Literary Modernity and Anticolonial Revolution in the Muslim World: A Conversation

Location: Online Webinar



12:00 pm

Online Webinar

Arabic, Persian, and Turkic, as shared literary languages of the Muslim world, provided a means of communication and a basis for political coordination to the early generations of radical anticolonial writers and thinkers from Jakarta, Cairo, and Timbuktu; Bukhara, Lahore, and Tabriz; Istanbul, Kazan, and Kashgar. These revolutionaries read each other’s newspapers, spent years of exile in each other’s regions, and developed rich literary subcultures based on their shared cultural traditions. Ultimately, these activists’ shared projects of independence, vernacularization, and national modernization produced a far less continuous linguistic and cultural space, with new patterns of coordination and solidarity. Three new books explore this transnational world of literary and political revolution, providing different vantage points on the ways that world contributed to the making of the national literatures and world literature that we have inherited today.
This will be a public conversation between Nergis Ertürk (Writing in Red: Literature and Revolution Across Turkey and the Soviet Union, Columbia, April 2024), Sam Hodgkin (Persianate Verse and the Poetics of Eastern Internationalism, Cambridge, December 2023), and Annette Damayanti Lienau (Sacred Language, Vernacular Difference: Global Arabic and Counter-Imperial Literatures, Princeton, January 2024), in which the three scholars will reflect on the politics of literary form and language in the circuitries of literary internationalism.