Literary History after the Nation?

An issue of: Modern Language Quarterly

Literary History after the Nation?
Journal Issue Pages: 152 Volume 80, Number 4 Published: December 2019 An issue of Modern Language Quarterly
Special Issue Editor: Peter Kalliney
The current field of literary history is rapidly expanding, presenting an exciting but also bewildering time for historians of literature. The literary histories of national and regional traditions now exist alongside sprawling comparative projects that extend beyond default cultural boundaries; the dominance of a few world literary languages allow scholars with limited linguistic faculties to scan the globe for diverse case studies; and the introduction of interdisciplinary methods into literary study has turned language and literature departments into capacious professional associations. Designations of literary periods have become progressively more flexible, while some scholars have simply abandoned the idea of distinct literary periods and geographically limited literary histories altogether. Contributors to this issue consider the status of modern literary history in this moment of flux and ask a simple question: now that the unspoken national and regional assumptions of literary studies are being challenged, how should we write literary history?

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