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At a moment of unprecedented threats to freedom and truth—and of emboldened mobilization and resistance—this year’s Festival will gather 150 global writers, artists, and thinkers with concerned citizens to examine bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia, and to bolster the movement to counter them.  Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco, Marlon James, Giannina Braschi, Rita Mae Brown, Colum McCann, Trevor Noah, Marge Piercy, and Salman Rushdie.






Founded in the aftermath of 9/11 by Salman Rushdie, Esther Allen, and Michael Roberts, the United States’ only international literature festival aims to broaden international dialogue and combat isolationism. We invite you to join more than 150 authors and artists from all over the world in this moment of unprecedented threats to freedom and truth—and of emboldened mobilization and resistance—and examine bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia and to bolster the movement to counter them. Exploring the theme Gender and Power, these events will celebrate the transcendent power of art to enable people to see beyond their differences.








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Best of Latino Sci Fi: Junot Diaz, Giannina Braschi, Ana Castillo

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Matt Goodwin compares “Latin@ Rising,” the new anthology of science fiction from San Antonio’s Wings Press, to an eclectic literary mix tape or playlist “in which there is an ebb and flow as you move through the loud and the brash, the quiet and the thoughtful.”

The latter might be Carmen Maria Machado’s “Difficult at Parties,” a first-person, present-tense story told as if through a camera lens about a woman struggling to return to some semblance of normal life after a sexual assault. As tension builds, she discovers she has developed a disturbing new psychic power.

On the other hand, Giannina Braschi’s “Death of a Businessman” is the cacaphonous opening to a novel titled “The United States of Banana,” which is the author’s response to 9-11: “I saw the wife of the businessman enter the shop of Stanley, the cobbler, with a pink ticket in her hand. The wife had come to claim the shoes of the businessman. After all, they had found the feet, and she wanted to bury the feet with the shoes.

Goodwin, an assistant professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, began thinking about the book while earning his doctorate in comparative literature in 2013 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.


“Science-fiction is not really on the radar of most Latino Studies programs,” he said in a recent interview at the King William home of Wings Press publisher Bryce Milligan. “I started looking around, and realized there was no anthology, no book like this. But there are a lot of Latino writers writing science-fiction and fantasy.

“Latino writers tend to get pigeonholed as Latino writers; they are seen as coming from sort of a primitive place,” he continued. “But the reality is that young Latino writers grew up with Tolkien and ‘Star Wars,’ too.”

As Ohio State University professor Frederick Luis Aldama — a rock star in the field of Latino pop culture, notably comics and sci-fi — puts it in an introduction to “Latin@ Rising”: “I have a confession to make. Science fiction in comic books, TV and film got me into world literature … Of course, with the veneer of seriousness that envolopes the academy and that generally considers sci-fi lowbrow, it takes some huevos to admit that this was instrumental in my coming of age as a professor.”

Funded primarily by a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign, the 246-page “Latin@ Rising” features 24 stories and poems (yes, sci-fi poetry!) by 20 authors.

They range from such well known writers such as Ana Castillo and Junot Díaz, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” to talented newcomers such as California writer Alejandra Sanchez (“The Drain,” a disturbing story about a strange addition to a morning shower ritual) and Brooklyn writer Richie Narvaez (“Room for Rent,” about a space alien in search of a safe place in the city to give birth).

“I think it’s incredible how rapidly Latino science-fiction writers have developed,” said Milligan. “If you would have tried to put together this book 15 years ago, you may have been able to identify three or four writers. Now, there are more than enough for an entire anthology.”

Goodwin acknowledges that magical realism “haunts” any discussion of Latino literature, but that only one or two stories in “Latino Rising” might fall within the bounds of that “wonderfully rich genre.”

But “magical realism” — see classics such as Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” — can be double-edged, Goodwin said, in that it forms a boundary around Latino literature for the general reading public.

“It has been common among readers to unthinkingly categorize a story written by a Latin@ as magical realist when there is just a hint of something strange or even when the story is flat-out science fiction or fantasy,” Goodwin writes in “Latin@ Rising’s” foreword. “At its worst, this imposed magical realism is a way to relegate U.S. Latinos and Latinas to the realm of the irrational, the mythological, effectively cutting off the ability to engage science and technology.”

Immigration is a subject dear to Goodwin’s heart, and many stories in “Latino Rising” are politically themed, dealing with issues of English/Spanish code switching, colonialism, conflict between Anglo and Latino groups, and homeland, migration and dislocation.

“One of my main concerns — and one that directs my creative endeavors — is undocumented immigrants,” said Goodwin.

Science-fiction, he argues, is “a natural fit”: Often, writers invent two worlds that only come into contact when one group migrates to the other.

“I like things that are being born,” he said. “I appreciate the intellectual underpinnings of the whole idea of immigration in a sci-fi or technological setting. It’s just a very natrual fit, and I think it is an imporant genre for Latino writers. Plus, it’s just good literture.”

