CFP: National Literature in Multination States, CCLA-ACLC 2019

At least since the early 1800s, one of the most concrete proofs of a nation’s legitimacy has been the existence of a national literature. Literature has long been instrumental in documenting claims to the historical continuity of the nation, just as it is frequently deployed in shaping contemporary national narratives of origins and belonging. Literature is thus frequently conceived as both the manifestation and the progenitor of a national imaginary. However, it is also well known that there are remarkably few unitary nation-states, begging the question of what constitutes a national literature in a polity in which two or more ethnonational groups coexist. For the CCLA’s forthcoming annual meeting at the University of British Columbia, June 2-5, 2019, we are organizing a session to explore the status of national literature in multination states in the twenty-first century. While we are especially interested in Canada—which is home to such “national” literatures as English-Canadian, Québécois, Acadian, Métis, and so on—we welcome proposals treating the literature of multination states from around the world and across history.

Possible avenues of investigation are, among others:

  • The importance of literature in shaping/resisting unifying conceptions of the nation;
    • In what ways and to what degree is the nation written/reflected in literature?
  • The relationship between national and national minority literatures;
    • Within a multinational state, how do national minority literatures influence the creation of pan-national imaginaries?
  • The importance of historically based representations of the national past in revising contemporary conceptions of the national imaginary;
    • To what extent are reassessments of the national past, and in particular the role of national minorities in that past, influential in changing perceptions of the nation?
  • The recent “return” (revalidation) of the nation as a formative category of social belonging;
    • g. How has literature contributed to the recent resurgence of nationalist discourses?
  • The historically changing conceptions/theories of the nation as reflected in literature;
    • How do theories of the nation and of literature intersect?

Please send proposals by Nov. 30, 2018, to both Albert Braz ( and Paul Morris ( The panel organizers will also be investigating the possibility of eventual publication for which all submissions may be considered.


Depuis au moins le début du XIXe siècle, l’une des preuves les plus concrètes de la légitimité d’une nation est l’existence de sa littérature nationale. Depuis longtemps la littérature joue un rôle déterminant qui justifie toute prétention à la continuité historique d’une nation, tout comme elle est aussi évoquée pour édifier des récits nationaux contemporains de sources et d’appartenances diverses. La littérature est donc fréquemment sollicitée à la fois comme la manifestation et l’origine de l’imaginaire national. Pourtant, il est aussi généralement reconnu qu’il n’y a que très peu d’états nationaux unitaires. Ce constat soulève la question de savoir comment se constitue une littérature nationale au sein d’un régime politique où deux ou plusieurs groupes ethno-nationaux coexistent. Dans le cadre du prochain colloque annuel de l’ACLC à l’University of British Columbia du 2 au 5 juin 2019, nous proposons une session dont l’objectif consiste à explorer le statut de la littérature nationale au XXIe siècle. Bien que ce colloque s’intéressera plus précisément à une réflexion sur la situation au Canada – un pays qui abrite les littératures « nationales » anglo-canadienne, québécoise, acadienne, métisse et d’autres encore – nous accueillerons également des propositions sur la littérature des états multinationaux du monde entier à travers l’histoire.

Voici, parmi d’autres, quelques pistes de réflexion :

  • L’importance de la littérature dans la mise en forme de conceptions unitaires de la nation ou la résistance de la littérature à celles-ci ;
    • De quelle manière et dans quelle mesure la nation est-elle écrite ou réfléchie en littérature?
  • La relation entre les littératures nationales et les littératures en situation minoritaire;
    • Dans les états multinationaux, comment les littératures nationales minoritaires influencent-elles la création d’un imaginaire pan-national?
  • L’importance des représentations littéraires du passé historique national pour la révision des conceptions contemporaines de l’imaginaire national;
    • Dans quelle mesure reconsidère-t-on le passé national, et en particulier le rôle joué par des nations minoritaires dans le passé, tout comme leur influence sur l’évolution de la perception de la nation?
  • Le retour récent (la revalidation) de la nation comme catégorie formatrice d’un sens d’appartenance sociale;
    • Par exemple : comment la littérature contribue-t-elle à la résurgence récente des discours nationalistes?
  • Les conceptions/théories changeantes de la littérature comme reflétées dans la littérature;
    • Sous quel rapport les théories de la nation et de littérature se croisent-elles?

