World Literature in and for Pandemic Times
Essays are invited for a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of World Literature on the theme of World Literature in and for Pandemic Times. Essays can discuss works that are set in plagues or epidemics (whether Covid-19 or earlier epidemics, real or fictional), or can discuss how we ourselves read under our current circumstances of lockdowns, widespread mortality, and the resulting social and economic disruptions. Essays can have a comparative or international focus or can take up a single work seen in its particular historical and cultural context; this special issue will begin with a discussion with Orhan Pamuk at last summer’s Institute for World Literature session, centered on his forthcoming novel Nights of Plague, which is set in Istanbul in the late Ottoman era. Collectively, the issue will present a range of local or transregional responses to the social and psychological impacts of epidemics and on the ways we are reading today.