Making the Global Legible: An Examination of World Polity as It Relates to World Literature Open Access

Montoya, Manuel Rudolpho (2010)

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Abstract

Abstract
Making the Global Legible:
An Examination of World Polity as It Relates to World Literature

This project explores how global structures become legible in the world system through text. I frame this analysis by studying how internationalism is conflated with globalism, which produces a series of disjunctive problems that I refer to as illegibility. I argue that in order to distinguish between international and global categories, one must understand how the global emerges as a meaningful part of our social realities. Given that world culture is its own distinct cultural category, and given that global structures have crystallized over the past two hundred years, I describe how certain literary figures appear with great consistency, and I describe how they resolve certain ambiguities between international and global structures. This analysis places studies on world literature in conversation with world polity theory. I evaluate world literature as a problem of global aesthetics, wherein literary analysis is a way of understanding the aesthetic distinctiveness of globality. I apply world polity theory as a way of identifying what stakeholders are imagined as purely global actors, and how authority is conferred upon them in the world system. These studies are applicable across a broad array of scholarly fields, including foreign relations, international law, and international finance. By learning how we imagine global landscapes, I argue that we can learn how to address how nations obstruct or conceal effective solutions to major global issues.

Making the Global Legible:
An Examination of World Polity as It Relates to World Literature
By
MJR Montoya
B.A., University of New Mexico, 1999
M.Litt., Oxford University, 2001
M.A., New York University, 2002
Advisor: Dr. Angelika Bammer
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the
James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies of Emory University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
in Foreign Relations and Comparative Literature
2010

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Chapter


1. INTRODUCTION: MAKING THE WORLD LEGIBLE …....………........1


2. CHAPTER 1: THE PROBLEM OF LEGIBILITY AND
ILLEGIBILITY IN THE WORLD SYSTEM ....…………………...........…. 16


3. CHAPTER 2: METHODS: LEGIBILITY, AESTHETIC
ANALYSIS, AND POLITY …....……………………………..............……... 83


4. CHAPTER 3: A GENEAOLOGY OF GLOBAL FIGURES…..……......115


5. CHAPTER 4: THE PRECISE GLOBAL MACHINERY OF

WATCHMEN …………….....…………………………….……...……............. 162


6. CHAPTER 5: RETHINKING THE WORLD POLITY: THE
LITERARY ELEMENT OF GLOBAL TEXTUAL

PRODUCTION …........……………………………….………………............ .203


7. CONCLUSION: DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS, POTENTIAL
TRAJECTORIES AND CONTRIBUTIONS …...………………............. .232


Appendix


REFERENCES …….............……………………………………………………...240

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