EVENT Apr 01
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CFP: Worlding (Semi)peripheral Literatures - special issue

Organization: Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory
Categories: Postcolonial, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, German, Genre & Form, Literary Theory, World Literatures, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2023-04-01 Abstract Due: 2023-04-01

Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory is an open-access, peer-review, online publication for academic research, published twice a year by the Faculty of Letters, Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj, Romania. It promotes free-access for academic work and it welcomes authors who want to share their research and resources with their peers. It encourages, recognizes and rewards intellectual excellence in interdisciplinary and intermedial approaches of literary culture, visual culture and theory. The journal welcomes papers in English (or, for regionally oriented topics, Romanian) from the following domains: comparative studies, including digital and posthuman studies; literary studies, cultural studies, including social and gender studies; media and film studies, literary criticism and theory, cultural poetics. The journal is indexed in: WoS (ESCI list), SCOPUS, ERIH PLUS, EBSCO, etc.


In the past decades, literary studies have been decisively reframed by world-system approaches (with their global and/ or transnational variants) that overtly acknowledge the power relations between cultural cores and peripheries which the former Eurocentric canon had assumed as implicit and undebatable (Saussy 2006, Heise 2017). The world frame of reference, inspired by Wallerstein’s take (1974, 2000) on global capitalism as a system characterized by the pressure of economic relations upon cultural production and diffusion, is bound to reform comparative literature and national literary histories. Worlding deconstructs the built-in understanding of culture as a non-conflictual field of humanistic values, Romantic universalism, and pacifist transfers from major to minor cultures. Recent world literature approaches have exposed precisely the power relations between cultures, marked by struggle, conflict, domination, as shown in the influential accounts provided by Franco Moretti (1998, 2000, 2013), Pascale Casanova (2004), David Damrosch (2003, 2009).

The aforementioned theoretical goals, bent on deconstructing implicit hegemonies and extending the modern canon beyond its Western core, have not yet been completed by full analytical counterparts to the inadvertent reinforcement of assumptions that they set out to dismantle, by acknowledging the role of peripheries in the world cultural dynamics.

Within this theoretical framework, the next issue of the Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory, to be published in July 2023, will be dedicated to reflections and analytical approaches on core-periphery relations, as well as the multi-dimensionality of cultural transfer processes.

Possible topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • close examinations of alternative modes of cultural transfer in (semi)peripheral literary cultures (diffusion, synchronization, others)
  • contentions on shifts in status  between “central,” or internationally recognised, and (semi)peripheral, or regional
  • descriptions and analyses of the mechanisms that enable system positions
  • proposals of a new critical vocabulary describing the peculiarities of literary (semi)peripheries, building on former proposals such as “in-between peripherality” (Tötösy de Zepetnek 1999), “temporary subcentres” (Thomsen 2008, 2017), “worlded peripherality” (Juvan 2019);
  • profiles of particular (semi)peripheral systems (Eastern-European or non-European)
    further theoretical and methodological proposals on the workings of literary networks as systems
  • case studies of writers, genres, literary mechanisms changing positions on the core-periphery spectrum

The submission should include: 5,000-7,000-word article, including 150-word abstract, 5-7 keywords, list of references (only cited works), 150-word author's bioprofile and the author’s photo-portrait (jpg, separate file). The submissions should be formatted as Word documents and sent to metacriticjournal@gmail.com.

Deadline for full papers (5,000-7,000 words for articles, 2,000-3,000 words for book reviews, 150-word abstract, 5-7 keywords, 3-5 theoretical references, 150-word bioprofile): 1 April 2023

Further reading:

Benson, T.O. (Ed.). (2002). Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation, 1910–1930. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Casanova, P. (2004). The World Republic of Letters. Translated by M. B. DeBevoise, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Damrosch, D. (2003). What is World Literature? Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Friedman, S. S. (2015). Planetary Modernisms: Provocations on Modernity Across Time, New York, Columbia University Press

Juvan, M. (2019). Worlding a Peripheral Literature. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kadir, D. (Ed.). (2004). Literary Cultures of Latin America. A Comparative History (Vol. IIII). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Martin, M., Moraru, C., Terian, A. (Eds.). (2018). Romanian Literature as World Literature. New York: Bloosmbury Academic.

Saussy, H. (Ed.). (2006). Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Wallerstein, I. (1974). The modern World System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century. New York: Academic Press.

WreC: Warwick Research Collective (2015). Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.



Mihaela Ursa