Veuillez envoyer vos propositions de communication avant le 30 novembre 2018 à Paul Morris ( et à Albert Braz ( Les organisateurs de la session examineront aussi la possibilité de publication éventuelle et toutes les soumissions seront considérées.

CFP: University of Macau

Please click the link below for details on the Call for Papers for the 2019 Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association to be held at the University of Macau from July 29 to August 2, 2019.


Book Launch: Darnell Moore and Alexander Chee

Another Story Bookshop and the Women and Gender Studies Institute, U of T, present the dual book launch for Darnell Moore’s “No Ashes in the Fire” and Alexander Chee’s “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel”. They will be in conversation with Rinaldo Walcott. The event is also co-sponsored by the Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, U of T.
Tuesday, October 2nd at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom
1214 Queen St. West
Doors open at 6:30pm and the event begins at 7:00pm
It is free to attend and open to the public. 
The entrance to and the bathrooms at the venue are wheelchair accessible.

“No Ashes in the Fire” (Public Affairs):

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighbourhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn’t the last time he would face death.
Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he shares the journey taken by that scared, bullied teenager who not only survived, but found his calling. Moore’s transcendence over the myriad forces of repression that faced him is a testament to the grace and care of the people who loved him, and to his hometown, Camden, NJ, scarred and ignored but brimming with life. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society’s edges can thrive.

“How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” (Mariner Books):

As a novelist, Alexander Chee has been described as “masterful” by Roxane Gay, “incendiary” by the New York Times, and “brilliant” by theWashington Post. With “How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” ,his first collection of nonfiction, he’s sure to secure his place as one of the finest essayists of his generation as well.

“How to Write an Autobiographical Novel” is the author’s manifesto on the entangling of life, literature, and politics, and how the lessons learned from a life spent reading and writing fiction have changed him. In these essays, he grows from student to teacher, reader to writer, and reckons with his identities as a son, a gay man, a Korean American, an artist, an activist, a lover, and a friend. He examines some of the most formative experiences of his life and the nation’s history, including his father’s death, the AIDS crisis, 9/11, the jobs that supported his writing—Tarot-reading, bookselling, cater-waiting for William F. Buckley—the writing of his first novel,Edinburgh, and the election of Donald Trump.

By turns commanding, heartbreaking, and wry, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel asks questions about how we create ourselves in life and in art, and how to fight when our dearest truths are under attack.

CFP: Environmental Humanities

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for the next issue of 452oF: Journal of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature, which will focus on “Environmental Humanities: Ecocriticism and Cultural Decolonialization“.

The journal has published nineteen issues so far and been included in several indexes. If you are still not familiar with 452oF, we kindly invite you to have a look at its last issue at

Best regards,

452oF Editorial Board


Estimados colegas:

Nos complace hacerles llegar la convocatoria del próximo número de 452oF: Revista de Teoría de la Literatura y Literatura Comparada, cuyo monográfico versará sobre “Humanidades ambientales: ecocrítica y descolonización cultural”.

La revista cuenta ya con diecinueve números publicados y ha sido incluida en numerosos índices. Si aún no la conocen, les invitamos a consultar su último número en

Reciban un cordial saludo,

Equipo Editorial 452oF

International Comparative Literature Association Update

Dear friends and colleagues,

This is to announce the new weblink to the International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA) in English,

or  in French.

You will also be able to download for free the latest edition of Literary Research/Rechérche Littéraire which is now published online.

You can directly become members to the ICLA without being a member of a national association, by contacting the treasurer of your region.

The forthcoming ICLA conference held in Macau 2019 is also announced. The conference website is now in process and once it is ready, I’ll email you the link.

Please share this information to anyone who may be interested.

