Category Archives: transnational literature

World Policy Institute Asks Sandra Cisneros, Giannina Braschi, Devutt Pattanaik…

“What values from your parents’ generation would you preserve in a changing world?”

Family at  Fatehpur Sikri_0.jpg

The World Policy Institute is a non-partisan organization that  champions innovative policies that require a progressive, global point of view.  Its programs and journal focus on complex challenges that demand cooperative policy solutions to achieve: an inclusive and sustainable global market economy, engaged global civic participation and effective governance, and collaborative approaches to national and global security


Afghan civil justice leader Sakena Yacoobi, Mexican-American novelist Sandra Cisneros and Indian author Devdutt Pattanaik weigh in on the politics of intergenerational ties in the new edition of World Policy Journal. 



Poet Giannina Braschi, author of United States of Banana explains how the time has come for Puerto Rican independence; she states that “Liberty is a right: the right to self-determination.”









Respect, diversity, and acceptance may not always be “traditional” family values, writes Williams Rashidi, founder and Director of Queer Alliance Nigeria; however they are universal values that should be upheld in the fight for LGBTQ rights.


Arya Rajam describes the importance of respecting elders and cherishing relatives, even as Indian families become separated across continents. And, amid the country’s modernization, Xiaoling Shu contends that Chinese families continue to emphasize education and interdependence.





World Policy Institute Staff


Kate Maloff, Executive Director

John McNamara, Director of Advertising

David Stevens, Director of Strategic Development


Jessica Loudis, Editor

Yaffa Fredrick, Special Projects Editor

Laurel Jarombek, Managing Editor
Isabel Vázquez, Podcast Producer



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CFP: Global Black Desires Conference 2018


The Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean Conference:




Conference date and location:

May 4, 2018

The Graduate Center, City University of New York

New York City

contact email:

Deadline for submissions: January 5, 2018


IRADAC invites submissions for its conference themed Global Black Desires to be held on Friday, May 4, 2018 at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Broadly conceiving black desires, the conference aligns with scholarly traditions that imagine blackness in a global context as it draws on diverse disciplinary and theoretical approaches. Whether they concern moral, legal, political, corporal, spatial, creative, erotic, or economic desires in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, or Africa, discussions about the associated freedoms and constraints engendered by black desires provide an opportunity to expand the knowledge base and significance of black diaspora studies. Additionally, this scholarly intervention promises to illuminate our consciousness of possibilities and limitations of individual, national, transnational, and diaspora objectives. While the conference welcomes submissions on a wide range of themes and topics, it primarily aims to resonate with the IRADAC fellows’ specializations. Fellows’ research interests include queerness in the Caribbean, global childhood, performing the diaspora, education and social movements, abolitionist geographies, exile and the politics of belonging, and framings of black femininity.



Paper proposals should include the following:

*A title

*An abstract (250 words or less)

*A short bio including institutional affiliation

Send all proposals to by January 5, 2018.



cultural studies and historical approaches



world literatures and indigenous studies



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CFP: Edwidge Danticat Society at ALA, May 24-27, 2018 (San Francisco)




The Edwidge Danticat Society invites papers for our affiliate panel at the 29th Annual American Literature Association conference in San Francisco, California. In celebration of the Ford Foundation awarding Danticat the Art of Change Fellowship, we seek papers that examine the ever-present intersections between Art and Justice in Danticat’s work. Whether cultural commentary in the essay: “DACA, Hurricane Irma, and Young Americans’ Dreams Deferred,” postcolonial ecocriticism in the novel: Claire of the Sea Light , or critical commentary on the Immigration Industrial Complex in the memoir: Brother, I’m Dying , Danticat’s activist and literary work are inextricable.

The Edwidge Danticat Society invites proposals for 15-minute presentations, and possible topics addressing her overall work include, but are not limited to:

  • Danticat’s cultural commentary on global anti-blackness
  • Ecocriticism in her literature
  • Criticism on Migration and the Immigration Industrial Complex
  • Creating Dangerously through reading and writing
  • Black Lives Matter Movement and Immigrants of Color
  • Poto Mitan: Haitian women, work and resistance
  • Memory, Counter-archiving and the Trujillo and/or Duvalier dictatorships
  • By January 15, 2018, please submit a 150-word biography, 300-word abstract (including working title) and any a/v needs to Megan Feifer,


Membership with the Edwidge Danticat Society ( is required for panelists, but it is not required to submit proposals for consideration.

