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Internationalist World Literature and Form

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Organizer: Hunter Bivens

Co-Organizer: Anna Björk Einarsdóttir

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This seminar focuses on the alternative routes of cultural circulation that emerged in the socialist ‘second’ world during the 20th century. The Russian Revolution of 1917 ushered in a new period of artistic energy and literary production that promised new ‘internationalist’ dawn in the history of world literature. Networks that connected literary producers and radicals across the globe appeared along with local institutions, prizes, writers’ unions, literary associations, journals, magazines, and conferences. In many places, this infrastructure survived into the post-war period, with the Cold War era shifting towards movements and political projects emphasizing solidarity between the second and third worlds. This seminar addresses the aesthetic trends, the cultural institutions, the literary movements, and the literary forms that were particular to this internationalism within the cultural sphere. We seek papers that address aspects of this alternative cultural sphere, its networks, institutions, publishing mechanisms, and organization while also calling for papers that engage with the literary forms that this moment produced and the theoretical discussions of what internationalist world literature should be. The seminar 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.

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