CFP – “Print, Public Readership, and Alternative Literary Modernities​”

Along with the progress of the European Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, literature was commercialized and extensively printed for common readers, popular fiction expanded, and public readership developed all as markers of literary modernity. However, the European literary modernity is not the sole instance of print enculturation and communal readership. For instance, print and vernacular fiction expanded respectively under the Song (10th-13th centuries) and the Ming (14th-17th centuries) in China, and Latin Americans developed non-metropolitan presses and communal subjectivities in the latter half of the 18th century. More importantly, far from being the exemplar, the European literary modernity has been recast, domesticated, localized, translated, and adapted to the material circumstances of non-European communities as they have formed their cultures of print and communities of readership during the 19th century and afterwards. With a view of the antecedent instances of literary modernization and the extensive recastings involved in literary modernities outside Europe, this panel seeks contributions that describe

  • modernization, advancement in press, and the rise of public readership of literature,
  • print cultures, literary modernities, and formation of nation-states,
  • vernacularization of language, rise of literacy, and democratization of literature,
  • women’s press, female readership and writership, and modern cultural citizenship,
  • printing popular literature and embourgeoisement of culture,
  • print, trans-regionalism, and the conception of modern (national) subjectivities,
  • print, production of world literature, and defining modern (national) identities,
  • print, production of pre-modern literature, and formation of literary modern-ness,
as publication, collective readership, and modern literariness have developed in communities across Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Submission from disciplines other than Comparative Literature are also welcome.

Deadline for submission of abstract (250-300 words) and bio statement (less than 60 words):


December 15, 2015
Please forward the above-mentioned documents as well as possible queries to:

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