2013 Harvard

The Institute held its third summer school session from June 24 through July 19, 2013 at Harvard University, following Beijing (2011) and Istanbul (2012). The eleven seminars were taught by leading names in world literature today, together with outstanding guest lectures and panels. Our participants had the opportunity to share their work in affinity groups and to build the academic community through outings and cultural events beyond the boundaries of the formal sessions. Our seminars were taught by a mix of distinguished senior faculty and innovative younger scholars of world literature:

Susan Bassnett, Warwick University

Helena Buescu, University of Lisbon

David Damrosch, Harvard University

Theo D’haen, University of Leuven

Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University

Djelal Kadir, Pennsylvania State University

Stephen Owen, Harvard University

Nirvana Tanoukhi, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Mads Rosendahl Thomsen, Aarhus University

Karen Thornber, Harvard University

Lawrence Venuti, Temple University

Our 2013 guest lecturers were Homi Bhabha (Harvard University), Emily Apter (New York University), and American writer Gish Jen, three noteworthy figures who have made major contributions to the discipline and practice, challenging and redefining from different perspectives the boundaries and key issues of global literary creation and circulation. Special panels run by our faculty guided our participants on professional issues of pedagogy, building syllabi, designing and redesigning world literature courses and programs, and strategies for moving into the job market and for publishing.

In addition, our participants had the opportunity to share their current work together within our eight affinity groups organized around broad themes: “Cultural Memory,” “Nation and Globe,” “Center and Periphery,” “Orientalism,” “Universality and Particularity,” “Translation,” “Originality and Imitation,” and “Modernism and Post-modernism.”

Our participants’ work benefited from using the resources of the Widener Library, one of the world's most comprehensive research collections in the humanities and social sciences, as well as nearly three dozen other libraries on campus, including the Houghton Rare Book Library and the exceptional East Asian holdings of the Harvard-Yenching Library, to mention only two of Harvard’s specialized libraries.

For art lovers, we organized a visit to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, which offers one of the largest collections of world art in the US, ranging from the art of the ancient world to that of Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Alternatively, our participants visites a smaller, but highly refined collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, housed in a 15th-century Venetian-style palazzo. This collection includes works by Titian, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Manet, Degas, Whistler and John Singer Sargent, as well as interesting records of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s engagement with Japanese art and artists.