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The Shifting Frontiers of Literary Studies in the Twenty-first Century

Shanthini Pillai, Melissa Shamini Perry


Traditionally seen as a discipline that was immersed in published narratives, with poetry, drama, short fiction, and novels as the sole determinant corpus, Literary Studies in the twenty-first century has progressed across the latitudes of narrativity, as the notion of text itself has pushed past established boundaries of words on a published page. The page in the contemporary context can be taken to mean the written text, the visual text, the moving text, and the hypertext, to name just a few. The articles in this Forum Kritika present a glimpse into the shifting frontiers in Literary Studies as it presents varied facets of contemporary literary scholarship by literary scholars. The discussions take us across a number of planes. They integrate both print and multimodal texts, demonstrate eclectic frameworks of reading that cross disciplinary boundaries, reveal the utilization of analytical tools from the hard sciences, and also project the inculcation of innovative and entrepreneurial skills in the literary classroom. Yet, the Forum is also mindful that however far away we trek beyond established frontiers, we must still ensure our contact with the core of our discipline, that of traditional forms of the printed text. For, if we dismiss them from our view, we run the risk of inadvertently devaluing the worth of literary fiction and its attendant academic scholarship. As such, the Forum also incorporates articles that engage with contemporary theater and novels and their inherent validity in reflecting the socio-political concerns of our world, emphasizing that these will never lose their currency however much the arena changes.


eclectic frameworks; frontiers; literary scholarship; multimodality; narratives

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2020.03319