Faculty Research Colloquium: “Re-telling Myth in Mexican, Turkish and Bengali Literature”

Mar 8, 2016

Professor of of World Literatures, Dr. Ian Almond, presented an unfinished chapter titled “Re-telling Myth in Mexican, Turkish and Bengali Literature” at a lunchtime Faculty Research Colloquium. Focusing on Mexican literature for now, the chapter emphasizes how myth is retold, and investigates what kinds of myth are retold, and why.

“The project stems out of a deep-seated frustration with current notions of world literature and world history – notions which, I believe, betray a strong Western, Euro-American bias. I hope to offer a series of reflections not only on the literary texts written during this period, but also on the evolution of different projects of modernity undertaken in three very different regions,” said Dr. Almond. “It will not merely involve central topics such as imperialism, historiography, religion, nation-state formation and identity, but will also try as a strategy to approach these topics obliquely – by considering unlikely, less obvious ideas such as ghosts, education, nostalgia, ruins, childhood, vengeance and misogyny.”

The colloquium was moderated by Dr. Firat Oruc, Assistant Professor of English and Humanities at GU-Q, who introduced the seminar by saying: “Ian is a great practitioner of what I would call deep comparison – one of the rare scholars who researches and discovers compelling and hidden connections, such as Sufism and deconstruction, post colonialism and conservatism. Even the topic today, involving myth and modernity, takes many of us off guard. And that’s something quite unique. ”

The colloquium was attended by several students and faculty members, and finished with a lively discussion on the points presented in the seminar. The presented ongoing research is part of a longer book project with the working title “Decentering World Literature: Parallel Modernities in Mexico, Turkey and Bengal”, which seeks to examine possible parallels in twentieth century Mexican, Bengali and Turkish fiction.

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