As Aldama notes, the authors of “Latin@ Rising” “throw us into the middle of hot-zone apocalyptic plagues, shape-shifting robots, inergalactic skinwalkers, preColumbian holobooks, cyberpunkistas, hybrid inverterbrate/human mestizos … Latina cyborgs born of recycled parts and cybernetically wired patron saints.”

As a Latino on “an intellectual journey,” he concludes, “Science fiction is me.”


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Chiricú Journal (ISSN 0277-7223, e-ISSN 2472-4521) is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal published twice per year (fall and spring) by the Indiana University Press in conjunction with the Latino Studies Program of IU. Submissions for publication are welcomed in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Submission deadlines are August 1 and February 1 each year. We seek academic articles on a wide variety of topics related to Latina/o literatures, arts, and cultures; solicited book and film reviews; interviews; editorials; and creative submissions of photography, fine arts, poetry, and short story.



Rolena Adorno, Yale University
Lalo Alcaraz, Artist, Cartoonist, Writer
Frances Aparicio, Northwestern University
Giannina Braschi, Author
Denise Chávez, Author
Cristina García, Author
María Herrera Sobek, UC Santa Barbara
Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez, University of California, Merced
Manuel Martínez, The Ohio State University
John McDowell, Indiana University
Gabriel Meléndez, University of New Mexico
Danny Méndez, Michigan State University
Gustavo Pérez-Firmat, Columbia University

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Latino Science Fiction on the Rise


Fifty years ago the Latin American “Boom” introduced magical realism to the world and gave us García Márquez, Jorge Amado, Carlos Fuentes, and others.  Today speculative and fantasy fiction is on the rise in Latin American and Latino-American literature. A new anthology “Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Latino Science Fiction and Fantasy” presents 23 artists from around the United States whose stories help us to imagine a Latino/a past, present, and future which have not been whitewashed by mainstream perspectives.

They include well-known creators like Kathleen Alcalá, Ana Castillo, Junot Diaz, and Giannina Braschi and new voices alike  Editor Matthew David Goodwin is a scholar of Latina and Latino speculative literature. In Latin@ Rising, he has created an historic collection — the first-ever all-Latino/Latina anthology of science fiction and fantasy.


Goodwin writes in his introduction: “In his essay ‘Racism and Science Fiction,’ Samuel R. Delany warns against the use of narrow categories like ‘African-American science fiction.’ The separateness which such categories enact is congruent with the separateness of racism, as he puts it clearly ‘… what racism as a ystem does is isolate and segregate the people of one race, or group, or ethnos from another.’ … What we hope to do in this anthology is to counter the separateness of Latin@ science fiction and fantasy by presenting a thrilling multiplicity of writers and stories, and by demonstrating that these writers have been part of the genres all along.”


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Africa and the World: Literature, Politics, and Global Geographies CONFERENCE 2017


The theme chosen for the June 14-17, 2017 conference at Yale seeks to engage with and interrogate recent shifts in critical and theoretical frameworks from regional, national, and “postcolonial” models towards “world literature” as a framework for understanding the literatures of the Global South. How useful is the category of world literature in our ongoing contestation of Eurocentrism in the interpretation of African literatures and cultures? What possibilities are offered by African literatures and cultures for (re)imagining the world, including the “world” posited by recent theorizations?

The conference also addresses the ongoing implications for the continent of global analytical frameworks, including those used to think about urbanization, gender and sexuality, public health, politics, regional identities, and the environment. How are these frameworks mediated in African literatures and cultures?

Proposals are invited for papers, pre-constituted panels, seminars, and roundtables in the following areas, and on other topics relating to ALA members’ research, and caucus interests:

African literatures, world literatures
Audiences and readerships
Conflict and literature
Diasporic and transnational connections
Digital and social media
Global aftermaths of slavery
Popular arts
Publishing in Africa
Urbanism and literature
Deadline for proposals: 15 November 2016

Notification of acceptance of proposals: 20 January 2017

Important information:

Proposals are limited to a maximum of 3 scheduled events per person.

You will be asked to specify the format (paper, pre-constituted panel, seminar, roundtable) when submitting your abstract. You must be a member of ALA to present a paper or chair a session.

Note on Panel Proposals:
The panel proposer should enter the information about the panel and its members using the same form as individual paper-givers (“abstract for your paper”). We ask each panel member also to enter their details separately on an individual basis, including the title of their panel and the name of the panel chair/proposer. Panel members do not need to write full 250 word abstracts.

To submit your proposal click here.

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Call for Papers: Ireland + Africa = ?

CFP: Geographies of Comparison: Ireland / Africa

ACLA 2017

Utrecht, July 6-9, 2017

Subject:  Ireland was, as Robert Young writes, England’s first and always exceptional colony. But it was far from the only one. Its unique colonial status has yielded productive scholarship addressing its anomalous.

