Ian AlmondDec 27, 2021
World Literature Decentered
Beyond the 'West' Through Turkey, Mexico and Bengal
Ian Almond is Professor of World Literature at Georgetown University in Qatar, and author of six books, including Two Faiths, One Banner: When Muslims Marched with Christians across Europe’s Battlegrounds, published in 2011 by Harvard University Press and The Thought of Nirad C. Chaudhuri: Islam, Empire and Loss published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. His work has been translated into thirteen languages.
His most recent work, World Literature Decentered: Beyond the West through Turkey, Mexico and Bengal, was published in 2021 by Routledge. World Literature Decentered offers a unique departure from world literature as it has been understood, theorized, and anthologized. It asks: what would world literature look like if we stopped referring to the “West”? Starting with the provocative premise that the “‘West’ is ten percent of the planet,” World Literature Decentered is the first book to decenter Eurocentric discourses of global literature and global history – not just by deconstructing or historicizing them, but by actively providing an alternative. Looking at a series of themes across three literatures (Mexico, Turkey and Bengal), the book examines hotels, melancholy, orientalism, femicide and the ghost story in a series of literary traditions outside the “West”. The non-West, the book argues, is no fringe group or token minority in need of attention – on the contrary, it constitutes the overwhelming majority of this world.
Bryant Scott is a professor of English in the Liberal Arts Department at Texas A&M University at Qatar.