CfP (seminar): Édouard Glissant – Totality and Poetics of Relation


2014 Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA): “Capitals”

New York City (hosted by New York University)

March 20-23, 2014

Conference Website:

This seminar invites a discussion of Édouard Glissant’s “poetics of relation” as a literary strategy for rethinking the concept and experience of “totality” away from the “totalizing” pretentions of the West. Critical of the language of center and periphery, Glissant offers an alternate spatial poetics that allows us to recognize “accumulation” as timely sedimentation, and “global flow” as passing along errant lines of joyful communication rather than the violent forward thrusts of capitalism. By recovering this terminology from the domain of capitalism, Glissant asks us to rethink totality in terms of multiple strands of relation that include the evolutions of language, economy, and ecology all at once. We invite papers that engage with Glissant’s rearticulation of globalization and totality both within and beyond Caribbean contexts.

We especially encourage papers that consider:

  • ·      How Glissant’s “poetics of relation” speaks to and diverges from other theoretical and literary visions of totality and worlding.
  • ·      How Glissant’s tactical poetics (opacity, errancy, networks, mobility, openness) are practiced in genres such as SF, slipstream, weird fiction or horror, ecological literature, border fictions, and speculative literature.
  • ·      How Glissant’s tactical poetics bear upon the political concerns of small-scale communities relating to totality (environmental justice, identity politics, decolonization).
  • ·      The significance of the archipelago to Glissant’s discussion of economy, accumulation, and time.
  • ·      How Glissant’s concepts of hybridity, méstissage, chaos and Créolization contribute to a broader shift in perspective towards totality.

Keywords: Glissant, totality, accumulation, SF, poetics, relation, Caribbean, revolution, history, decolonization, environment, ecology, collectivity, mobility, worlding 

Please submit paper proposals (max. 250 words) through ACLA’s website by selecting this seminar, “Édouard Glissant – Totality and Poetics of Relation,” from the drop-down list.

Deadline for submissions: November 15, 2013.

Fran McDonald

Duke University

314 Allen Building

Our thanks to Peter Jordens for sending this information.

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