Membership dues to the Edwidge Danticat Society ( ) and ALA conference registration ( ) must be paid by April 15, 2018, or papers/panels will not appear in the conference program.




cultural studies and historical approaches

ethnicity and national identity


world literatures and indigenous studies





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MELUS Conference in Las Vegas

Conference Theme: “TransCulture”

May 3-6, 2018


Hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tuscany Suites & Casino, 255 E. Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169


Las Vegas is a transcultural city, rich in racial and ethnic diversity, and UNLV has recently been ranked as one of the most diverse college campuses in the nation. As one of the last major US metropolitan areas built from the ground up in the twentieth-century, Las Vegas is also a transformative and transient city in the American Southwest, where issues of mobility are constantly negotiated and identities are reimagined.

  • Transamerican and hemispheric collaborations and tensions in multi-ethnic textsUnknown-4.jpeg
  • Transcultural literary representations of popular culture and the entertainment industry
  • Transvestism, performativity, and spectacles of gender and sexuality
  • Transportation, transit, and mobility in the multi-ethnic West
  • Transatlantic routes, identities, and experiences in multi-ethnic literature, including economic and technological considerations
  • Transformations in the definitions, status, and criticism of multi-ethnic US literature, and in relation to indigenous and national literary traditions
  • Translation and multilingualism in multi-ethnic texts
  • Transversing, transgressing, and experimenting with forms and genres, including, but not limited to, film, graphic narratives, spoken word poetry, and multi-genre works

We welcome proposals on all aspects of multi-ethnic US literature. More information about housing and guest speakers will be available soon.

Contact For more information about MELUS, The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, visit; for more information about the MELUS journal, visit We hope to see you in Vegas in 2018!



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Transnational Literature, Vol 10 now available

It is always fascinating to receive the latest edition of this scholarly and creative journal, published in Australia.   Click here to read: Transnational Literature, Volume 10, Issue 1: Contents

Available under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Poetry editor: Alison Flett .

Prose creative writing editor: Dr Ruth Starke.


Transnational Literature, Volume 10, Issue 1: Contents

Contributors to November 2017 Issue
Peer Reviewed Articles
Mary Besemeres Evoking a Displaced Homeland: the ‘Poetic Memoir’ of Andrzej Chciuk
Anna Guttman Home, Factory, World: Domestic and Global Fictions in the work of Lavanya Sankaran
Bhawana Jain Intersecting Memory and Witnessing Violence in Anita Desai’s The Zigzag Way
Medea Muskhelishvili Pataphysical Discourse and Georgian Reflections in Comparative Analysis of Georgian and French Avant-Garde
Michael Potts Dumping Grounds: Donald Trump, Edward Abbey and the Immigrant and Pollution
Fredrik Tydal Of Surface and Depth: Agnes Smedley’s Sketches of Chinese Everyday Life
Rouhollah Zarei The Beloved in Nader Naderpour’s Poetry
Review Essays
Paul Sharrad Check your metaphors: Review Essay – Daria Tunca and Janet Wilson (eds), Postcolonial Gateways and Walls: Under Construction
Ron Singer Review Essay: Nzuri Na Mengi (‘Good and Plenty’): The Caine Prize for African Literature, 2007-2016
Launch Speech
Melinda Graefe Speech delivered at launch of Faithfully I Wait: Poems on Rain, Thunder and Lightning at Jhargram and Beyond by Jaydeep Sarangi, Flinders University, 20 October 2017

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Great Women Writers: PEN WORLD VOICES FESTIVAL 2017

Join these brilliant, internationally acclaimed writers from May 1-7.
For the first time in the history of the World Voices Festival, we will be featuring twice as many women as men in our Festival line-up. These authors, poets, translators, artists, and critics will join us from May 1-7 as we examine the relationship between gender, power, and more.

This week only, use the code WOMEN2017 for $5 tickets to the events featured below. We’ll see you there!

