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In: Journal of World Literature
Author: David Damrosch

When writing systems spread beyond their language of origin, they bring literacy to formerly oral cultures or intrude on or displace an existing system. The process of learning a new script often entails learning a good deal about the source culture and its literature, sometimes overwriting earlier local traditions, other times creatively stimulating them. This essay looks first at some of the literary consequences of the spread of cuneiform writing in relation to its hieroglyphic and alphabetic rivals in the ancient Near East, and then discusses the advance and later loss of Chinese script in Vietnam and Korea, in the examples of the foundational work of modern Vietnamese literature, Nguyen Du’s The Tale of Kieu, and poems by the modern Korean poet Pak Tujin.

In: Journal of World Literature
In: Journal of World Literature
In: Re-Thinking Europe
In: The Canonical Debate Today
In: Bibel als Literatur
In: Journal of World Literature
In: Journal of World Literature
The Journal of World Literature (JWL) aspires to bring together scholars interested in developing the concept of World Literature, and to provide the most suitable environment for contributions from all the world’s literary traditions. It creates a forum for re-visiting global literary heritages, discovering valuable works that have been undeservedly ignored, and introducing aspects of the transnational global dissemination of literature, with translation as a focus. The journal welcomes submissions that can concurrently imagine any literary tradition, in any language, moving beyond national frames to simultaneously discuss and develop the cosmopolitan threads of a variety of literary traditions. It also welcomes contributions from scholars of different research backgrounds working collaboratively as well as from group research projects interested in showcasing their findings, in order to meet the challenge of a wider and deeper discussion of literature’s networks.

The editorial board of the JWL has begun accepting submissions for open-call issues.

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The introductions of the issues of the first two years are available Open Access to familiarize yourself with JWL and its applied scope.

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The Canonical Debate Today. Crossing Disciplinary and Cultural Boundaries re-enacts the canonical issues current in the ’90s from a new perspective, triggered by the changes that occurred worldwide in understanding the concepts and the status of theory, in the legacy of literary studies within the field of humanities, and in cultural production and reception. During the last decade discussions of globalization mostly took into account its impact on the status of academic disciplines such as comparative literature or cultural studies, or the reconfiguration of national literary fields. These debates do not dispense with canonicity altogether but make it more urgent and necessary. Canons seen as sets of norms or regulatory practices are central to the formation of disciplines, to the recognition and transmission of values, even to the articulation of discourses on identity on various levels.
The three sections of the volume deal with three interrelated subjects: theories and applicable contexts of the canon ( Canons and Contexts); recent transformations in the area of literary studies in response to the task of canon formation ( Reshaping Literary Studies); and the challenges brought to the understanding of the canon(s) by the current process of re-defining literary and cultural boundaries ( Transgressing Literary and Cultural Boundaries).
This volume will appeal to researchers, teachers, and students of cultural studies, comparative literature, and literary theory.