Convocation Seminars in World Literature and Translation: Beyond the Monolingual

Recent years have seen the emergence of 'world literature' both within, alongside, and sometimes as an alternative to, Comparative Literature, with new programmes appearing across universities in the UK. In a context where languages departments increasingly struggle to recruit students to their programmes, courses in world literature and translation have allowed the discipline to maintain and even increase take up of languages. However, many world literature programmes do not explicitly require linguistic competency in more than one language, meaning students regularly study literature in translation without necessarily engaging with the original text, the context of its production or the process of its translation into English. If such monolingual practices help with student recruitment, they also ultimately reduce students’ exposure to languages outside their own as well as an appreciation of what studying texts in the original language brings to the study of literature and culture more broadly.

Bringing together scholars, teachers and students working in languages across London and the UK, this series of twelve seminars and workshops will be launched in April 2020 and examine the increasingly contentious place of world literature in the study of languages, as well as languages in the study of world literature, and offer several perspectives from leading researchers in the field.

Supported by a grant from the University of London’s Convocation Trust, the London Intercollegiate Network of Comparative Studies (LINKS) and the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR).  

Series Leader: Joseph Ford (IMLR), in collaboration with LINKS members at the member institutions of the University of London.

Speakers and Events

Thursday, 1 October 2020, 15:00-16:30 - Series Launch/Lecture - Online Event
Emma Bond (University of St Andrews): Museum Practices in World Literature
All  welcome - Registration essential:

Thursday, 26 November 2020, 15:00-16:30 - LINKS/IMLR Seminar - Online Event
Francesca Orsini (SOAS): Beyond the Two Shores: Indian Magazines and World Literature between Decolonization and the Cold War 
All welcome - Registration essential:

Wednesday, 2 December 2020. 15:00-17:00 - LINKS/IMLR Postgraduate Workshop - Online Event
Eco-Translation: Comparative Literature and the Environmental Humanities
Discussants: Florian Mussgnug (University College London) and Danielle Sands (Royal Holloway University London)
Chair: Ruth Cruickshank (Royal Holloway University London)
All welcome - Registration essential:

Please refer to the IMLR's Events pages for details / registration for these and future events.