CFP: Southeast Asia and World Literature (ASEASUK, University of Leeds, 5-7 Sep 2018)

Nazry Bahrawi's picture
Call for Papers
September 5, 2018 to September 7, 2018
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Asian History / Studies, Literature, Southeast Asian History / Studies, World History / Studies

This is a call for presentation paper for the following panel at the upcoming ASEASUK (Association of Southeast Asian Studies UK) conference to be held at the University of Leeds between Sep 5-7, 2018:

Panel: Southeast Asia and World Literature

The field of world literature is fast gaining traction as an emerging discipline across global universities as both a research theme (for example, Global South) and pedagogical focus (‘Great Books’ courses). These ventures often focus on major cultural units such as Europe, Chinese and Arabic. Very little attention has so far been directed at literary productions from Southeast Asia, rendering it a peripheral region within the ambit of world literature. However, there are indications on the ground that this might be changing. In 2015, Indonesia was featured as the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The following year, the Indonesian writer Eka Kurniawan received widespread critical acclaim for the English translation of his novel, Lelaki Harimau (Man Tiger). Singapore is also making waves internationally through its annual government-backed Singapore Writers Festival which have consistently attracted literary bigwigs such as authors Mohsin Hamid and Junot Diaz. This panel seeks to explore the place of Southeast Asia within world literature. Though not exhaustive, it welcomes papers that seek to address the following questions:

  • What accounts as a Southeast Asian literary classic? Is there a canon?

  • What makes a Southeast Asian text worldly?

  • What is the role and value of literary translation in Southeast Asia?

  • Do existing theories of world literature (such as David Damrosch on literary circulation, Franco Moretti on patterns, Pascale Casanova on cultural capital) apply to the context of this region?

Deadline for Paper abstracts: 31 May 2018

Format for Abstracts: Please submit your abstracts as a Word document with the following format: Title of abstract, Your name, institution and email address, Body of abstract (max. 250 words) to the convenor.

Contact Info: 

Convener: Dr. Nazry Bahrawi, Singapore University of Technology and Design