2017 University of Copenhagen

The Institute held its seventh summer school session from July 3 through July 26, 2017, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in joint partnership with Aarhus University. Our four-week program included a total of twelve 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 was supplemented by outings and cultural events to build community beyond the boundaries of the formal sessions. Our participants examined 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 were taught by a mix of distinguished senior faculty and innovative younger scholars of world literature:

Click to download the 2017 IWL Flyer

  • Alexander Beecroft, University of South Carolina
  • Hendrik Birus, Jacobs University, Bremen
  • Thomas Claviez, University of Bern
  • Christian Dahl, University of Copenhagen
  • David Damrosch, Harvard University
  • Stefan Helgesson, Stockholm University
  • Dominique Jullien, UC Santa Barbara
  • Reine Meylaerts, KU Leuven
  • Francesca Orsini, SOAS University of London
  • Susan Stanford Friedman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Mads Rosendahl Thomsen, Aarhus University
  • Galin Tihanov, Queen Mary, University of London


Our program included also several plenary lectures offered by our faculty. Our guests were 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. Special panels composed of IWL faculty and participants discussed professional issues of strategies for moving into the job market and for publishing.

In addition to attending seminars, our participants gave a paper 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 a week with their peers under the leadership of one of our postdoc or faculty participants, they had the opportunity to make their own contribution to the developing field of world literary studies.

Our participants’ work benefited from using the resources of the Royal Library, renowned for its invaluable holdings including manuscripts of world literature like the Icelandic sagas, manuscripts by Hans Christian Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard, and Georg Brandes.

We organized casual outings, including a boat cruise in the Nyhavn area and a day trip to Kronborg, the site for Shakespeare's Hamlet.