The Archipelagic Turn and the Future of Literary and Cultural Studies

(Panel)


Comparative Literature / Cultural Studies and Media Studies

Elena Lahr-Vivaz (Rutgers University-Newark)

Enmanuel Martinez (Rutgers University)

This panel proposes an exploration of what might be termed the recent “archipelagic turn” in Humanities and Social Science scholarship and how this epistemological and methodological shift intersects with—and might impact—the future of literary and cultural studies. For over a decade now, scholars including Godfrey Baldacchino, Elaine Stratford, and Helen Dawson, amongst others, have proposed the use of the island system or chain—the archipelago—as opposed to the individual island as an alternate model for island studies research: one that decenters and destabilizes established cartographies, as well as ways of reading and analyzing land masses, waterways, and the relationships between them. In this panel, we invoke the archipelagic turn within the context of literary and cultural studies. In doing so, we set out to answer such questions as: As a model of analysis, how might the archipelago benefit literary and cultural studies today? What might literary and cultural archipelagos look like, and how might we best account for them? Moreover, how does a suspension of the island-continent dichotomy through the relational framework of archipelagoes alter, if not enhance, readings of literary and cultural texts past, present and future? Papers from all disciplines welcome.

This panel proposes an exploration of what might be termed the recent “archipelagic turn” in Humanities and Social Science scholarship and how this epistemological and methodological shift intersects with—and might impact—the future of literary and cultural studies. Guiding questions directing this panel include: As a model of analysis, how might the archipelago benefit literary and cultural studies today? What might literary and cultural archipelagos look like, and how might we best account for them? Moreover, how does a suspension of the island-continent dichotomy through the relational framework of archipelagoes alter, if not enhance, readings of literary and cultural texts past, present and future? Papers from all disciplines welcome.