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Laachir, Karima, Marzagora, Sara and Orsini, Francesca (2018) 'Significant Geographies: in lieu of world literature.' Journal of World Literature, 3 (3). pp. 290-310.

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One of the problems with current theories of world literature is that the term “world” is insufficiently probed and theorized. As a category, “world” is too generic and suggests a continuity and seamlessness that are both deceptive and self-fulfilling. Easy invocations of “world” and “global” (novel, literary marketplace) replicate the blindspots that Sanjay Krishnan identified when he called the global an instituted perspective, with macro-theories drawing unproblematically on theories of globalization elaborated in the social sciences. Instead, in our comparative project Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies we argue that to theorize world literature taking on board the complexities, layers and multiplicity of “literatures in the world” (as S. Shankar prefers to call it), we need a richer spatial imagination of the “world.” Here we propose the notion of “significant geographies” as the conceptual, imaginative, and real geographies that texts, authors, and language communities inhabit, produce, and reach out to.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies
Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
ISSN: 24056472
Copyright Statement: © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018. This is the accepted manuscript of an article published by Brill in Journal of World Literature, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2018 14:56
Funders: European Union

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