Red World Literature, University of Iceland (27.01.2023)
Red World Literature
University of Iceland, May 11-12, 2023
At the center of the literary-political project of the Soviet-sponsored Communist International, or Comintern (1919-1943), was the attempt to create a new canon of world literature that could rival the canon of bourgeois literature, centered in the cultural capitals of Europe. Surviving the Comintern, the project of creating internationalist world literature continued to influence the cultural landscape of the Second World during the post-war period. This project was far-reaching and included outreach to all the continents with an emphasis on Asia and Africa. Furthermore, cultural producers in peripheral locations looked toward the Soviet Union, and many sought to contribute to internationalist or red world literature. The conference contributes to recent efforts to chart the cultural geography of the internationalist literary field throughout the 20th century with an emphasis on tracing the various literary worlds that emerged within national and regional contexts. Specifically, we invite proposals on cultural traditions that developed at a distance from the Soviet Union or from locations and regions that were peripheral vis-à-vis the Soviet world.
Topics might include, but are in no way limited to:
- Internationalist World Literature and the Peripheries, e.g., focusing on uneven and combined development; local or regional literary worlds and networks.
- Internationalist World Literature and History, e.g., focusing on specific moments or periods of the 20th century; the historical trajectory of the internationalist world literary space.
- Internationalist World Literature during the Cold War, e.g., looking at the reception history of particular authors or groups during the Cold War; the effects of the Cold War on local or regional literary canons; the Cold War formulation of opposing Modernism and Realism.
- Internationalist World Literature and Literary Theory, e.g., addressing recent discussions on the Second World literary space and the questions that such inquiries have raised for materialist literary theory and criticism that draws on the world systems analysis.
- Internationalist World Literature and the Canon, e.g., addressing the circulation of internationalist literature and discussion through publishing houses, journals and magazines, translations, edited serials, and other collaborative networks that aimed to circulate red world literature.
- Internationalist World Literature and Political Movements, e.g., considering the interplay between the internationalist literary sphere and feminism, black radicalism, indigenous struggles, national, ethnic, and decolonization movements.
We invite proposals for 20-minute papers and proposals for workshops or roundtables on topics relevant to the conference themes. Particularly, graduate students and post-docs are encouraged to submit proposals. To propose a paper, please submit a 250-word abstract with a short biographical note by Friday, January 27, 2023, to email@example.com. Workshops and roundtables submissions should consist of a 1000-word outline of the session’s purpose and the contribution of each speaker sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, January 27, 2023.
The main languages of the conference are English and Icelandic. We welcome proposals in both languages.
Sponsored by Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages, Bókmennta- og listfræðastofnun Háskóla Íslands