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Beyond World Literature: Critiques and Approaches from a Luso-Hispanic Perspective

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Organizer: Krista Brune

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World Literature has re-emerged in recent decades as central to discussions of the state of comparative literature as a discipline. In these debates, perspectives from the Lusophone and Hispanic worlds are often marginalized, ignored, or forgotten. For critics and writers from Latin America and Iberia, as well as for scholars of Luso-Hispanic literature, the concept of World Literature has invigorated and problematized studies of the production, circulation, translation, and reception of Latin American and Iberian literary works. Contemporary scholars like Ignacio Sánchez-Prado, Mariano Siskind, and Héctor Hoyos reflect on how Latin American writers have engaged with the influences, interests, and market demands of World Literature since the nineteenth century. Other critics, including Roberto Schwarz, Silviano Santiago, Abel Barros Baptista, and Ignacio Infante, have intervened in debates on World Literature from a Luso-Hispanic perspective by considering how dynamics of social, political, and economic power impact linguistic, literary, and cultural exchanges. Schwarz’s concept of “misplaced ideas,” which referred to the implementation of liberalism in Brazil while slavery remained legal, could also be applied to constructs of modernity, cosmopolitanism, and, now, World Literature emanating most often from Anglo-American, Francophone, and Germanic contexts. For writers and critics from Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and other parts of the Luso-Hispanic world, cosmopolitanism and World Literature tend to emerge as related, yet distinct, categories that must be navigated in their creative and critical practices.
This seminar invites explorations of these negotiations, critiques, and expressions of World Literature from a Luso-Hispanic perspective, including, but not limited to, the following topics:

Translation as theory, practice, and institution of World Literature
Untranslatability, illiteracy, and orality as resistance
Editorial “Booms” and the global visibility of Luso-Hispanic literature
Cosmopolitanisms and particularisms
Anxieties of influence and imitation
Thinking beyond “World”: planetary, urbanity, Global South 

By examining how Lusophone and Hispanic literary works and cultural criticism respond to and engage with World Literature as a theory and a practice, this seminar aims to unsettle existing approaches to World Literature and to recognize the contributions of Luso-Hispanic writers and critics to these conceptual and disciplinary debates.  
Please submit a 200-word abstract through the ACLA paper submission portal by September 20th. The languages of the seminar will be English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

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