Sunday Submissions: Call for Papers on “Who Reads Modern Arabic Literature, How and Why?”

Marburg University, Germany, is calling for papers for an interdisciplinary conference focussing on the readership of modern Arabic literature:

The conference, entitled “Who Reads Modern Arabic Literature, How and Why? Interdisciplinary Approaches to Readers, Media, Translation and Reception in a Globalized World,” will take place October 5–7, 2022, at Marburg University in Germany. Travel costs and accomodation of all participants will be covered.

The organizers write:

The conference invites contributions on the reception of modern Arabic literature from the 19th century to the 21st century. This may include research on readers of marginalized or emerging literary genres such as the essay or the graphic novel as well as literary texts written in languages other than Arabic but related to the literature of the Arab world such as French and English. By putting readers in the spotlight, this conference has three goals. First, it revisits the concept of reception as indispensable to understanding literature in its relationship to society. Second, it calls for interdisciplinary approaches to literary reception that combine hermeneutic and empirical methodologies to elucidate the mutual relationship between literary texts and reading practices. Finally, the conference invites scholars to approach the internet and social media as promising tools and objects and to include digital methods in researching the reception of modern Arabic literature.


Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • reading communities and reading practices (e.g., book clubs, social networks)
  • influential individual readers and their readings (e.g., literary critics, scholars, authors)
  • the media and especially social media as a platform for readers (e.g., journals, YouTube, Instagram)
  • institutions and their impact on literary reading (e.g., schools, universities, reading indicatives)
  • reception of particular literary texts, genres and authors in the Arab world and beyond
  • politics and economies of translating modern Arabic literature and their forms of reception
  • the literary field and the making of readership (e.g., bestsellers, literary prizes)
  • fan culture and participatory reading and reading events (e.g., book fairs, fan videos)
  • empirical research on readers
  • digital and automated approaches to readership (e.g., sentiment analysis, network analysis)
  • reading surveys and institutional reader research

Submit your abstract (200-350 words including references) and a short CV (100-150 words) no later than June 30, 2022 to christian.junge@staff.uni-marburg.de and find the full call for papers here.

Leonie Rau

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