July 12-13, 2019: Institute of Modern Languages Research at the University of London (London, England)
From Ian Watt to Joseph Slaughter, scholars of literature have understood the novel as a genre that emphasizes the formation of the individual in relation to a nation-state. However, in recent decades, the interconnectedness of the global market has provoked increased interest in literature that crosses national borders. The success of such contemporary novels as Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table, and Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s Ausser Sich denotes a widespread need for narratives that reflect our transnational reality, examining how, when, and why we cross borders.
This conference seeks papers about novels that represent families crossing national borders. How can the unit of the family be used to understand migration in literature? What can the novel genre tell us about how families are transformed by border crossings? How does a focus on transnational families affect novel structure? How do novels that focus on transnational families challenge the conventional wisdom that the novel genre privileges individual subjectivity?
We invite contributions on literatures written in English but also in languages other than English. The conference language will be English.
Transnational Families, Transnational Novels will be held at the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the University of London on July 12th and 13th, 2019. It is being organized in cooperation with Frauen in der Literaturwissenschaft FrideL e.V.