Marie Thérèse Abdelmessih

Prof. of English & Comparative Literature

Cairo University & Kuwait University on secondment

Director, MA Program, Comparative Literary & Cultural Studies (KU)

CFP: Comparative Canadian Literature: New Directions

We are organizing a session on ‘Comparative Canadian Literature: New Directions’ for the HSS Congress 2019 at UBC in Vancouver, June 2-5.  Building on the work of pioneers in the comparative studies of Canadian writing such as Ron Sutherland, Clément Moisan, Patricia Smart, E.D. Blodgett, Barbara Godard, Philip Stratford and others the session will explore new directions which have emerged since 2000.  Speakers can consider these suggested topics:

English-French literary exchanges in Canada

English-Canadian and Quebec women writers

European theory in English Canada and Quebec

The role of translation and/or  self-translation

The role of gender identity among Canadian and Quebec authors

Indigenous writers in English Canada and Quebec

Indigenous languages and literatures

Ethnic minority writing in English Canada and Quebec

Individual bilingual authors

New media used in English Canada and Quebec

Our plan is to make this a joint session between the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures and the Canadian Comparative Literature Association.  All speakers must be members in good standing of  ACQL or CCLA, and must present in person.

Before Nov. 5, 2018 send your 300-word proposal to the joint-session organizer,  Joseph Pivato by e-mail:


Nous désirons proposer une séance qui explorera Les nouvelles voies des études littéraires comparées au sein du corpus canadien. Dans la foulée des travaux en littérature canadienne comparée, notamment proposés par des précurseurs tels que Ron Sutherland, Clément Moisan, Patricia Smart, E.D. Blodgett, Barbara Godard ou encore Philip Stratford, cette séance désire sonder les nouvelles voies/voix apparues depuis le trournant des années 2000.  Les propositions pourront aborder un ou plusieurs des aspects suivants :

Les échanges littéraires entre les fancophones et les anglophonres du Canada

Les écrits des femmes au Canada anglais et au Québec

La présence des théories européennes au Canada anglais et au Québec

Les incidences de la traduction et de l’auto-traduction

Les questions d’identité de genre telles que véhiculées par les auteurs canadiens et québécois

Les auteurs autochtones au Canada anglais et au Québec

Les littératures et langues autochtones

Les écrits des minorités culturelles au Canada anglais et au Québec

Les auteurs bilingues et leur pratique

Les nouveaux médias et leurs utilisations au Canada anglais et au Québec.

Nous désirons  créer une séance conjointe qui réunira l’ACQL/ALCQ et le CCLA/ACLC.

Veuillez prendre note que tous les présentateurs doivent  être membre de l’ACQL ou l’CCLA, et doivent présenter leur communications en personne.

Veuillez soumettre les propositions de 300 mots à l’organisateur de cette séance, Joseph Pivato à l’adresse courriel suivante:

CCLA 2019: Circles of Conversation

Circles of Conversation

From June 2-5, 2019, as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the Canadian Comparative Literature Association (CCLA) invites scholars to celebrate its 50th year by developing circles of conversation around issues facing comparative literature into the future.

In an article titled “In the Wake of Cultural Studies: Globalization, Theory, and the University” (2001), Tilottama Rajan outlines a genealogy of encyclopedic thought in which she notes that the root of the word, enkyklios paideia, denotes a “circle of learning.” Rajan then traces the encyclopedic impulse through the philosophical and literary systems of Romanticism, and into the present-day conditions for knowledge production, which are dominated, according to her, by culturalism.

To what extent must the comparative literary formation contend with multiple and overlapping circles of knowledge production? Undoubtedly, contemporaneous conditions within the university inspire ever-new versions of totalization, governmentality, rationality, and systems logic, especially considering the mediations that define, if not dominate, our cultural moment: from the circulation of networked (visual) culture, to the infrastructures that govern patterns of information, to the densification of our media ecologies, and so on.

