CFP Special Issue: Literatures of the Post-Socialist European Diaspora in the United States (July 31, 2014)

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Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Ioana Luca

Special Issue: Literatures of the Post-Socialist European Diaspora in the United States (July 31, 2014)

Since the 1990s, scholars have emphasized the need for "transnational" (Fishkin), "global" (Giles), or "planetary" (Dimock) approaches to US American literary production. The increasingly transnational perspectives on ethnic and immigrant writing that have emerged in the field also intersect with concerns about limitations posed by borders, languages, and disciplinary boundaries articulated by comparative literature scholars, such as Spivak, Damrosch, and Saussy. While transnational scholarship has examined connections between the United States and other parts of the globe, the role of post-socialist Europe in US American Studies and the significance of the writing by US immigrant authors from former socialist nations have rarely been explored. This special issue will address this oversight. It will primarily focus on the emergence and consolidation of a body of fiction by postsocialist US writers, much of it has already received literary acclaim.

The issue will examine themes centered around but not limited to the following questions:
-What is the place of post-socialist diasporic writing in US literary studies?

- What methodological intersections between US American studies, post-socialist studies, immigration and diaspora studies can be forged in view of the fictional work?

-What literary traditions, cultural forms, and ideological legacies inform the work of these writers? What predominant genres are employed?
-How does their writing address the legacies of the Cold War in the United States?
-What connections does their work establish between the United States and events in post-socialist Europe, including the economic, social, and cultural transformations in each country and the wars in the former Yugoslavia as well as the NATO intervention in the region?
-What forms of post-1989 migration or exile in the United States are chronicled in this writing? What diasporic or transnational post-socialist immigrant practices in the United States are chronicled or imagined?
-What connections exist between this work and other US literary production, including the work of other migrant authors?
-How does the new writing intervene into US-based debates about neoliberalism, globalization, gender, race/ethnicity, immigration, trafficking, human rights, diaspora, and citizenship? What forms of critique do these works pose to the US cultural imaginary?
-What issues arise from the global circulation and translation of these writers' work?
Please send two-page abstracts to and by July 31, 2014. Final essays of 8,000-10,000 word length will be due on December 1, 2014. As part of preparing the special issue, we will organize a related conference panel at the March 2015 American Comparative Literature Association meeting in Seattle. However, contributors will not be required to attend in order to be included in the special issue.