In this era of globalization, Comparative Literature faces new challenges. As an academic discipline, for the past ten years Comparative Literature has had to embrace or often compete with other emerging interdisciplinary studies, including cultural studies, regional studies and translation studies. Today, as new technologies redefine the boundaries of knowledge and globalization draws the world closer together, Comparative Literature faces the added challenge of expanding its boundaries and frontiers to rethink its identity and role as a discipline. The conference theme “Expanding the Frontiers of Comparative Literature”can be interpreted on many levels. We believe that Comparative Literature needs to move beyond its Western origins to become a productive arena for scholarly work on all literatures across the world. We also believe that Comparative Literature can take the lead in redefining the boundaries of “literature.”Hyper-textual, multi-visual media cultures are changing the ways in which we approach textuality today. In addition, Comparative Literature can become a fruitful site for discussions on nature, the environment, and technology, as well as their impact on human civilization. In other words, Comparative Literature can and should provide the grounds for new communication, dialogue, and insight in our greatly expanded world. By expanding the frontiers of Comparative Literature, we hope to raise questions about ethnicity, region, religion, and ideology in a globalized context, as well as to place literature at the center of all initiatives to change society and human lives for the better. Korea is the only divided country on the face of the earth. This is all the more reason why we believe that a Comparative Literature conference on breaking down boundaries and overcoming frontiers will be both appropriate and timely. We would like to invite the global community to meet in Korea to discuss how to expand the frontiers of Comparative Literature in imaginative ways.
Session I : Making Comparative Literature Global : New Theories and Practices
The 21st century having brought us properly into the age of globalization, Comparative Literature must now re-establish a new concept and identity for literature through theory and practice founded on a new knowledge that reaches beyond the boundaries of ethnicity, culture, region, politics, and scholarship to expand and unify its horizon. In particular, the globalization of Comparative Literature must seek out a means to expand the direction and range of research by breaching the fence of Eurocentric literary theory and discourse, and canonizing the long-standing and tenacious literary traditions of other regions. To this end, we must find a new consilience through the in-depth discussion of different literary theories accompanied by a comparative study of Western literary theory.
Session II : Locating Literature in the Hypertextual Age
Comparative Literature must present a new method of co-existence within the complex culture of a hypertextual age. With the appearance of hypertext, cutting-edge technology seems on the verge of replacing the classical concept of text culture. Thus, literary texts must seek out a means of surviving the age of text-surpassing multiple media. In this advent of the age of hypertext, Comparative Literature must be able to present a concrete vision and plan regarding the existential value and direction of literary text.
Session III : Nature, Technology, and Humanity in Different Traditions
Comparative Literature must carry into a new arena of discussion the issues of nature and environment, science and technology, humanity and ethics-issues addressed by the diverse cultures of many nations-and thereby present a new discourse that may be jointly owned by all of humanity. The advancement of technology continues to bring environmental destruction, and this damage will be carried over to the next generation. In particular, the First and Third Worlds hold sharply divergent views on such issues. Therefore, to approach and discuss from a comparative perspective such issues of environment and technology, and the issues of humanity and ethics to which everything eventually returns, is especially important for the direct connection of such discussion to the survival of human civilization.
Session IV : Writing the Conflicts and Otherness
In the 21st century we have moved beyond the age during which ideological differences brought about the Cold War. But humanity still faces an endless array of new discriminations and conflicts of region, religion, ideology, wealth, and generation. By embracing cultural diversity, and by expanding and re-manufacturing such concepts of acceptance, Comparative Literature must offer a concrete means of co-existence and econciliation. In this way, Comparative Literature will be able to take on the practical and revolutionary function that falls to literature when it faces the concrete problems of the real world. We will re-visit the various concepts of otherness that have been discussed thus far, and seek out the role of Comparative Literature in creating a foundation of dialogue and reconciliation that moves beyond politics and conflicts of difference.
Session V : Translating Differences, Connecting the World
Translation has emerged as one of the most important means of exchange and communication between diverse cultures. Translation can overcome the gap between nations, ethnicities, periods, cultures, and languages to provide a new space of exchange and communication. If existing works of translation have contributed primarily to the one-sided transmission of Western culture to the Third World, translation in the 21st century must stand on the front lines of genuine mutual exchange between different cultures. In this light, cultural translation that examines the negotiations of culture taking place at many levels between source-text and target-text offers a new direction for translation in the 21st century.
Session VI : Asia in the Changing Comparative Paradigm
Asia has developed various paradigms of knowledge, sensibility, and value through its long tradition and history. Asian literary tradition and culture have also disseminated and transformed through communication and exchange within Asia as well as across Asian boarders. After a century of western modernization, the significance of Asian classical literature and culture is being discussed once again and is being distinguished as a way of providing new vision. Expectantly, discussions on such Asian paradigms will go beyond the limitations of Orientalism and Occidentalism and give Asia a chance to self-examine productively. In the midst of dynamic change in the concept of Comparative Literature and World Literature, Asia must be actively discussed as the focal point for the integration and re-construction of knowledge for the future.
Call for Abstracts
Abstracts for the session themes received by March 31, 2009 will be considered under the standard review process. Late abstracts will be considered as space permits. Online abstract submission is highly recommended after proper online author sign-up. The format and submission guidelines will be available at in December 2008. Abstracts should be between 250 and 500 words. Authors are asked to submit original abstracts only. All submitted abstracts will be referred for correctness, originality, relevance to the congress, and quality of exposition. The abstracts will be published in the abstract book of the congress.
Call for Proposals
Proposals for workshops, symposia, round tables, and seminars should be submitted to the ICLA 2010 secretariat no later than November 30, 2008 at [log in to unmask] The Individual abstracts for workshops, symposia, round tables, and seminars are to be sent to each organizer. The format and submission guidelines will be available at or in the 2nd Announcement.
Important Dates
Abstracts Submission Due March 31, 2009
Acceptance Notice September 15, 2009
Advance Program February 1, 2010
Early Registration Due April 30, 2010
Hotel Reservation Due April 30, 2010
Conference Dates and Place August 15-21, 2010, Daegu, Korea

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