American Comparative Litterature Association 2014 Annual Meeting: “Cosmopolitan Otherness: The Alternative Modernities of Marginocentric Cities in the Atlantic Rim”


Seminar Organizer(s):

  • Cesar Dominguez (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela)
  • Asuncion Lopez-Varela Azcarate (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Of the several topographic interfaces that have encouraged the interaction of local entities, this seminar will focus on “marginocentric cities.” According to Marcel Cornis-Pope and John Neubauer, marginocentric cities are “multiethnic nodal cities…that at favorable historical conjunctions have rewritten the national cultural paradigm from the margin, ascribing to it a dialogic dimension, both internally and externally.” Whereas Cornis-Pope and Neubauer’s map of marginocentric cities is restricted to East-Central Europe, this seminar aims at testing whether the concept of “marginocentric cities” is operative for other areas, namely, the Atlantic rim as a “system of cultural exchanges” (Paul Gilroy), though the focus here is not restricted to the ‘Black Atlantic.’ ‘Margin’ and ‘centre’ may have other meanings in such an oceanic world, in which boundaries might be more elusive and national geographies dislocated. To grasp these other meanings, the constitutive dialectics of being simultaneously central and marginal should be regarded in relation to their complex relationships with different projects of modernity.

Papers for discussion should include:

1) Atlantic cities as oceanic hubs which transcend national and regional boundaries;
2) marginocentric cities and their role in aesthetic (r)evolutions;
3) digital city-mapping which makes otherness visible in “traditional” capital cities;
4) the role of cities in comparative literary history, to name but a few of possible topics.

This panel is sponsored by the Jean Monnet Chair ‘The Culture of European Integration.’
It is anticipated that a selection of the presented papers will be published as a special issue of Atlantic Studies (Routledge).

SEMINAR KEYWORDS: Atlantic world; cosmopolitanism; digital mapping; marginocentric city; modernity; spatial humanities; urban imaginary.

More information, click here.