This special issue provokes a radical reconsideration of the pasts and futures of world literature thirty years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, accompanied by triumphalist declarations of the end of history. Conceived in the wake of racial justice protests in the summer of 2020 and completed amid the invasion of Ukraine in 2022—two events with global reverberations that decisively punctured the illusions of a post-imperial, post-socialist, and post-racial world order homogenized by the unfettered spread of neoliberal capitalism—the articles collected here return to the prehistories and afterlives of a distinct body of transnational, transregional, and transmedian works that emerged from a shared desire to think beyond racial capitalism and socialism conceived within narrow ethnocentric and geopolitical frameworks. Looking backward and forward from the turn of the twentieth century to the present and beyond, they present new theoretical approaches and critical toolkits for what we call the literature of socialist anti-racisms. The connected histories of socialist anti-racist literature, however, were far from unadulterated dreamworlds of solidarity and emancipation; its inherent contradictions, visible on the very surfaces of the texts and contexts examined by our authors, assume particularly nightmarish contours from the vantage point of our shared, violent present.

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