World Literature in Motion: Institution, Recognition, Location
Chapter: Minor Literatures, Minor Prizes
Contributor: Rashi Rohatgi
Editors: Flair Donglai Shi and Gareth Guangming Tan
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Book Description: By bringing in different degrees of circulation in different regions and languages, this collection shows that while literary centers do exist in what Pascale Casanova calls “the international literary space,” their power does not operate unilaterally and modes of intercultural circulation do exist beyond their control. The title World Literature in Motion highlights the fact that world literature is always already the product of certain modes of conceptual and material mobility and mediation.
Chapter Description: In her chapter entitled “Minor Literatures, Minor Prizes,” Rohatgi explores the role of literary prize in multilingual Mauritius. “Rohatgi shows that the contradictory ideological forces behind… two prizes have contributed to the same nationalistic pretension of internationalism that fails to make Mauritius the centre of any literary worlds” (Shi 32).
In the ongoing consolidation of world literature studies, World Literature in Motion provides a much-needed elaboration of sociological methods of inquiry. Up-to-date and theoretically savvy, yet attentive to the complexities of doing research across languages and continents, this volume contributes substantially to making literary studies relevant in our global age.
Ranging across linguistic and national boundaries, and bridging disciplinary divides, World Literature in Motion is a model for how to tackle the immense challenge of a holistic sociology of world literatures. Taken together, its chapters provide comprehensive insight into the way that the circulation of world literature is mediated by institutional forces—forces that themselves mediate political and economic pressures. This is an essential teaching and research resource for anyone who has lamented the Eurocentrism of the book history establishment.
Rashi Rohatgi's Bookshelf
Cambridge Scholars, 2014