Planetary Figurations: Intensive Genre in World Literature

Modern Languages Open. 2018;(1) DOI 10.3828/mlo.v0i0.204


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Journal Title: Modern Languages Open

ISSN: 2052-5397 (Online)

Publisher: Liverpool University Press

Society/Institution: University of Liverpool Library

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English, Italian, Chinese, Spanish; Castilian, Catalan; Valencian, Japanese, French, German, Portuguese

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Florian Mussgnug (University College London)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 8 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This article surveys the growing attention to genre in the works of Wai Chee Dimock, Rosi Braidotti, Lauren Berlant and Rita Felski, among others. I argue that attention to transnational genres, far from valorising global sameness, offers a way to mark cultural difference, relationality and the specific knowledge of nationally and locally embedded traditions. The influx of new voices and visions, I contend, has changed our view of what literature is and does, moving away from the notion of genre as a classificatory system and towards a new idiom centred on affect, flux and creative invention. The constitutive openness of global figurations lies at the root of our current fascination with genre theory, especially in debates about world literature. Relationality and futurity, I suggest, are what makes genre theory especially relevant to the cultural-discursive matrix of planetarity, which is similarly concerned with processes of becoming.