Deadline for submissions: September 23, 2016

Contact Cóilín Parsons:


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New Edition of Transnational Literature Available Now!

Transnational Literature
Volume 9, Issue 1
November 2016

Letter from the Editor

I never fail to be thrilled by the extraordinary and continually widening reach of our journal. Nearly sixty residents of fifteen countries have contributed to this issue, each of them telling a transnational story in prose or poetry, or contributing to a vast international literary conversation about writing from dozens of other countries and cultures. Many of them, like Jessica Sanfilippo Schulz, would be ‘Third Culture Kids’, spending their lives straddling borders and boundaries. Jessica’s essay is one of an especially rich collection we have to offer you this November, with subjects ranging from Denmark-based Indian novelist and poet Tabish Khair to the young Afghanistan-born US memoirist Farah Ahmedi. And we range not only across countries but across centuries, with essays on the early twentieth-century Australian writer Nettie Palmer along with more internationally recognisable literary figures such as Joseph Conrad, Jean Rhys and Washington Irving. Lastly, Patrick McCabe’s 1992 novel The Butcher Boy is the subject of a spirited assessment by Marie McMillan.

Thirteen new poems come to you from a dazzling collection of poets. Claire Gaskin writers of her poem, ‘LiveRecovery’,

I’m looking at the transnational from a globalisation angle. I think that globalisation is a new form of colonising. Due to colonising women’s bodies, we colonise globally. I’m paralleling the body with the nation, moving through the personal to the universal. The social and political power struggles wielded in personal relationships are also wielded between nations. I’m working with the idea of globalisation as an economic force resulting in political and social control.

Poetry editor Heather Taylor Johnson adds, ‘Gaskin uses repetition and noun-substitution to surprise and challenge her readers, and that’s something interesting about this group of poems as a whole: though they’re mostly weighty in tone, they’re quite playful in style. Experimentation with punctuation seems to be a recurring event, and in a modern-day anti-rhyming mindset, some of the poets make a bold move to keep rhyme alive.’

Also in the poetry section, we have a translation from the Persian of a powerful work about women’s lack of agency in an oppressive regime.

Seven stories and memoirs take us around the world, in humorous and poignant narratives inspired by personal encounters across cultures and countries. As always, the stories are truly transnational and range from magic realism in a Thai orphanage and early morning exasperation in South Korea to first world tourists in South India and a violent death in the cane fields of Fiji.

And lastly, dozens of book reviews, covering poetry, fiction and critical writing from all over the world, written by reviewers from all over the world. We are pleased to have been able to include five reviews originally written for Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Journal which they were unable to publish.

We would, however, be nowhere without our genial and unassuming late colleague, Syd Harrex. One year ago we included a collection of tributes to Syd following his death in May 2015. We will shortly be publishing a special issue dedicated to Syd and his work, including new essays and reprints. Some of his later poems will also be published for the first time. We hope to have this special issue to you by mid-November.

I don’t do this alone, by any means, and I am most grateful to those who have helped me with the editing of the articles and book reviews. I have been helped enormously by Andrew Craig over the past few months, and Michael Lee Gardin has also done sterling work on some of the essays. My deputy editors Emily Sutherland and Paul Ardoin have as always provided much-needed support with the editorial review process. I would also like to thank the section editors Heather Taylor Johnson (Poetry), Md Rezaul Haque (Translations) and Ruth Starke, assisted by Molly Murn (Fiction and Life Writing) for their valuable work in curating and editing their sections.

And sincere thanks, as always, to the anonymous peer reviewers who provide their services purely in the interests of high-quality humanities scholarship. Without their thorough and thoughtful attention to our contributors’ submissions, we would simply be unable to function.

I hope you enjoy this issue.

Gillian Dooley, General Editor

Transnational Literature, Volume 9, Issue 1: Contents



Transnational Literature_header.jpgAbout Transnational Literature

Welcome to Transnational Literature, a freely accessible, fully refereed international e-journal published twice a year by the Flinders Institute for Research in the Humanities, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

Transnational Literature evolved from the e-journal Quodlibet: the Australian Journal of Trans-national Literature, and before that the print CRNLE Reviews Journal, published by the Centre for Research in New Literatures in English. CRNLE was founded in 1977 by Dr Syd Harrex and was based in the Department of English at Flinders University, South Australia. The Centre promoted research into the literatures of India, Africa, the Caribbean, Canada and Australia, and all parts of the world where literature in English has been written. The Centre had a world-wide list of associates and a long list of publications, and organised and supported a number of conferences involved in the scholarly investigation of the role of new literatures throughout the world.

Transnational Literature maintains a focus on new literatures in English, but has expanded its portfolio to consider all literatures that deal with cross-cultural contact and interaction. Submissions on these areas are welcomed and writers are encouraged to consult the Submissions link. Postgraduate and Honours students are encouraged to submit papers.

Transnational Literature is indexed in MLA Bibliography, Proquest and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

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