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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Globalisation Uncovered: Where Are the Hallmarks in Literature?

Isabel Moutinho.

In an increasingly globalised world, even narrative fiction is beginning to reveal signs of global change. Several contemporary European novels alert the reader to rising tensions between the local and the global. This paper reads some novels of the past twenty years – English (Zadie Smith), French (Jean Philippe Toussaint), Italian (Romana Petri), Portuguese (Maria Velho da Costa, Rui Zink), and Spanish (Javier Marías, Vázquez Montalbán) -- searching for signs of the struggle to preserve the fabric of local culture against the ever growing encroachment of globalisation. The paper ends on a positive note: globalisation will not necessarily have a negative effect on literature; to the contrary, it seems to be pushing it to new achievements.


Isabel Moutinho  (Australia)
Lecturer in Spanish and Portuguese
Spanish Program School of Historical and European Studies
La Trobe University

Isabel Moutinho teaches in the School of European Studies at La Trobe University, Australia. She has published several articles in Australia, Portugal and the USA, mostly on contemporary Portuguese fiction and on comparative literature.

  • Globalisation
  • European Literature

(30 min Conference Paper, English)