Materiality, Infrastructure, and Circulation in Comparative and World Literature. The Eighth Sino-American Comparative and World Literature Symposium Sept. 26-28 2019, Penn State University, University Park, PA

Event Description

Consider the following thought experiment: Imagine that humans had evolved not on dry land, but in the depths of the ocean. What would human culture look like? How could it be transmitted? Could there be anything resembling literature, without the possibility of inscription? Could there be such a thing as aquatic circulation?

This brief speculative thought-experiment is meant to foreground the role of material infrastructures in the creation, preservation, and circulation of literature and related symbolic forms and their intercultural transfer. The theme of the Eighth Sino-American Symposium on Comparative and World Literature is meant to focus our attention on the complex, triangular relationship between materiality, infrastructure, and circulation  in comparative and world literature. We welcome papers on literature and related media such as cinema, television, and visual and material cultures. Related topics may include:

  • World systems of cultural exchange and transfer
  • Critical infrastructure studies
  • Interrogation of artifacts
  • Depictions of materiality, infrastructure, and circulation in literature and cinema
  • Migration as the material basis of cultural formations
  • Translation as cultural transfer
  • Scriptibility and Legibility

Papers delivered at the Symposium will be considered for a special issue of Comparative Literature Studies on this topic.

Participants in the symposium will receive lodging for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and most of their meals to be included in the conference registration of $100.

Please submit an abstract of 100 words or less and brief bio to cl-studies@psu.eduby 25 February 2019.

Event Details

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