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Conference on “Comparative Literary Histories of Slavery”

Dear AIDEL members, I am sending you a Call for Papers for a Conference on “Comparative Literary Histories of Slavery” whose deadline is August 31st, 2015.
Best wishes to you all.
Daniela Carpi

Comparative Literary Histories of Slavery
ICLA,  Vienna, July 21-27, 2016: The Many Languages of Comparative Literature

The origins and causes of slavery often seem to be found within national or regional political contexts but slavery is also intimately connected with international circulation and its forms and effects are transnational. In this section we will focus both on comparison between different national histories of slavery and on the transnational or global aspects of slavery. The intention is to raise a number of questions regarding the problem of comparison and historicization: what do we actually compare and how do we place the comparison within different histories of political, economic or cultural development of modernity?
In the section we have a special focus on literary histories of slavery. The word ‘literary’ should be understood in a broad sense (anything from literary genres like the novel, poetry, drama to the movie, travel narrative, diary, account book, cartography etc). The underlying assumption is that comparisons may look differently depending on the materials compared and their contextualization. Also, the history of slavery raises a fundamental problem of literary genre, since much literature about slavery is written in new, experimental or alternative genres. The literary history of slavery thus has to be written in a different way than classical literary histories.
We invite papers that address both the problems of texts, methods of comparison and historicization and that may address some of the following or similar questions: Do we compare micronarratives of different forms of slavery or larger developmental histories? Is slavery best understood through the perspective of microhistories or longue durée? What understanding of comparison is at stake and what kind of literature? If slavery is transnational and based on circulation rather than national contexts, how do we frame the comparison geographically and methodologically?

If you are interested in participating in this group section, please go to: 
The number of this session is 17318.
It is located in Group Section in Section E: Comparatists at Work
Deadline for proposal: August 31, 2015.
Responsible: Karen-Margrethe Simonsen, Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, Aarhus University, Denmark, email:
Frits Andersen, Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, Aarhus University, DK
Mads Anders Baggesgaard, Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, Aarhus University, DK
The group behind this session is editing a literary history of slavery, under the ICLA.

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