The literature of migration transcends the traditional borders of national literatures, native languages, colonialism, racial and ethnic divides, and religion. These fictions both represent and critique the technological consumerism, transnational politics, and cultural conflicts of migration that have come to dominate globalism. Its authors—and sometimes their texts—are bi- or multilingual, even as the world Anglophone novel trades in an English language that has become the lingua franca of an increasingly cosmopolitan citizenry. Works such as Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West (2017), Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Refugees (2017), and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (2013) ask whether the global novel can be “ours” in the same manner as a national literature or in the form of shared humanitarian values—like the “white helmet” volunteers of the Syrian crisis—of liberality, human rights, and a progressive, social democracy. Does such a transnational literature promote positive attributes through a crosspollination or eclecticism that more readily acquaints one culture with the unique differences of another, and might that lead to creative appropriation, pluralism, tolerance, and exposure to alternative systems of belief?

NEMLA Conference 2019 CFP