Eva Horn, former member of the ICLA theory committee, published The Future as Catastrophe: Imagining Disaster in the Modern Age. Published by Columbia UP, this is the translation, by Valentine Pakis, of Horn’s German-language book on the modern fascination with disaster, which she treats as a symptom of our relationship to the future. Analysing the catastrophic imaginary from its roots in Romanticism and the figure of the Last Man, through the narratives of climatic cataclysm and the Cold War’s apocalyptic sublime, to the contemporary popularity of disaster fiction and end-of-the-world blockbusters, Horn argues that apocalypse always haunts the modern idea of a future that can be anticipated and planned.
Takayuki Yokota-Murakami, former member of the ICLA theory committee, published Mother-Tongue in Modern Japanese Literature and Criticism: Toward a New Polylingual Poetics. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, the book examines how early research on literary activities outside national literatures such as émigré literature or diasporic literature conceived of the loss of ‘mother-tongue’ as a tragedy, and how it perpetuated the ideology of national language by relying on the dichotomy of native language/foreign language. Yokota-Murakami transcends these limitations by examining modern Japanese literature and literary criticism through modern philology, the vernacularisation movement, and Korean-Japanese literature.
Joep Leerssen, former member of the ICLA Research Committee on Literary Theory, has edited the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe. Written in cooperation with almost 350 authors from dozens of countries and published by Amsterdam UP, this two-volume encyclopedia gives a clear idea of the intricate transnational and intermedial networks and entanglements in which all aspects of Romantic nationalism are connected.
The AILC/ICLA Research Committee on Literary Theory has elected Woosung Kang as a new member as of 2018. Woosung is Associate Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature, Seoul National University, and works primarily on critical theory and American literature.
Divya Dwivedi, member of the ICLA Committee on Literary Theory, has co-edited, with Henrik Skov Nielsen and Richard Walsh, Narratology and Ideology: Negotiating Context, Form, and Theory in Postcolonial Narratives. Published by The Ohio State UP, the volume brings together many of the most prominent figures in the interface between narratology and postcolonial criticism. It stages a meeting between these two fields as it negotiates both narratological and postcolonialist concerns by addressing specific features of narrative form and technique in the ideological analysis of key postcolonial texts.
Robert J. C. Young, President of the ICLA Committee on Literary Theory, has co-edited, with Jean Khalfa, Alienation and Freedom, a collection of previously unpublished works of Frantz Fanon. Comprising around half of Fanon’s entire output, these texts were previously thought to be lost or inaccessible. Translated from French by Steven Corcoran and published by Bloomsbury, the book introduces audiences to a new Fanon, a more personal Fanon and one whose literary and psychiatric works, in particular, take centre stage.
Vladimir Biti, Honorary President of the ICLA Committee on Literary Theory, has written Attached to Dispossession: Sacrificial Narratives in Post-imperial Europe. Building on the author’s recent edited volume Claiming the Dispossession, the book, published by Brill, focuses on the literary narratives of dispossession that emerged in response to the geopolitical reconfiguration of East Central Europe post World War I. In this turbulent environment, political sacrificial narratives found a breeding ground in which they were able to knit together the emerging frustrations and create new foundational myths. Against this backdrop, Biti interprets literary narratives of dispossession as individual and clandestine voices of opposition to the homogenizing pattern of public narratives.