Anglophone Literature, Anglo-American Institutions (Part 2) (Panel)


Global Anglophone

Anna Muenchrath (Appalachian State University)

How have British and American institutions shaped Anglophone literatures across the 20th and into the 21st centuries? In the decades following decolonization, London and New York remain literary capitals by dint of their concentration of literary capital: the infrastructure of publishers and periodicals, agencies, and awards that, staffed by professional readers, support the creative act. Centers of cultural gravity, they continue to set standards and bestow prestige, offering more reliable access to readers and remuneration, drawing the raw materials of writers and manuscripts from around the world for “refinement.” The power to publish and to secure market access comprises acceptance and rejection, facilitation and suppression, assistance and distortion. This panel welcomes papers that examine the relationships between Anglophone writers and the publishers, editors, and agents who represent dominant Anglo-American literary institutions. What influence do such partnerships wield over the creation and reception of Anglophone literary works—over the making of texts and tastes? Can writers alter the institutions, even as they are altered by them? How do rival centers arise and challenge the balance of power? Inquiries along these lines will illuminate the publishing conditions which accord such privilege to English and interrogate the rising, disputed discipline of the Global Anglophone, helping to fashion a more critical, materialist, and pluralist approach to literatures in English.
This panel seeks papers which investigate the relationships between Anglophone writers and the publishers, editors, and agents who represent powerful British and American literary institutions. How have Anglophone literatures writ large been shaped by Anglo-American publishers and other institutions? How might inquiries along these lines help to illuminate the rising, disputed discipline of the Global Anglophone?