Pushing Past Glass Ceilings
MAY 3, 7PM
Women from disparate walks of life and ages share their experiences with breaking through cultural norms. With Valerie Graves, Rita Mae Brown, Giannina Braschi, and Theresa Rebeck. Moderated by Amy Siskind. Tickets »
Forbidden: Too Much in Love
MAY 3, 7:30PM
Illicit love is the subject tackled by these internationally celebrated authors who have dared to cross religious, cultural, and gender taboos. With Dorit Rabinyan, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Shani Mootoo, and Pajtim Statovci. Moderated by Mira Jacob. Tickets »
Gender, Power, and Authoritarianism in the Dystopian Age
MAY 4, 6:30PM
The power of the state to control our thoughts and sexuality has been the dominant concern of many women writers and is reflected in some of the best dystopian literature of the modern age. Marge Piercy, Alice Sola Kim, Namwali Serpell, and Jeff VanderMeer examine this critical topic. Tickets »
The Body Politic: Women’s Rights and Resistance
MAY 4, 8PM
In the face of egregious assaults on women’s rights to control their own bodies and speech, Executive Director of PEN America Suzanne Nossel and President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards discuss ensuring that free expression and reproductive rights are protected for all. Tickets »
Art, Gender, and Social Justice
MAY 6, 6PM
What roles do art and gender play in creating social justice locally and globally? What can we do to bring more marginalized women’s voices to the forefront where they can speak for themselves? With Jessica Greer Morris, and Giannina Braschi. Moderated by Ana Oliveira. Tickets »
Poetic Duels: Sheyr Jangi
MAY 6, 7:30PM
Poetic battles–called sheyr jangi in Afghanistan–have roots in the early medieval Asia. For this event, poets Majda Gama, Rami Karim, Aurora Masum-Javed, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, and Purvi Shah will pay homage to this tradition. Tickets »
The M Word: Muslim-American Women on Power and Beauty
MAY 7, 3PM
A conversation on what it takes to defy obsolete notions of power and beauty and instead embrace multidimensional identities. Addressing beauty standards, cultural appropriation, faith, and feminism, with Mara Brock Akil, Rana Abdelhamid, Mona Haydar, and Penina Roth. Reserve »

From our partners:

Sojourners & Her Portmanteau
In Sojourners, a young, pregnant Abasiama struggles with the responsibilities of her arranged marriage, and weighs her dreams and obligations as she attempts to move forward. Decades later, the full impact of her decisions erupt when her family is reunited in Her Portmanteau.

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Now Available: Cambridge Companion to Latino/a Literature


Now the United States’ largest collective minority, the country’s heterogeneous Latin@ population increased from 35.3 million (12.5 percent) in 2000 to 55.4 million (17.4 percent) in 2014 (Ennis, Ríos-Vargas, and Albert 2011; Colby and Ortman 2015).

The figures – attributable to Latin@ population growth and immigration from the Spanish-speaking Americas – were paralleled by sizeable migrant intakes from other parts of the hemisphere, Asia and Africa. Numerous commentators interpret these demographic patterns as heralding two interrelated phenomena. First, they may be signaling the United States’ evolution into a postracial age, exemplified by the election of the biracial President Barack Obama in 2008. Second, they may be signposting the irreversible “unwhitening” of the United States due to transnational migration patterns – which are also transforming immigrant receiver states across the “developed” world – and attendant ethno-racial transformations. In turn, these phenomena are often read by demographers, and institutions like the U.S. Census Bureau, as evidence of a twenty-first century in which the United States will have a Latin@ majority. Such speculations, moreover, are haunted by the epoch-changing temporal shift in global power and influence posed to the United States by the so-called “Asian century” and the emergence of powerhouse states across the “developing” world.
Albeit a blunt summation, these scenarios indicate why fundamental processes of transnational and transcultural change underwrite the remit of this chapter. Numerous literary and cultural critics have also argued that the United States’ changing demographic contours – which coincide with an increasingly penetrative digitized communication age – modulate how Latin@ literary texts are being conceived, produced, received, and critiqued in the United States and across the world. In this chapter, accordingly, I focus on the literary consolidation and/or publishing debut in the early twenty-first century of selected Latin@ writers who appear to be responding to and/or emerging from such globally relevant changes.

Their ranks, to select a few authors from many, include Maya Chinchilla, Roberto José Tejada, Rodrigo Toscano, José Rivera, Edwin Torres, Justin Torres, Salvador Plascencia, Giannina Braschi, Oscar Casares, Nina Marie Martínez, and Susana Chávez-Silverman. Despite the continuing importance of literary production under Chican@, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and other specific Latin@ rubrics, it is arguable that the aesthetic strategies of many twenty-first-century writers are generating new post-identitarian and transnational, often globally referential and informed, narratives.

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