World Literature and Dissent

School of English Research Colloquium, 17–18 June 2016


Drawing from A Thousand Plateaus,
Introduction: Paragraph 25, courtesy Marc Ngui

Open Panel Submission

World literature stands at the crossroads between a criticism limited to the philological project of mapping a globalized literary world and one that takes account of the revolutionary and political potential of literature to challenge our global present. Timothy Brennan’s recent Borrowed Light lays bare concerns that contemporary studies addressed to literatures of ‘dependency, uneven development and cultural incommensurability’ have raised the stakes ‘not only [for] a nonparochial conception of world literature but also for a dissident model of international citizenship’. While postcolonial theory was instrumental in redrawing the map of literary studies by encouraging the incorporation of peripheral literatures within the literary canons of former centers of colonial power, the legacies of colonial resistance and appropriation of silenced histories so central to the postcolonial project have fallen out of focus in recent studies of world literature. The aim of World Literature and Dissent is to reconsider the role that dissent plays in the contemporary aesthetics of globalisation and, specifically, in our theorisations of world literature as a field of study. We seek, in addition to the contributions of our invited speakers, brief papers that will share in our commitment to a rejuvenated theorisation of world literature. Possible topics or fields of interest include:

Contemporary literary journalism
Contemporary resistance movements and activism
Critical theory and its ‘posts’
Hemispheric studies, the ‘Global South’
Migration and diaspora studies
New media
Precarity, sovereignty, dissensus, hegemony
Prize culture
Publishing history, book markets
Systems theory
Translation studies
Transnationalism and postnationalism

We have a very limited number of open places within our programme and invite brief papers (~15–20 minutes) from scholars at any career stage addressing some meaningful aspect of world literary theory and dissent. Open Panel Submissions are now closed.