Cosmopoetics: Multilingual Experiments in Transnational Literature


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




Multilingual texts inhabit the margins of literary traditions: unread and understudied, complex and perplexing like the realities they arise in and describe. Through analysis of multilingual writings by transnational authors ranging from Eugene Jolas and Christine Brooke-Rose to Ntozake Shange and Susana Chávez-Silverman, this study proposes that literary traditions and literature classrooms should include these complex experiments, as their code-switching form offers a new poetics for the globalizing world. Because it underscores the reality of linguistic diversity against the monolingual norms of nations and homogenizing claims of global English, this dissertation describes this mode of expression as “cosmopoetics,” and argues that it constitutes the aptest idiom of globalization.