2018 Program Overview

Our 8th IWL session will take place at the University of Tokyo at the beautiful Hongo Campus from July 2 through July 26, 2018, in collaboration with the Department of Contemporary Literary Studies, Faculty of Letters(現代文芸論研究室).


Our intense four-week program includes a total of ten two-week seminars taught by leading names in world literature today, together with outstanding guest lectures and the opportunity for participants to share their work in colloquia, as well as panels on publishing and the job market. The program will be supplemented by outings and cultural events to build community beyond the boundaries of the formal sessions. Our participants will have the chance to examine critically the latest challenges of this comprehensive and rapidly developing field, from its theoretical concepts and the history of the discipline to its forms of practice today embedded in a world market. Our seminars are taught by a mix of distinguished senior faculty and innovative younger scholars of world literature:


  • Christopher Bush, Northwestern University
  • Pheng Cheah, University of California at Berkeley
  • David Damrosch, Harvard University
  • Ursula Heise, UCLA
  • Mitsuyoshi Numano, University of Tokyo
  • Katharina Piechocki, Harvard University
  • Jing Tsu, Yale University
  • Delia Ungureanu, University of Bucharest
  • Zhang Longxi, City University of Hong Kong

2018 IWL Flyer


Click here to download our 2018 IWL flyer.

Our program includes also several plenary lectures offered by our faculty. Our guests are all noteworthy figures who have made major contributions to world literature and to the discipline of comparative literature, challenging and redefining from different perspectives the boundaries and key issues of classical and modern philology, literary theory and criticism. Our program includes also panels on publishing and the job market.

In addition to attending seminars, our participants will give a paper or present a work in progress or a recent project within one of our eight colloquia groups organized around broad themes: World Literature and Production, World Literature and Circulation, World Literature and Translation, Postcolonialism and World Literature, World Cinema and World Literature, Premodern Literature and World Literature; Politics, Poetics and World Literature. Meeting once each week with their peers under the leadership of one of our postdoc or faculty participants, they will have the opportunity to share their work with their peers, receive valuable feedback from scholars all over the world working on similar topics, and develop new projects including future ACLA seminars.

Our participants’ work will benefit from using the resources of the General Library and of the Library of the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology/Faculty of Letters on the Hongo Campus.

We've prepared a good number of informal optional outings at a low cost and various literary events on weekends, as well as poetry readings and panel discussions. We’ve arranged for 40 inexpensive rooms located at hotels and hostels not far from the university campus (20-45 minutes’ commute on the subway) and we expect to have 55 more places in an inexpensive hotel due to open in May 2018.

The application period is November 1, 2017 – February 1, 2018. Click here to apply.