking Europe in the Contemporary Novel: Between the Regional and the Global

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting
contact email: 

Rethinking Europe in the Contemporary Novel: Between the Regional and the Global

American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting (Chicago, March 16-19, 2023)

The idea of Europe as a cultural project has been in crisis since its inception. In the last twenty years, postcolonial and global approaches to literature and culture have accounted for this crisis both in terms of the many violences (linguistic, cultural, geopolitical, philosophical, social, economic) that any homogenous conception of a European identity entails and on the grounds of the profound asymmetries that eurocentric views project into our understanding of transcultural relations on a global scale. Whether we conceive Europe as a construction, an invention or a myth (Youssef, Sinopoli, Gnisci, Delanty, Balibar, Passerini), it is worth reconsidering the imaginaries of the continent in today’s novel. The ongoing war in Ukraine has brought to the fore the complexities of a region largely forgotten, as well as the widening of the North-South and East-West divides within Europe, with direct affectation on the circulation and consecration of literary works beyond the dominant Western European traditions and languages. In this context, we welcome papers that critically interrogate and trouble the idea of Europe from the often ignored standpoint of Southern and Eastern European contemporary fiction. Our interests include, but are not limited to: 

  • Formal, thematic, material and historical approaches to the idea of Europe in the contemporary novel, with a focus on the dynamics of circulation and consecration between the regional and the global. 
  • Decentralized perspectives of Europe, i.e. “Other Europes” (Weller 2021), “Third Europe” (Hammond 2016) “New Europe” (Cornis-Pope 2013, Domínguez 2015), “Southern Europe” (D’Auria and Gallo 2023), “Mediterranean shores” (D’Auria and Gallo 2023), and the role they play in the globalized literary market. 
  • Discussions of new literary constellations and the introduction of alternative analytical and cartographical frameworks such as Eurasia (Hann 2016, Gasser 2019, 2022) or Eurafrica (Hansen and Jonsson 2014). 
  • Exchanges and transnational circulations of ideas, representations, imaginaries and forms of knowledge about the idea of Europe from other, non-European traditions.
  • Literary-critical readings of specific texts of less commonly read literatures in Europe and the European imaginaries that they contribute to forge. 
  • Diasporic, displaced, migrant and border narratives and their intervention in the destabilization of inherited notions about Europe and Europeanness.


Last day to submit a paper to a proposed seminar: Monday, October 31.


Please submit your abstract via the ACLA website: