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Globalization and Literature

Suman Gupta

ISBN: 978-0-745-65819-3 April 2013 Polity 200 Pages


This book presents a state-of-the-art overview of the relationship between globalization studies and literature and literary studies, and the bearing that they have on each other. It engages with the manner in which globalization is thematized in literary works, examines the relationship between globalization theory and literary theory, and discusses the impact of globalization processes on the production and reception of literary texts.

Suman Gupta argues that, while literature has registered globalization processes in relevant ways, there has been a missed articulation between globalization studies and literary studies. Examples are given of some of the ways in which this slippage is now being addressed and may be taken forward, taking up such themes as the manner in which anti-globalization protests and world cities have figured in literary works; the ways in which theories of postmodernism and postcolonialism, familiar in literary studies, have diverged from and converged with globalization studies; and how industries to do with the circulation of literature are becoming globalized.

This book is intended for university-level students and teachers, researchers, and other informed readers with an interest in the above issues, and serves as both a survey of the field and an intervention within it.

Acknowledgements ix

1 The Nuances of Globalization 1

Narrative Performance 1

Travels of a Term 3

Plan of this Study 10

2 Movements and Protests 13

Plucking a Theme 13

Anti-Globalization Protests 14

Peace Movements 23

V-Day 31

3 Global Cities and Cosmopolis 37

Global Teens 37

Global Cities 38

Global City Transactions 43

Cosmopolitan Order and Cosmopolis 48

Virtual Cosmopolis 53

4 Literary Studies and Globalization 62

Literary Entanglements 62

Turning to Literary Studies 65

Globalization Thematized 66

Literary Text 71

Culture and Identity 85

5 Postmodernism and Postcolonialism 97

Postmodernism 97

Postcolonialism 107

6 Academic Institutional Spaces 123

English Studies 123

Comparative Literature/World Literature 136

A Note on Translation 146

7 The Globalization of Literature 151

Dying Authors 151

Literary Industries 159

References 171

Index 185

"This is a fascinating, ambitious and very timely book that tackles one of the hottest topics in literary studies today."
Susan Bassnett, University of Warwick

"Gupta sheds a clear light on this little explored field through his comprehensive coverage of the scholarship, his multipronged approach to the topic, and his sure-footed negotiation of theoretical issues."
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, New York University

"In his book, Professor Gupta examines the relationship between globalization and literature via a historical approach, notably the self/inner differentiation in English studies. It is thought-provoking, full of insight and most cogent, and well worth recommending to everyone seriously interested in this area."
Yue Daiyun, Peking University

  • State of the art overview of the relationship between globalization studies and literature and literary studies.
  • The first book length treatment of this cutting edge area, pitched for undergraduate students.
  • Covers a range of themes at the intersection of globalization and literature, from anti-globalization protests and world cities in literary works to the changing concepts of texts and text editing in the wake of digitisation.
  • Serves both as a survey of this emergent field and an intervention within it.