Book Section
This essay identifies in the materialist strand of world literature theory, especially Pascale Casanova and the Warwick Research Collective, a reliance upon a priori structures (the world-system) and prioritisation of the literary registration of inequality. By contrast, I contend, world-literary critics who wish to maintain the dissident spirit of postcolonialism ought to demonstrate a shared equality. By reference to the philosophies of Bruno Latour, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Rancière, this essay sets out the case for an alternative to world-systems critique: one that maintains literature’s potential for creating new forms of resistance, dissent, and, crucially, equality.
Keywords: world literature; postcolonialism; Bruno Latour; Jacques Rancière; Warwick Research Collective; Pascale Casanova; dissent; equality
Title
World Literature and the Problem of Postcolonialism
Subtitle
Aesthetics and Dissent
Author(s)
Lorna Burns
Identifier
DOI Target
HTML Page
Description
This essay identifies in the materialist strand of world literature theory, especially Pascale Casanova and the Warwick Research Collective, a reliance upon a priori structures (the world-system) and prioritisation of the literary registration of inequality. By contrast, I contend, world-literary critics who wish to maintain the dissident spirit of postcolonialism ought to demonstrate a shared equality. By reference to the philosophies of Bruno Latour, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Rancière, this essay sets out the case for an alternative to world-systems critique: one that maintains literature’s potential for creating new forms of resistance, dissent, and, crucially, equality.
Is Part Of
Place
Berlin
Publisher
ICI Berlin Press
Date
2021
Subject
world literature
postcolonialism
Bruno Latour
Jacques Rancière
Warwick Research Collective
Pascale Casanova
dissent
equality
Rights
© by the author(s)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Language
en-GB
short title
Postcolonialism
page start
57
page end
74
Source
The Work of World Literature, ed. by Francesco Giusti and Benjamin Lewis Robinson, Cultural Inquiry, 19 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 57–74
Bibliographic Citation
Lorna Burns, ‘World Literature and the Problem of Postcolonialism: Aesthetics and Dissent’, in The Work of World Literature, ed. by Francesco Giusti and Benjamin Lewis Robinson, Cultural Inquiry, 19 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 57–74 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-19_03>

References

  • Burns, Lorna, Postcolonialism After World Literature: Relation, Equality, Dissent (London: Bloomsbury, 2019) <https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350053052>
  • Burns, Lorna, and Katie Muth, eds, World Literature and Dissent (London: Routledge, 2019) <https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203710302>
  • Casanova, Pascale, The World Republic of Letters, trans. by Malcolm B. DeBevoise (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004)
  • Casanova, Pascale, ‘Literature as a World’, New Left Review, 31 (2005), pp. 71–90
  • Damrosch, David, What Is World Literature? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003) <https://doi.org/10.1515/9780691188645>
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  • Rancière, Jacques, Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy, trans. by Julie Rose (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999)
  • Rancière, Jacques, On the Shores of Politics, trans. by Liz Heron (London: Verso, 2007)
  • Rancière, Jacques, Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics, trans. by Steven Corcoran (London: Continuum, 2010)
  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’, in Can the Subaltern Speak? Reflections on the History of an Idea, ed. by Rosalind C. Morris (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), pp. 21–78
  • Thorne, Christian, ‘The Sea Is Not a Place: or, Putting the World Back into World Literature’, boundary2, 40.2 (2013), pp. 53–79 <https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2151803>
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  • Warwick Research Collective (WReC), Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2015)
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Cite as: Lorna Burns, ‘World Literature and the Problem of Postcolonialism: Aesthetics and Dissent’, in The Work of World Literature, ed. by Francesco Giusti and Benjamin Lewis Robinson, Cultural Inquiry, 19 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 57–74 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-19_03>
Lorna Burns, ‘World Literature and the Problem of Postcolonialism: Aesthetics and Dissent’, in The Work of World Literature, ed. by Francesco Giusti and Benjamin Lewis Robinson, Cultural Inquiry, 19 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 57-74 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-19_03>

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