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Absinthe moves to Ann Arbor!

The Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan is pleased to announce it will assume editorial leadership of Absinthe, a literary magazine founded in Farmington Hills (MI) in 2003. Over the past ten years, Absinthe has promoted international literature and art and showcased contemporary work from a variety of European countries. Under the keen eye of its founding editor Dwayne D. Hayes, the magazine has come to be recognized as a leading publication for translated literature and has played a crucial part in introducing important contemporary voices from Europe to American readers.

The relocation of Absinthe to the Department of Comparative Literature will allow the journal to benefit from the expertise of one of the strongest comparative programs in the nation, and provide a sustainable publishing model to continue Absinthe’s commitment to promoting foreign literature in the United States. At the University of Michigan, Absinthe will provide a space of encounter between new voices in foreign literature, experienced translators, as well as translators in training. 

Starting in summer 2014, Absinthe will serve as a platform from which to expand the Department of Comparative Literature’s ongoing engagement with translation activities across the Michigan campus and beyond. The magazine will offer graduate students the opportunity to gain professional experience in editing literary translations and identifying important new trends in contemporary world literature. It will also provide opportunities for collaboration with colleagues across departments, both within and beyond the University of Michigan, on topics for special issues.

In the fall of 2014, The Department of Comparative Literature will resume Absinthe’s biannual print publication schedule as well as create an entire new online presence for the magazine. Two doctoral students in Comparative Literature will serve as co-editors for the first two transitional issues. Their task will consist of maintaining the legacy of Absinthe as established by Hayes, while broadening the magazine’s current focus on European literature to include texts that reflect the very wide range of geographical interests, talents and affinities present in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.

The first issue in Absinthe’s new incarnation (Fall 2014) will focus on the topic, “Precarious Europe: Writing in Uncertain Times.” Edited by Etienne Charriere, this issue will engage the current stage of crisis across the European continent. In order to understand how literature is written in times of acute precariousness, we look forward to publishing contemporary translated texts from a variety of spaces in Europe –with a special focus on the margins of the continent– that all reflect the ongoing climate of economic and political instability, as well as the profound identity crisis that has affected the entire continent in varied ways.

The topic of the next issue (Spring 2015) will be “Pen and Brush: Europe and China in Dialogue.”  Edited by Emily Goedde, it will focus on literary and artistic conversations between Europe and Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and other Chinese communities across Asia. In drawing from European writers (be they of Chinese origin or not), as well as from writers from the Sinophone world who live in or write about Europe, this issue will present a rich body of literary and artistic work that negotiates and illuminates contemporary cosmopolitanisms. It will also offer an opportunity to introduce new examples from exilic and migrant literature.

Future issues of Absinthe will be edited by graduate students and faculty in the Department of Comparative Literature and related departments and disciplines. Proposals regarding future issues will be announced in 2015. Please direct all inquiries and submissions to Etienne Charriere and Emily Goedde at absinthe.complit@umich.edu