Debating World Literature through National Literature (ACLA 2022, Taipeh - extended deadline)
This seminar seeks papers that reflect on how national authors attempt to introduce and present their countries through the lens of the literature to the world readers, on the one hand, and how the concept of world literature functions at the national and international levels, on the other hand. Envisaging this reciprocity as a point of concern does not either exclusively disregard the hegemony implicit in the discussion of the concept of world literature or take it as a single way of approaching world literature studies. We are interested in papers that deal with the ambiguity of the processes through which peripheral literature become members of the “World Republic of Letters”, and how this process is experienced vice versa. World literature, from Goethe’s proposal till the current debates, is the process of international communications, interactions, translations, and mutual exchanges which should not be limited by definitions or restrictions. It refers to the literature which is open to the world, and it has a unique way of exchange with other nations. The mutual understanding between different nations in the world through the lens of the literature shows how literature by means of language, narratives, symbols, and metaphors builds a connection, better to say a dialogue, between countries by transferring ideas, cultures, information, etc.
Analyzing national framing in world literary studies looms large as there has been a pushback against globalization as homogenization in the past few years. The national returns with a renewed force in our contemporary political world under the guise of new dictatorships arising, namely, in the case of Turkey or now with Afghanistan. In this context, the reification of boundaries necessitates a re-examination of national literature, and in our view, reading world literature through discussing the circulation and reception of the central literature in the periphery and vice versa is one such way. We welcome original papers that contribute to the theoretical and methodological discussion of the concept of world literature, as well as analyses and comparative interpretations of literary works that tackle this reciprocity.