Netherlands Conference: Transnational Literature July 2017

Proposed seminar for the Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association at Utrecht, The Netherlands, July 6-9, 2017

Organizer: Levente T. Szabó (Babes-Bolyai University, Romania),

Modern literary and artistic nationalism was probably one of the best-selling ideas of the long nineteenth century and its transnational spread was intimately intertwined with the rise of modern market culture. In spite of the popular belief, the rise and spread of literary nationalism was one of the most transnational phenomena of the period, one of the most enthralling and most often consumed symbolic good on the global market of ideas. The languages of nationalism and the languages of money created a highly succesful and highly contested global literary framework that is partly accountable for the modernization of the literary field, the emergence of a series of literary patterns and memorable fictional accounts.

This seminar is devoted to the multifold aspects of this entangled relationship of literature, nationalism and market culture in the long nineteenth century. We are open to a wide interpretation of this relationship from case studies to methodological interventions that may include:

the national as a modern literary transnational brand, the literary and artistic national as brand loyalty
forms of economic nationalisms in the literary field

national authors as transnational literary celebrities

authors and figures of literary fiction as symbolic national commodities

the emerging markets of modern national classics

national literature as national currency, vindicative strategies

the transnational creation, reception and impact of the national prizes

the role of the states in intervening and creating literary and artistic markets

the transnational success of ”banal” (Michael Billig) literary nationalisms

contested ethnic and national markets of the „national authors”

overlapping and conflicting national markets of the historical novel

the role (”market”) of speculation in the spread of literary nationalisms

the nationalization of copyright / droit d’auteur, overlapping and conflicting national

legislations of copyright, transnational conflict over copyright

financial panics and bubbles in transnational forms of literary nationalism

We invite contributions that are able to foreground how literary capitalism and literary nationalism went hand in hand in shaping one of the most powerful and global modernization process in the global literary field.

You will find the ACLA annual conference website at



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