Transnational Spaces: Celebrating Fifty Years of Literary and Cultural Intersections at NeMLA

Carine Mardorossian, Simona Wright (Eds.)

by Yasaman Naraghi (Gonzaga University), Andrea Delgado (California Polytechnic State University Humboldt), Fumiko Takeno (Tokai Gakuen University), Robert Morace (Daemen University, Amherst, New York), Gema Ortega (Dominican University), Jennifer Ross (College of William and Mary), Java Singh (Doon University), Shelby E. Ward (Tusculum University), Gabriele Maier (Carnegie Mellon University)

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This volume celebrates fifty years of NeMLA’s important presence in the world of academia with a collection of essays that adopt a transnational critical lens. With the present selection, we intend to add our voices to the ongoing debate centered on the renegotiation of space, national, and cultural geographies; to foster both the re-thinking of language(s) and literature(s) not exclusively in English and the study of race, gender, sexuality, and class within and across national boundaries. Most pertinently for this collection, we hope to add meaningful material to produce new theoretical paradigms and to rethink the role and significance of the humanities in today’s world. In this light, 'Transnational Spaces: Celebrating Fifty Years of Literary, Cultural, and Language Intersections at NeMLA' offers a contribution to the study of our present, transnational condition, from the point of view of an organization, the 'Northeast Modern Language Association', that since its inception in 1969, has sought to provide a space of encounter, debate, and open intellectual exchange for all its members as well as for the academe at large. The essays contained in this volume emphasize the interdependency and interrelations engendered by the globalized world in which we live, highlighting the possibility to create new knowledge and forms of understanding across the boundaries of nationhood and region. At the same time, they remind us that the present situation calls for a radical self-examination of a history of systemic racism which continues to produce episodes of police brutality, rationalizes cultural and economic exclusion, and normalizes the incarceration of African Americans and “illegal” immigrants, including children and minorities. In this light, with this volume, we hope to have provided inclusive, egalitarian, and cosmopolitan spaces of encounter, exchange, and interrogation.

Introduction: transnational spaces. Celebrating fifty years of literary, cultural, and language intersections at NeMLA
Carine Mardorossian
University of Buffalo
Simona Wright
The College of New Jersey

Chapter 1
Inhabiting transnationalism: the production, embodiment, and appropriation of transnational identity
Yasaman Naraghi
Gonzaga University
Andrea Delgado
California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt

Chapter 2
The global imagination of Edgar Allan Poe: “The Gold-Bug” and natural history in South Carolina
Fumiko Takeno
Tokai Gakuen University

Chapter 3
Transnational flows in Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project
Robert Morace
Daemen University, Amherst, New York

Chapter 4
Writing against the wall: the transnational history of the U.S. in Toni Morrison’s A Mercy
Gema Ortega
Dominican University

Chapter 5
A constellation of suffering and solidarity: building transnational community in Omar El Akkad’s American War
Jennifer Ross
University of Toronto

Chapter 6
Nomadic transitions through non-Oedipal spaces in two films about migrant workers from the Global South
Java Singh
Doon University

Chapter 7
Traveling from Sri Lanka: rewriting and remapping the postcolonial in dis-placement
Shelby E. Ward
Tusculum University

Chapter 8
Homelessness as the new concept of home? Space, Heimat and privilege in Abbas Khider’s novel Ohrfeige (2016)
Gabriele Maier
Carnegie Mellon University


Carine Mardorossian is a Professor of English and Global Gender Studies at the University at Buffalo, SUNY where she specializes in postcolonial and Caribbean studies, feminist studies, creative nonfiction, and the medical humanities. Her first book, 'Reclaiming Difference: Caribbean Women Rewrite Postcolonialism', showed how Caribbean women writers help reframe the identities of race, gender, and nation as interrelated and contingent sites of difference. Her second book, 'Framing the Rape Victim: Gender and Agency Reconsidered', finds in Caribbean literature the answer to the impasse that has defined contemporary approaches to sexual violence. Her most recent book, 'Death is but a Dream: Finding Hope and Meaning at Life’s End' (Penguin 2020), is co-authored with Christopher Kerr, MD and is a work of creative nonfiction that shows the centrality of the humanities to fields of specialized knowledge like medicine. She is currently completing a co-authored manuscript (with Veronica Wong) on Caribbean literature and the environment entitled 'Creolized Ecologies'.

Simona Wright is a Professor of Italian at The College of New Jersey, where she directs the Italian program. She holds a Laurea in Germanistik from Ca’ Foscari University (Venice, Italy) and a PhD in Italian Literature from Rutgers University. Her publications include a monograph on Italo Calvino, 'Calvino neobarocco' (Longo 1998), several articles on Italian women writers, contemporary Italian poetry, postcolonial literature and cinema, and Giacomo Leopardi. She is the co-editor of 'Contaminazioni culturali' (Vecchiarelli 2014), 'Attraversamenti culturali' (Cesati 2016), 'Mapping Leopardi' (Cambridge Scholars Press 2019), and 'Crocevia' (Led, 2022). Since 2006, she has been the editor of 'NeMLA Italian Studies' and has served on the editorial boards of Cambridge Scholars Press, ACLS, El-Ghibli, and 'Italica' online. Since 2013, she has co-organized the 'Intersections-Intersezioni Conference' (Turin and Florence, Italy) and has served twice on the Executive Board of NeMLA as President (2007-2011; 2017-2020).

Globalization, Migration, Diaspora, Postcolonial and Decolonial, Identity and subjectivity, Anglophone and World Literatures, Transnational cinema

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title
Transnational Spaces: Celebrating Fifty Years of Literary and Cultural Intersections at NeMLA
Number of pages
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
Publication date
January 2023