Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Is there a Transnational Literary Aesthetic?: The Repeating Island and the Future of Literary Studies

Dr. Ann Marie Fallon.

In this paper I begin with a central question for thinking through the relationship between aesthetics in a global literary marketplace and the uniqueness of national literatures: is there an emerging transnational literary aesthetic and if so, is it driven by American capitalism or postcolonial political resistance? By examining the proliferation of island imagery related to Robinson Crusoe in novels from the Caribbean, Argentina, Canada and Mexico, I analyze the dynamic exchange of literary influence in a transnational literary sphere. I argue that these international relationships disrupt current theoretical models for understanding the significance of literary revision. Moreover the emergence of an international or transnational literary aesthetic counters the market driven forces of American capitalism, creating a narrative space for reengagement with an idealized ‘humanistic’ tradition that transcends and even undercuts the authority of national narratives and the dehumanizing forces of globalization.


Dr. Ann Marie Fallon  (United States)
Assistant Professor
University Studies
Portland State University

Ann Marie Fallon is an assistant professor of University Studies at Portland State University. She teaches courses in postcolonial literature, transnationalism and the new International American Studies and regularly presents on these topics. She has an article on Julieta Campos forthcoming in the Journal of Contemporary Literature.

  • Transnationalism
  • Literary influence
  • Feminism
  • Postcolonialism
  • The novel
Person as Subject
  • Julieta Campos Victoria Slavuski Sam Selvon Derek Walcott

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)