CFP: Long Waves and Global Frequencies (Warwick UK, September 2014)

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Long Waves and Global Frequencies: World Literature and Broadcast Culture at the End of Empire

A conference hosted by the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick, UK

Thursday 4th and Friday 5th September, 2014

Keynote Speakers include:  Professor Alison Donnell (University of Reading), Dr James Procter (Newcastle University), Professor Helen Yitah (University of Ghana)

Bringing together literary criticism, global book history, biographical writing and cultural studies, this conference examines the interconnected history of broadcast culture across three continents in the post-war era. Papers will explore the stylistic and political contours of literary production in the Caribbean, West Africa, and the UK, paying particular attention to the cultural and media networks through which texts and performances circulated. We are especially interested in the role played by literary agents and publishers, broadcasting platforms such as Radio Ghana, individual radio programmes such as Caribbean Voices, and the mediating influence of institutions such as the BBC. Mapping the uneven production, circulation, and reception of cultural forms within the world-system at the time of decolonization, the conference will shed new light on the dynamics of the literary marketplace and the global linkages that existed between diverse literary and media productions.

Over the last decade or so there has been a significant resurgence of interest in the idea of world literature, a development arising in part from a sense that ‘globalization’ has thrown the received disciplinary protocols of literary studies into question. Franco Moretti, for instance, has posited the idea of a world literary system in which texts, forms, and genres circulate and compete for primacy (“Conjectures on World Literature”, 2000). More recently, scholars such as Huggan (2001), Brouillette (2007), and Low (2010) have analysed the uneven global circuits through which literary products pass, as well as the power wielded by particular literary centres or institutions to consecrate specific authors or styles.

The conference seeks to contribute to an understanding of the complex dialogues between cultural producers, audiences, and literary and broadcasting institutions in specific regions within the world-system. We invite scholars and students to submit abstracts for papers that consider the intersection of world literature, broadcast culture, and decolonisation. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

·         Histories of cultural production and broadcasting in the Caribbean, Ghana, and UK in the era of decolonization
·         Nationalism and broadcast culture
·         Issues of genre, mode, voice and form
·         The formation of literary canons and of national and transnational literary publics
·         The BBC as conduit for the circulation of literary and cultural forms
·         The output of Radio Ghana and other African broadcasting systems
·         The output of literary programmes such as Caribbean Voices and West African Voices
·         The work of producers such as Una Marson and Henry Swanzy
·         Radio, literature and the politics of race and immigration in the Windrush era
·         World-systemic approaches to broadcast culture
·         The dynamics of the global literary marketplace

We are also interested in papers that consider comparative studies of literary and broadcast culture relating to other geographical and temporal locations.

Individual papers should be no longer than 20 minutes. Please send a 300 word abstract and a biographical sketch of approximately 150 words to Victoria Smith at by 2nd May 2014. Proposals for panels (3 speakers) are also welcome: please send a 200 word summary of the rationale for the panel, in addition to individual abstracts.

If you have any questions or for more details contact:
Michael Niblett –
Christopher Campbell –
Victoria Smith –

This conference is part of the AHRC-funded project, Decolonizing Voices: World Literature and Broadcast Culture at the End of Empire.