In addition to these discussions about the contemporary cultural moment, the circle is an important marker of power as demonstrated by the existence of boundaries, centres and peripheries, exclusions, and forms of inequality. Building on theories of political sovereignty, Giorgio Agamben (1995) writes that the very concept of sovereignty derives from making an assertion of one’s exceptionality to the rule—from becoming a maker of circles. Given this, how can the circle be mobilized otherwise as a rhetorical aid in challenging its association with exceptional power and the boundaries that its very existence depends upon?

Indeed, circles have aesthetic qualities. Circles become spheres. They unfold dimensions of space, develop concentric formations, and accommodate themselves to immersion, layering, rupture, incompletion. It is through the aesthetic dimension that circles create vectors, establish ties and elicit conversations. Circles enlarge; they bring disparate elements from the outside to the inside, and they engage in a process of enrichment through dialogue. What, then, are the aesthetic and imaginative dimensions of the circle when it comes to practicing comparative literature in this expanded field?

Proposals for pre-arranged panels, roundtables, and innovative formats are strongly encouraged. Joint sessions with other organizations are also very welcome but should be arranged as soon as possible.

Keynote speaker: Professor David Palumbo-Liu, Hewlett Nixon Professor, and Professor of Comparative Literature, at Stanford University, and President of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA).

Please submit 250-word abstracts for 20-minute presentations, as Word attachments, to Program Chair Dr. Joshua Synenko ( by December 15, 2018.

Cercles de conversation

Dans le cadre du Congrès des sciences humaines du Canada qui se tiendra du 2 au 5 juin 2019 à l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique (UBC) à Vancouver, l’Association Canadienne de Littérature Comparée (ACLC) invite les chercheuses et chercheurs à célébrer le 50ème anniversaire de l’association en formant des cercles de conversation autour des enjeux entourant le futur de la littérature comparée.

Dans son article « In the Wake of Cultural Studies: Globalization, Theory, and the University » (2001), Tilottama Rajan expose une généalogie de la pensée encyclopédique et fait remarquer que la racine du mot « encyclopédie », enkyklios paideia, signifie « cercle éducatif ». Rajan retrace ensuite le mouvement de l’impulsion encyclopédique au sein des systèmes philosophiques et littéraires romantiques et jusqu’aux conditions actuelles de production du savoir, dominées selon elle par le culturalisme.

Dans quelle mesure la formation en littérature comparée devrait-elle composer avec les cercles multiples et entrecroisés de production du savoir? Les conditions actuelles du système universitaire inspirent indubitablement un renouvellement de notre manière de penser la totalisation, la gouvernementalité, la rationalité et la logique systémique, particulièrement si l’on considère les médiations qui définissent, voire dominent, le moment culturel qui est le nôtre, médiations qui vont de la circulation de la culture (visuelle) en réseau aux infrastructures qui gouvernent les modes de circulation de l’information, en passant par la densification de nos écologies médiatiques.

Le cercle est aussi un important indicateur de pouvoir qui signale des frontières, établit des distinctions entre le centre et les périphéries, marque des exclusions et des inégalités. Dans la lignée d’une certaine tradition de théorie politique sur la souveraineté, Giorgio Agamben (1995) soutient que le concept même de souveraineté implique l’assertion d’un statut d’exception par rapport à la règle, statut qui correspond au pouvoir de façonner les cercles. Ceci étant, de quelle façon le cercle peut-il être mobilisé autrement, c’est-à-dire comme outil rhétorique qui défie son association avec le pouvoir d’exception et les frontières dont son existence même dépendent?

La dimension esthétique du cercle doit aussi être prise en considération. Nos cercles culturels sont des sphères en devenir. En se déployant dans l’espace et en développant des formations concentriques, les cercles permettent l’immersion, la stratification, la rupture, l’inachèvement. C’est même par leurs qualités esthétiques que les cercles créent des vecteurs, établissent des liens et suscitent des conversations. Les cercles permettent d’étoffer ; ils incorporent des éléments disparates venant de l’extérieur à l’intérieur de leur rayon et nous engagent dans un mouvement d’enrichissement par le dialogue. Quelles sont donc les dimensions esthétiques et créatives du cercle pouvant être appliquées à la pratique de la littérature comparée, en tant que celle-ci évolue dans un champ en pleine expansion?


