Warning: this episode of High Theory is very silly.
In our new summer series of “Sillies,” Saronik and Kim ask each other how simple things will achieve the grandiose task of saving the world. In this episode, Saronik asks Kim how jeans will save the world. Yes, we mean denim, not genes.
Some reading that might help assuage the silliness, and support our absurd arguments is listed below:
In this episode we used sound effects from freesound.org. To make the episode we downloaded sounds created by the following users: MATRIXX, aj_heels, deleted_user_5959249, LittleRobotSoundFactory, TarynMichelle101, Yellowbear, voxlab, NikiPlaymostories, TasmanianPower, trader_one, milkywaysurroundsme, josefpres, BugInTheSYS, paulnorthyorks. Click the link to hear the sound.
This episode’s silly image was created by Saronik Bosu.
Cheryl Narumi Naruse talks about the transformation of Singapore over the past decades into a site of postcolonial promise, with economic prosperity and cultural soft power. She discusses a range of texts ranging from official state documents to the immensely popular book and movie adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, which bear witness to and contribute to this change.
Cheryl Narumi Naruse is Assistant Professor of English and the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of the Humanities at Tulane University. Her research and teaching interests include contemporary Anglophone literatures and cultures (particularly those from Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands), diasporic Asian and Asian American literature, postcolonial theory, cultures of capitalism, and genre studies. Her first book, Becoming Global Asia: Contemporary Genres of Postcolonial Capitalism in Singapore is forthcoming from University of California Press in 2023. She is also working on a second monograph which explores the illegibility of Singapore/Malaysia—as the comparatively “cold” Southeast nations in the context of the Vietnam War—in Asian American and postcolonial studies.
Image: © 2023 Saronik Bosu
Roanne Kantor tells us about World Literature, in the ideas and practices of readers, writers, and scholars. Spatial metaphors like libraries, closets, and airport bookshops, help her imagine the “world” in world literature.
In the episode Roanne references work by many scholars in the field, including David Damrosch’s What is World Literature (Princeton UP, 2003); Debjani Ganguly’s This Thing Called the World (Duke UP, 2016), and Gloria Fisk’s Orhan Pamuk and the Good of World Literature (Columbia UP, 2018). In the longer version of our conversation, we talked about how little magazines from the 1970s New York literary scene, like Ed Sanders’ Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts, circulated in South Asia, inspiring avant-garde magazines like Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s damn you/a magazine of the arts.
Roanne is an assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. She has a brand new book, South Asian Writers, Latin American Literature, and the Rise of Global English, (Cambridge UP, 2022). If you want to learn more about the world of world lit, check it out.
This week’s image of an airport bookshop at the Incheon International Airport in South Korea, was photographed by Adli Wahid and made publicly available on Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons License.
Music used in promotional material: ‘Six More Weeks’ by Evening Fires
Nicholas Birns talks about ‘the hyperlocal’, a modality of American journalism in the early 1990s that he adapts to characterize a flexible and transposable concept of the local used in eighteenth and nineteenth century British and American literatures.
Nicholas Birns teaches at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts at New York University. He is the author of The Hyperlocal in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Literary Space (Lexington, 2019). With Louis Klee, he is currently coexisting a companion to the Australian novel to be published by Cambridge University Press.
Image: “The Hyperlocal” © 2021 Saronik Bosu
Music used in promotional material: ‘It All Begins Here’ by Borrtex