Comparative Literature beyond Eurocentrism

Omid Azadibougar's picture
Call for Papers
July 1, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Literature, Humanities, Intellectual History

Call for Papers for Special Column:
Comparative Literature beyond Eurocentrism

Following the two special issues scheduled for 2022, entitled Comparative Literature beyond Eurocentrism, co-edited by Zhang Longxi (City University of Hong Kong) and Omid Azadibougar (Hunan Normal University), the Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures will dedicate a special column to this topic. The aim is to provide a long-term forum to further the debate and pose more questions to review and test the assumptions of the discipline of Comparative Literature and its practice from non-European/non-Western positions.

The special issues argue that even after the rise of World Literature, the majority of literary works discussed and addressed in comparative literary studies still come from traditionally dominant languages and literary traditions. Therefore, asking whether the current paradigms of Comparative Literature are sufficient at all for the study of non-European literary traditions, the issues reflect on Eurocentrism as a methodological challenge of the field, an obstacle that has to be overcome in order to adjust the field for adequate critical encounters with “new” texts. There are also major pedagogical issues that will have to be considered in broadening the field: from textbooks used in classroom setting, to the availability of languages and expertise, to the accessibility of “remote” literary traditions either in the original or in translation—to name only a few.

As part of its mission statement to contribute to the advancement of the field of Foreign Studies in China, and Comparative Literature internationally, the Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures, published at Foregin Studies College of Hunan Normal University, will dedicate this special column to explore the potentials and limits of doing Comparative Literature beyond Eurocentrism through conventional paradigms, to investigate the methodological adjustments required to broaden research agendas, and to propose ways of overcoming the pedagogical hurdles to broadening the field.

Contributors are invited to visit the journal website (the URL below) to review the Call for Papers circulated for the special issues. The debate can be expanded theoretically beyond the vision outlined by the issues, discuss specific case studies that could provide blueprints for further development, or examine the limits and potentials of academic curricula globally. Here are a few suggested topics:

  • Decoloniality and the possibility of Comparative Literature in “peripheries”;
  • Colonialism, orientalism, and the idea of “comparison”;
  • World Literature as/against asymmetrical global literary circulation;
  • Capitalism and the formation of global literature;
  • Institutional requirements for reforming comparative literary studies;
  • Textbooks and pedagogical considerations for broadening educational visions;
  • Linguistic accessibility and the challenges of (national) language education policies;
  • Literary translation and language pairs.

Upon submitting papers, please make sure to mention that they are for this special column. We appreciate your contribution and look forward to having your take on the subject before long.

Contact Info: 

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Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures
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