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11. Literary Studies

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, Gayatri Spivak has worked with the concept of the subaltern, originally articulated by Antonio Gramsci, and developed it in her criticism throughout her career as a literary critic, theorist, and translator. Spivak and others have pointed out that while the debates around World Literature are lively and the concept and framework is compelling, there remain problems with it. Aamir Mufti borrows from Spivak the idea that today's literature circulates in a mode of "cosmopolitan exchange", whereby literary texts are available throughout different parts of the world, through the exclusive medium of English. Another group of recent literary studies focused on women and Islamic cultures uses the insights of translation theory to understand the problematics of knowledge production around the Muslim woman. These studies focus on the ways in which texts originally written in Arabic undergo deforming changes in translation into English.

Keywords: Aamir Mufti; Antonio Gramsci; Gayatri Spivak; Islamic cultures; literary studies; Muslim woman; world literature



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