Category Archives: Calls for Papers, Articles, Translations

24 April 2019 Death of Diplomacy as Literary Event Adhira Mangalagiri (QMUL) 5-7 pm

Room FG01, Faber Building, 23/24 Russell Square, SOAS, University of London

The study of South-South literary relations in the Cold War world often centers literary exchanges conducted under the auspices of diplomacy. Such an approach risks treating the literary as a passive reflection of the political arena, wherein literary exchange occurs in tandem with friendly political relations. At the same time, however, reifying the literary sphere as the site of political protest can fetishize literature as a mouthpiece of dissent thereby perpetuating the literary critic’s tendency to valorize subversion. I explore this methodological double-bind in South-South literary studies, offering insights from the case of China-India literary relations.

The China-India border war of 1962 has long been read as an end: to the period of state-led cultural diplomacy between China and India in the 1950s, to the spirit of China-India brotherhood that had accompanied such diplomacy, and to visions of the Third World propelled by Bandung ideals. Countering such narratives, this talk reads the 1962 China-India war as sparking a literary event in the Hindi public sphere. I introduce a field of post-war Hindi literary practice that takes the death of diplomacy as a cue for literary liveliness, posing the China-India war as the grounds upon which to rethink the imperatives of literature, the form of fiction, and the stakes of China-India comparison.

Bio:Adhira Mangalagiri is a Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature at Queen Mary University of London. Her research examines intersections between the Chinese and Hindi/Urdu literary spheres during the twentieth century, with a focus on the literary history of China-India comparison.


Organized by the Centre for Modern European Literature at the University of Kent, this summer school will offer intensive training in the principles and practices of comparative literature. Following the success of the inaugural CHASE summer school in comparative literature in June 2018, this second iteration will build on the first event while taking its intellectual focus in a new direction. The programme is designed for humanities students working on comparative research projects who wish to broaden their knowledge of the discipline, and their use of comparative methodologies, in the light of both classical comparativism and more recent theoretical frameworks within the emerging discipline of world literature and the rise of the global South. The summer school will bring together postgraduate students working in the various fields of comparative/world literature, introducing them to leading specialists in the discipline and offering them a valuable opportunity for both intellectual training and institutional networking.

The training programme will be delivered through seminars spread across three days. On the morning of the first day, students will be asked to give brief introductions of their current projects; on the afternoon of the third day, they will give full presentations on how these projects can be enriched by including lessons learned from the summer school. Days one and two will conclude with keynote lectures by figures of international standing, conceived as case studies in the theory and practice of comparative/world literature.
For more on the Centre for Modern European Literature, please see:

Student profile
Applications are invited from postgraduate students, either currently undertaking a PhD or about to start a PhD, working in the field of comparative literature broadly defined. The school is fully funded by CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities in South-East England); accommodation costs and tuition fees of successful applicants will be covered. Students will stay on campus for the duration of the school (3 nights) and will be expected to participate fully in all aspects of the programme.

Application process
Suitably qualified students should submit a brief CV and a one-page outline of their project to: Deadline for submissions is 12 April 2019; admission decisions will be communicated by early May. Up to 15 students will be admitted. Informal enquiries should be directed to: Dr Patricia Novillo-Corvalán

Programme Directors
– Ben Hutchinson: Professor of European Literature at the University of Kent, Member of the Executive Committee of the BCLA, and author of Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction (2018)
– Patricia Novillo-Corvalán: Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at the University of Kent and author of Modernism and Latin America: Transnational Networks of Literary Exchange (2018)
– Francesca Orsini: Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS, Member of the Executive Committee of the BCLA, Editor of Comparative Critical Studies, and PI of ERC project ‘Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies’

Keynote Lecturers
– Rosinka Chaudhuri, Professor of Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC), Kolkata.
– Jessica Berman, Professor of English; Language, Literacy, and Culture; and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

EMEL Workshop Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation

EMEL Workshop

Friday, February 15, 2019 – 17:00 to 19:00
In Hilary Term 2019 OCCT is running a workshop for European and Middle Eastern Languages undergraduates, in order to encourage and help students embarking on comparative literature work for the first time. Participants will be asked to give a 15 minute presentation of a paper connecting authors across different languages and cultures, with senior members of the OCCT Discussion Group acting as respondents. The aim of the workshop is to get undergraduates involved in the activity of the Discussion Group and give them the opportunity to receive feedback from more experienced researchers. The EMEL workshop will be held in Week 5.

For more info please email the co-conveners, Yousif or Mariachiara at

Call for Paper: MELODRAMA OUTSIDE OF ITSELF. ARCHETYPES, INTERMEDIALITY, MASS CULTURE. For «TESTO A FRONTE» (n. 61, November 2019), an Italian peer-reviewed review of translation studies, comparative literature and media studies.

Considered for centuries a marginal dramatic genre straddling the high and low-mimetic modes, with the seminal essay The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess (1976) by Peter Brooks melodrama has been credited the status of a dominant narrative form of mass culture. It is now clear that melodrama is a declination of modern imagination oriented to elaborate plots marked by a sharp ethical polarization, by an uninhibited taste for excess (lingering in absolute and devouring passions, as well as in extreme situations to the limit of representability) and by a smug aesthetic of amazement: in short a Manichean and boosted device which from the late Eighteenth century vaudeville spreads, during the Nineteenth century, in opera, in the currents of visionary, historical and social romantic painting, in the realist, naturalist, decadent novel, touching the modernist one, and, during the Twentieth century, explodes in the cinematic melo and then in the television seriality.
Literary studies, visual studies, film studies and television studies offer today many glances. sometimes contradictory, but always stimulating, on this complex phenomenon which has always been transversal to codes, genres and media.

Starting from the study of the historical origins of melodrama, the forthcoming issue of Testo a fronte aims at stimulating research contributions able to focus on its meta-historical, theoretical and intermedia dimension, studying in depth the most resilient archetypical structures and the evolving practices of the contemporary melodramatic universe. What about melodrama in after-postmodernism literary fiction, with its massive return to typically modern mimetic forms? What about melodrama in movies after the crisis of the Hollywood system of genres? What about melodrama in the very articulate system of genres and sub-genres of television fiction? What about melodrama in painting beyond abstraction and in general in the age of digital art?

We invite submissions from different scholar perspectives; possible topics can include but are not limited to:
– reconstruction of important moments in the history of melodrama
– identification and description of the archetypal and metahistorical features of melodrama
– implementation of the notion of melodramatic imagination
– definition and mapping of the intermedia dimension of melodrama
– analysis of melodramatic (literary, visual, audiovisual etc.) texts

Proposals, in Italian or in English (max 400 words), should be sent to:, by February 10th, 2019. Please attach a brief biography (maximum 150 words) and an optional selected bibliography (up to 5 titles) relevant to the issue theme.

Notification of acceptance will be sent to authors by February 20th, 2019.

Full papers will be due June 20th, 2019 and will be submitted to double blind peer review.