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Testimonials by IWL Alumni from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

October 15, 2021

Lizy Mostowski (ABD Comparative Literature current student): “The Institute for World Literature was a rewarding experience that not only exposed me to new texts and modes of analyses helpful to my area of study; participation in the Institute also allowed me to network with professors and graduate students from around the world that I wouldn't have otherwise met. Though the program was virtual the year that I participated, I found that it was a wonderful mix of seminars, talks, and colloquia that allowed me to learn about the general field of World Literature from...

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Around the World in 80 Books

May 10, 2020

From May 11 through August 31, Covid-sequestered lovers of literature can join Harvard’s David Damrosch in a world journey through world literature, five books per week for sixteen weeks. He’ll be exploring the ways in which literature enters the world, and the world enters literature, taking up a set of works each week associated with a memorable locale. The project’s website features a blog on each day’s book, together with ideas and resources for further reading. Join the journey at:

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CALL FOR PAPERS: World Literature in and for Pandemic Times

February 11, 2021

Essays are invited for a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of World Literature on the theme of World Literature in and for Pandemic Times. Essays can discuss works that are set in plagues or epidemics (whether Covid-19 or earlier epidemics, real or fictional), or can discuss how we ourselves read under our current circumstances of lockdowns, widespread mortality, and the resulting social and economic disruptions. Essays can have a comparative or international focus or can take up a single work seen in its particular historical and cultural context; this special issue will...

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CfP, Journal of World Literature: Special Issue on World Literature and World Cinema

July 6, 2020

Over the past two decades, world literature and world cinema have developed separately rather than in conjunction, with little attention paid to each other despite their structurally related objects of study. Literary scholars rarely discuss films apart from occasional direct adaptations, and while world cinema has sometimes looked at the theoretical framing developed in world literature studies, as with the cartographical direction opened by Dudley Andrew’s take on Franco Moretti and David Damrosch’s work, neither discipline has thought more generally beyond its respective medium...

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JWL Special Issue for Spring 2021: Marketing World Literature: Book Fairs, Festivals, Prizes

August 29, 2019

Literary prizes and events play a growing role today in the international circulation and reception of writers and their works. Even nationally based awards such as the Pulitzer can have an international impact, while conversely the award of the Nobel Prize can have a major – and sometimes ambiguous – impact on a writer’s standing at home. Book fairs and festivals have multiplied worldwide, from Jerusalem to Jaipur, giving writers as well as their works new kinds of exposure. This special issue of JWLwill explore the sociology of such events, their cultural...

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David Damrosch talks about World Literature and more in the Harvard Magazine

August 22, 2019

Don't miss out a profile of the IWL Director, David Damrosch, by Spencer Lee Lenfield in the Harvard Magazine featured also as the lead item in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Arts section. David Damrosch talks vividly about many different topics from his intellectual trajectory and research interests throughout a career that turned from comparative to world literature, to  current books, pedagogy and the future of the discipline:

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