Latin America, Africa, and the Global Dimension of Literature: Pedro Ángel Palou and Sami Tchak

4:00 pm on Thursday, April 11, 2013
6:00 pm on Thursday, April 11, 2013
School of Education, 2 Silber Way, Room 130
The global economies of our information age demand an in-depth reflection on the meaning of literature as a transnational phenomenon beyond the universal idealism of the Romantic era and on the challenges writers face in specific globalized scenarios. Pedro Ángel Palou and Sami Tchak will address the following concerns: If literature is marketed as World Literature in order to be “understood” everywhere, would it lack significance if it did not belong anywhere? How can we make sense of literature as a common and shared cultural experience without losing awareness of local questions? Could a literature be labeled as “World Literature” only because it has been written in a language that, for the time being, has become hegemonic? What is the importance of high-quality literary works written in minor languages known to few? What are the considerations at work to understand literature as a cognitive model of human understanding across cultures? What role has literature played in the redefinition of identity within an increasingly transnational context, where refugees, exiles, and immigrants have transformed the landscape of national paradigms? How can we address the modern/colonial divide in terms of contact zones, such as Latin America/Africa in today’s world system? Since its emergence, popular film democratized the realm of culture and art by interpellating mass audiences through a non-verbal medium. How has cinema and other visual media transformed literary practices ever since? Is the film industry a threat for literature? What are the roles of readers, markets, publishing houses, and translation practices in defining the worldliness of a literature? What is the future of literature in the Information Age?