Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages Series (CHLEL) under the auspices of the International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA)
Call for proposals for comparative literary historical volumes within the series organized by The Coordinating Committee for the Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages Series (CHLEL) under the auspices of the International Comparative Literature Association.
Are you working on a comparative literary history
- that is built on innovative methodological ideas?
- that sets a new agenda for historiography?
- that takes up new theoretical and practical challenges of how to write a comparative literary history?
– this call might be interesting for you!
We are inviting proposals for multi-authored innovative, comparative literary histories.
We offer professional feedback by a team of 16 high-ranking international scholars, visibility within a prestigious series and a publication platform within John Benjamins.
Proposals should present the main idea and profile of the project, names of main editor(s), and a description of the international collaboration, comparative methodology and historiographical innovation. Please state what subseries your project would best fit (see below). Proposals should be a maximum of five pages (or 2000 words) and can be sent to the President Karen-Margrethe Simonsen (firstname.lastname@example.org), Vice-President Mark Sandberg (Mark Sandberg email@example.com) or the Secretary Helga Mitterbauer (Helga.Mitterbauer@ulb.be).
Below you can find a summary description of the series. Please see more also on our webpage
(https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/projects/chlel/about-chlel/) and on the webpage of John Benjamins (https://benjamins.com/catalog/chlel), which lists all thirty-two of the previously published CHLEL titles. If you have any questions regarding the series, please contact any of the CHLEL officers as listed above.
Short description of the series and subseries
The series is organized and supported by The Coordinating Committee for the Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages Series (CHLEL). This series was launched by the International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA) in 1967. Its purpose is to publish a series of comparative historical studies, each edited by an international team of scholars. This ongoing project is based on two fundamental premises. First, the writing of literary histories confined to specific nations, peoples, or languages must be complemented by the writing of literary history that coordinates related or comparable phenomena from a transnational point of view. Its work is multilinguistic and intercultural. Second, it is almost impossible for individual scholars to write such comprehensive histories, which implies that we must now rely on structured teamwork drawing collaborators from different nations. CHLEL, the editorial ICLA Coordinating Committee that supervises this series, consists of sixteen scholars from various countries. The Committee serves as a review board that aims to foster the coherence as well as the innovativeness of each of the volumes produced. The publisher of these volumes is John Benjamins (Amsterdam and Philadelphia). We have four subseries:
1. Periods and stylistic currents. The first volumes in this series selected periods or currents in which the transformation of forms and ideas is lively and promotes an understanding of the historical process in literature. In this series we also publish volumes on epochs or currents that display a correlation of stylistic expression and where the fruitfulness of the international give and take (as opposed to the idea of national pre-eminence) can be demonstrated. Examples from the many past projects in this subseries include: International Postmodernism; Nonfictional Romantic Prose; Modernism; and the recently published Landscapes of Realism.
2. Geographical Volumes. This series includes volumes on the literature and the history of literary cultures in specific regions, where proximity has fostered shared historical experiences of conflict and cultural confluences. New volumes in this series focus on literatures in European languages in a transcultural, transnational or global perspective. The three most recent publications in this subseries are: History of the Literary Cultures of East Central Europe; A Comparative History of Literatures in the Iberian Peninsula; and Nordic Literature: A Comparative History.
3. Topic-oriented volumes. This series includes volumes that rewrite literary history from the perspective of a certain topic. The focus is on topics that have a transnational and transhistorical character, meaning that the topic has an important international relevance for the shaping of literature in more than one historical period. The upcoming A Comparative Literary History of Modern Slavery is a good example of this subseries and its logic.
4. Problem-oriented volumes. This series consists of one-volume works that focus on the critical discussion of one or more problems related to literary historiography. Examples include: New Literary Hybrids in the Age of Multimedia Expression; Or Words to that Effect: Orality and the Writing of Literary History; and a project currently in development on the literary draft.
Working within these principles, the scholars entrusted with each project are given the latitude needed to put together the best possible volumes. Writing comparative histories by way of international teamwork has proved to be a revolutionary procedure in literary historiography. Few scholars can claim the ability to cover the entire range of literature relevant to the phenomena under study. Hence the need for partial syntheses as the basis upon which more truly international syntheses in turn are built. With the Committee’s help, each project’s leaders design the methodology pertinent to their subject. The resulting volumes serve as a historical resource for students of literature from many periods and nations.
The research methods of these Comparative History volumes encompass the entire range of approaches in comparative literature of both the recent past and today. Earlier volumes include approaches inflected by New Criticism, structuralism, hermeneutics, deconstruction, reception theory, New Historicism, gender studies, post-colonial theories, and interart studies; essays in more recent projects have similarly incorporated the perspectives of queer theory, ecocriticism, affect theory, transnational and migrant literatures, theories of digital media, and critical race theory, according to the requirements of the individual topics and project frameworks. Comparative literary history has in part focused on epochs or currents that display a correlation of stylistic expression and where the fruitfulness of the international give and take (as opposed to the idea of national pre-eminence) can be demonstrated. The comparative approach highlights formal as well as thematic analogies and contrasts and makes inquiries into the historical context as well as crossdisciplinary (especially aesthetic) connections.