Les propositions pour des séances thématiques, des tables rondes ou des présentations au format novateur sont fortement encouragées. Des séances conjointes avec d’autres associations sont aussi les bienvenues et devraient être organisées dès que possible.


Conférencier d’honneur : David Palumbo-Liu, professeur Hewlett Nixon et professeur de littérature comparée à l’Université Stanford et président de l’American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA).


Veuillez soumettre vos propositions de 250 mots pour une présentation de 20 minutes, en pièce jointe en format Word, à l’organisateur du colloque, Dr. Joshua Synenko ( au plus tard le 15 décembre 2018.

CFP: American Comparative Literature Association

We are pleased to announce that the paper submission portal for ACLA 2019 (Georgetown University in Washington, DC, March 7-10, 2019) is now open and available at Please fill out all necessary fields in the online form to propose a paper. Abstracts must be received by 9 AM EST on Thursday, September 20, 2018.

Current ACLA guidelines specify that each ACLA member may submit only ONE PAPER to ONE SEMINAR for consideration for the 2019 Annual Meeting. We urge all prospective presenters to be in touch with seminar organizers prior to submisssion; contact information for seminar organizers is available on the page for each seminar.

  • Be sure to log in. Your login for is NOT the same as the login you might have used in purchasing a membership, and you do not need to purchase a membership to submit a paper proposal.
  • If you are logged in, and the form is still not appearing for you on this page, it is because the system has detected that you have already proposed a paper.
  • Please contact if you have any questions.

Submitting a paper here does NOT guarantee your participation in the ACLA’s 2010 Annual Meeting. The organizer of the seminar to which you are submitting your paper will review and provisionally accept or decline your submission by Thursday, October 4th at 9am EST.

The ACLA Program Committee will then review all seminar proposals during October and notify seminar organizers of acceptance or rejection on or around November 1st, 2018..

Please note:
As a participant, you agree to:

  • Be current in ACLA membership and registered for the Annual Meeting by midnight PST Tuesday, January 15, 2019.  (2019 Memberships and Registrations will be on sale beginning on or about Oct. 1, 2018.).
  • Reply promptly to all requests for information from the seminar organizer and the ACLA Secretariat, including requests for final program copy.
  • Attend all sessions of the seminar.
  • Notify the organizer of your seminar AND the ACLA Secretariat immediately if you are unable to attend the conference.
  • Communicate all special requests to seminar organizer and the Secretariat so as to ensure that they are considered.
  • Add to your list of “safe senders” in your email account, ensuring that email communications with you will be delivered.

Please review your information carefully before you submit. Contact with any questions.

CFP: Literary Back-Translations

Over time, some translations of literary works are returned to their original languages. For example, Antonin Artaud’s 1931 French translation of Matthew Gregory Lewis’ gothic novel The Monk was back-translated into English in 2003. Such back-translations challenge the assumption that an original can only be superior to its translation and raise questions about what an ‘original’ actually is. They also resist generic classification: should we consider them as ‘adaptations’, ‘versions’, ‘refractions’, or literary works in their own right? By asking these and other questions, this special issue of Translation and Literature on ‘literary back-translations’ responds to the call of several scholars, such as André Lefevere, Katja Krebs, and Laurence Raw, for new approaches drawing on both adaptation and translation studies, rather than conceiving them as autonomous and competing disciplines.

Contributors are invited to reflect on translation as a creative process as well as a cultural product, and to consider the phenomenon of back-translation, in terms not limited to but including: ideology (such as back-translations motivated by feminist or postcolonial agendas), creativity (back-translations spotlighting the notion of authorship), or material history (back-translations restoring lost texts for their original audiences). Either the source or the target language of the translations discussed will be English; studies of literary texts translated from or back into any modern language are welcome.

Abstracts (c.250 words) and a paragraph-long biography
(for information not publication) are invited by 15 November 2018.
Please submit to
Complete essays (c.7,500 words) will be required by 15 November 2019.