<i>Clefs à Roman</i>: Reading, Writing, and International Humanitarianism

Joseph R. Slaughter

in Human Rights, Inc.

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780823228171
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241033 | DOI:
Clefs à Roman: Reading, Writing, and International Humanitarianism

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Humanitarianism is not the precise contemporary equivalent of classical imperialism, but, as this chapter argues, they share enough structural features that they are, though imperfectly, homologous. Similarly, although human personality development is obviously not the same as capitalism, it is inflected by and expressed within a heavily marketized international economy of both human rights and “world” literature. The chapter considers the role of literacy in the projection and constitution of an international order based on the recognition and observance of human rights. As the chapter also argues, the Western “market reader” of Bildungsromane that are written in the global spaces of historical marginality literally buys in to the business of human rights through a practice of literary consumption that in turn intensifies an editorial demand for Bildungsromane.

Keywords: humanitarianism; human personality; personality development; world literature; human rights; literacy; Bildungsromane; reading; writing; imperialism

Chapter.  17612 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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