Applications are invited from senior undergraduate students to work on the following research project during the summer of 2021: “Literature and Language Studies in the Commonwealth – a History.”
The Association for Commonwealth Language and Literature Studies (ACLALS) is the world’s largest, and oldest, association for postcolonial literary studies, and the only civil society of the Commonwealth organization dedicated to the study of print and oral literature. Since its inaugural conference at the University of Leeds in 1964, ACLALS – together with its regional branches in Canada, East Africa, Europe, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the South Pacific, the United States of America, West Africa and the West Indies – has held numerous conferences and other events, produced a range of publications, including scholarly books, and nurtured generations of emerging scholars of global literature from around the world. In its half-century of existence, the organization has accumulated a significant trove of documents, as well as access to oral histories of the association’s founders. This archive has yet to be organized or made accessible. As the executive office moves to a different region of the Commonwealth, maintain such a physical archive becomes increasingly untenable, and limits the prospects for utilizing the archive for research. Sorting, categorizing, summarizing, analyzing and digitizing these various items will generate a history of the organization that will not only contribute substantively to an understanding of the emergence and ongoing transformation of postcolonial and global literature as a disciplinary field, but also to a better understanding of how efforts to Indigenize and decolonize the academy have proceeded within and across institutions, nations, and regions. Personal accounts from scholars will illuminate how challenging the literary canon through both teaching and research impacted the careers and lives of the first generation of scholars of commonwealth literatures. Production of a digital archive will generate a resource for further research by scholars around the world and preserve the institutional memory of a uniquely diverse and global scholarly organization.
Apply here for this Mitacs Globalink Research Internship.