Modeling mobilities in the literatures of Islamicate Africa
Session type: Panel
Organized by: Matthew Brauer
Send abstracts or inquiries to: email@example.com
Selected papers will be considered for publication in Revue CELAAN in 2019.
From the Riḥla of Ibn Baṭūṭa (1355) to Naguib Mahfouz’s Ibn Faṭūma (1983), travel, geography, and cartography have played important roles across the literary history of Islamicate Africa. This capacious geographical term, derived from Marshall Hodgson, denotes a common historical and cultural thread that crosses many languages and regions of Africa. Peopled with preachers, sailors, merchants, scholars, soldiers, and travelers, these literatures offer models of (im)mobility and circulation that precede and persist under the current moment of globalizing literary studies. This panel will explore how those models relate to contemporary conceptions of literary space, such as world systems theory (Immanuel Wallerstein), the world republic of letters (Pascale Casanova), the global atlas of the novel (Franco Moretti), the translation zone Emily Apter), and so on. At a time when spatial approaches are at the forefront of literary analysis, what critiques, supplements, or alternatives might these literatures’ rich histories provide? How might they help us to understand why they have not been mobilized (and, more generally, why any literature in particular does or does not get mobilized) to think about the present status of literary studies as a discipline?