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The Writing of Violence in Non-Western Literature

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Organizer: Mahmut Mutman

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The Writing of Violence in non-Western Literature   This seminar explores the myriad connections between contemporary literature and violence across non-western landscapes (e.g. Latin America, the Caribbean, East Asia, South Asia, Indigenous, Africa, and the Middle East). Individual papers may therefore focus on any narrative techniques or genres relevant to the writing of violence in such spheres, while also unraveling whatever fascinating sub-conceptual dimensions of cruelty, vengeance, betrayal, deception, catastrophe, rage, war, etc. Furthermore, the seminar may employ whatever literary artifacts in order to think through the further relations between violence and time, space, desire, language, nothingness, pain, pleasure, image, sensation, fear, and the body.    Ultimately, the intent is not merely to recycle reductive theories of violence as a purely destructive force but rather to open discussion toward its more complex and ingenious roles in the realm of literature as a source of imagination, creativity, and heightened consciousness. Thus the presentations here can stray from more social realist descriptions of a graphic order to surreal, abstract, poetic, or even mystical renderings of the question of violence at work in non-western literary circles. The result should be a cross-cultural conversation across global territories that have produced their own unique inscriptions and interpretations of this multi-faceted force of human experience, whatever horrific or enchanted forms it might take.

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