1st Edition

The World-Literary System and the Atlantic

Edited By Sorcha Gunne, Neil Lazarus Copyright 2021
    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    The World-Literary System and the Atlantic grapples with key questions about how American studies, and the Atlantic region in general, engages with new considerations of literary comparativism, international literary space and the world-literary system.

    The edited collection furthers these discussions by placing them into a relationship with the theory of combined and uneven development – a theory that has a long pedigree in Marxist sociology and political economy and that continues to stimulate debate across the social sciences, but whose implications for culture have received less attention. Drawing on the comparative modes, concepts, and methods being developed in the "new" world-literary studies, the essays cover a diverse range of topics such as, the periodization of world literature, racism and the world-system, singular modernity, critical "irrealism," commodity frontiers, semi-peripherality, and world-ecology.

    The chapters in this book were originally published in the journal, Atlantic Studies.

    Introduction: The world-literary system and the Atlantic

    Neil Lazarus and Sorcha Gunne

    1. The world-literary system and the Atlantic: Combined and uneven development – an interview with Stephen Shapiro

    Neil Lazarus

    2. Three early modern genres: A microhistorical approach to "world literature"

    William Boelhower

    3. Contesting slavery in the global market: John Brown’s Slave Life in Georgia

    Michael J. Drexler and Stephanie Scherer

    4. On transnational analogy: Thinking race and caste with W. E. B. Du Bois and Rabindranath Tagore

    Yogita Goyal

    5. "Time’s carcase": Waste, labour, and finance capital in the Atlantic world-ecology

    Michael Niblett

    6. From the Novela de la Caña to Junot Díaz's "cake-eater": World-literature, the world-food-system and the Dominican Republic

    Kerstin Oloff

    7. Water shocks: Neoliberal hydrofiction and the crisis of "cheap water"

    Sharae Deckard

    8. From fishery limits to limits to capital: Gendered appropriation and spectres of North Atlantic fishery collapse in The Silver Darlings and Sylvanus Now

    Michael Paye

    9. Feminist politics and semiperipheral poetics: Eavan Boland and Aislinn Hunter

    Sorcha Gunne


    Sorcha Gunne is researcher at the Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo, Norway. Her current project investigates the intersection of world literature and social reproduction feminism. Previous books include Space, Place and Gender Violence in South African Writing (2015) and Feminism, Literature and Rape Narratives (2010).

    Neil Lazarus is Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. Previous books include Combined and Uneven Development: Towards A New Theory of World Literature (2015), The Postcolonial Unconscious (2011), Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies (2004), Marxism, Modernity and Postcolonial Studies (2002), Nationalism and Cultural Practice in the Postcolonial World (1999) and Resistance in Postcolonial African Fiction (1990).