• Jason Frydman deposited World Literature and Diaspora Studies on Humanities Commons 3 years, 11 months ago

    The idea of world literature emerged contemporaneously with innovative modes of conceptualizing the dynamics of world history, from the idealism of Hegel to the materialism of Marx and Engels. This affiliation has endured as the intellectual legacy of the nineteenth-century world-historical imagination, world-systems theory, gained traction in literary studies. The large-scale displacements and migrations produced by and productive of the modern world economic system have deeply imprinted global literary production: the African, Chinese, and Indian diasporas fueled by colonial political economy, for example, have attained an expansive and overlapping textual presence throughout Europe and Asia, Africa and the Americas. Both bearing witness to dispersal and fashioning its literary implications, ancient and modern diaspora formations cut across geopolitical as well as aesthetic categories. If in many ways it appears, though, that diaspora writing manifests the border-crossing promise foundational to the world literature idea, it just as reliably forges a counter-discourse challenging the temporal and spatial trajectories operative in Eurocentric theorizations of world literature and its history.