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CFP for Post-Magical Realist Worlds panel at CCLA 2023

CFP to Post-Magical Realist Worlds panel at CCLA 2023

The Post-Magical Realist Worlds research group of Canadian Comparative Literature Association invites submissions to our session “Post-magical Realist Worlds: Contemporary Postcolonial Storytelling Modes, Critiques, and Perspectives” for the coming CCLA congress 2023. We welcome critical voices and diverse perspectives, recognizing the multiple ways magical realism has been developed or reused globally and various reactions to its heritage in Latin American countries connected to its initial boom and elsewhere in world. This year our particular focus is on the 2023 CCLA conference theme of Reckonings and Re-imaginings in Comparative Literature (more details below).

2023 CCLA conference and Congress will take place on May 29-June 1, 2023 at York University in Toronto. The deadline for submitting paper proposals is December 15, 2022. The official languages of the conference are English and French.

Magical realism, though connected to various origins, is most associated with the mid-twentieth century Latin American literary (and iconic Gabriel Garcia Marquez). Then it became “the literary language of the emergent post-colonial world” (Bhabha 7). It has been developing ever since as a mode of expressing existence in the worlds marked by both colonial conquest and anticolonial resistance, where “improbable juxtapositions and marvellous mixtures” (Zamora and Faris 76) exist side by side. Magical realism has circulated widely, picked up by authors in formerly colonized nations around the world as well as more recently in the post-communist countries (with authors like Olga Tokarczuk), and adapted to their own, local, representational needs. Today, we can speak of modes like Aboriginal realism and decolonial realism, which draw on certain conventions of magical realism but separate themselves from the Eurocentric binary logics of “magic” and “realism” that it upholds.


We would like you to join our on-going discussion of multiple modes of representing, mediating, or distorting the postcolonial worlds that magical realism was initially developed to capture. The question of what has come after magical realism is central to this discussion. We are interested in post-magical realist modes of representation in contemporary media, literature, cinema, and the arts, as well as popular culture.

Possible topics for exploration and further discussion are:

  • magic(al) realisms (Flores; Roh)
  • the marvellous real (Carpentier)
  • African and African American magical realism (Cooper; Quayson)
  • Indigenous/Aboriginal realisms (Ravenscroft; Maufort)
  • Latin American authors, artists, and filmmakers’ rejections of and engagements with magical realist heritage (McOndo or the Crack literary groups, as well as new realism in cinema)
  • animistic realisms (Garuba; Quayson)
  • decolonial/anticolonial realisms (Ciccariello-Maher)
  • magical realism in post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe
  • postcolonial realisms (Bjerk)
  • post-magical realism and worlding
  • magical realism as a “global” postcolonial phenomenon (Bhabha, Slemon) or regionally specific
  • magical realism versus European realism married to the tropes naturalism or scientism
  • interpretations of magical realism as an international commodity or a particular kind of world literature, cinema and television shows
  • magical realism in cultural politics
  • magical realisms in/as popular culture.

Please submit 250-300 word abstracts for 15-20 minute presentations as MS Word attachments to: dr. Agata Mergler agatamer@yorku.ca or to CCLA conference chair dr. Jack Leong cclaaclccongress2023@gmail.com (with an annotation “Post-Magical Realist Worlds session”)

Works Cited

Bhabha, Homi K. Nation and Narration. Routledge, 1990.

Parkinson Zamora, Lois and Wendy B. Faris, eds. “Editor’s Note.” “On the Marvelous Real

in America,” by Alejo Carpentier, in Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community,

edited by Parkinson Zamora, Lois and Wendy B Faris. Duke University Press, 1997,

75-76.

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