Seminars and Seminar Leaders

Seminars and Seminar Leaders

For our 2014 session, we gathered some of the most renowned names in the theory and practice of world literature today. Our distinguished faculty offered our participants a series of seminars spanning key issues in world literature: the comparative conceptual basis of the discipline, the specificity of the theories legitimizing this comprehensive field, the history, methodology, and pedagogy of the discipline, literary and reading strategies, and questions of circulation and translation in a global market. All seminars mixed a variety of primary texts and theoretical and critical readings engaging with literature from many parts of the world.

June 23-July 3

  • "Grounds for Comparison" - David Damrosch, Harvard University
  • "Comparing Copies" - Jacob Edmond, University of Otago
  • "Beyond Justice" - Svend Erik Larsen, Aarhus University
  • "World Literature and Environmental Crisis" - Karen Thornber, Harvard University
  • "From Comparison to World Literature: Readings and Conceptual Issues" - Zhang Longxi, City University of Hong Kong

July 7-17

  • "World Cinema" - Dudley Andrew, Yale University
  • "World Authors/World Literature" - Theo D'haen, Catholic University, Leuven
  • "World Literature and Modern Chinese Literature: Parallels, Counterpoints, and Cross-currents" - Leo Ou-fan Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • "Translation in Asia: Theories, Practices, Histories" - Ronit Ricci, Australian National University
  • "From Comparison to World Literature: Readings and Conceptual Issues" - Zhang Longxi, City University of Hong Kong

Guest Lecturers

Our 2014 distinguished lecturers were Krishan Kumar, Glenn Most, and Gisèle Sapiro, three leading names in the theory and practice of literary studies, who have paved the way, from different fields and perspectives, to a thorough understanding of some of the most important issues that lie at the core or world literature, whether through Kumar's reading of our modern times through the frames of utopia and anti-utopia, through Most's reworking the perspective on the classics or through Sapiro's sociological approach on the world literary market by taking Bourdieu's theory of the literary field unto the next level.

Krishan Kumar

Krishan Kumar is University Professor and William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia, USA. He was previously Professor of Social and Political Thought at the University of Kent at Canterbury, England. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard, a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and a Visiting Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and the Universities of Bergen, Bristol, Colorado (Boulder), Kent (Canterbury), and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Among his publications are Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times (1987), Utopianism (1992), 1989: Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals (2001), The Making of English National Identity (2003), and From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society, second edition (2005). He is co-editor (with G. Delanty) of The Sage Handbook of Nations and Nationalism (2006). He has also edited William Morris, News from Nowhere (Cambridge Political Texts, 1995), and H. G. Wells, Modern Utopia (Dent, Everyman edition, 1994). He is currently writing a book on empires.

Krishan Kumar lectured on ""Civilization as a Concept for Global Analysis: The Example of Arnold Toynbee" on June 23, 2014.

Glenn W. Most

Glenn W. MostGlenn W. Most studied Classics and Comparative Literature in Europe and the United States, and has taught at the Universities of Yale, Princeton, Michigan, Siena, Innsbruck, Heidelberg, and Paris. Since 1996 he has been a Professor on the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and since 2001 he has been simultaneously Professor of Greek Philology at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa; recently he became an External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. He has published and edited books on Classics, on the history and methodology of Classical studies, on the Classical tradition and Comparative Literature, on literary theory, and on the history of art, and has published numerous articles, reviews, and translations in these fields and also on modern philosophy and literature. Most recently he has co-edited a general guide to the reception of ancient Greek and Roman culture and a thorough revision of the most widely used translations of Greek tragedy; among his projects for the coming years are a four-volume Greek and English Loeb edition of the Presocratic philosophers, a bilingual edition of the complete corpus of ancient and mediaeval scholia and commentaries to Hesiod’s Theogony, and a volume comparing philological techniques in a variety of Western and Eastern traditions.

Glenn Most lectured on "Greek Literature, Roman Literature, Latin Literature: World Literature(s)" on July 7, 2014.

Gisèle Sapiro

Gisèle SapiroGisèle Sapiro is Research Director at Centre National de Recherche Scientifique and Director of Studies at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Sapiro’s studies cover a wide research area from the sociology of intellectuals, culture and literature, to the sociology of translation and of international cultural exchanges, social history of human and social sciences. Working under Pierre Bourdieu’s supervision for her doctoral degree, Sapiro follows him closely through her renowned volume The Writers’ War (La Guerredes écrivains (1940-1953), 1999), which discusses the symbolic power of words during the Nazi occupation of France. She wrote widely on the intellectuals’ relation to the political and literary field, on the emergence of the aesthetics of modernity, taking up these interests to a global context (L'Espace intellectuel en Europe. De la formation des États-nations à la mondialisation, XIXe-XXIe siècle, 2009), as she views French literature in the world-system of translation, or looking at the role translation plays today in a book market marked by globalization and cultural diversity.

Gisèle Sapiro lectured on "The World Market of Translation: Literature Between National and Transnational Fields" on July 3, 2014.