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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 and the US. 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, the UK, and internationally, this series of seminars and workshops examines the place of world literature in the study of languages, as well as languages and translation in the study of world literature, and brings together 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 ShoresIndian 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:

Thursday, 28 January 2021, 16:00-17:30 - LINKS/IMLR Seminar - Online Event
Vicky Young (University of Cambridge): Beyond 'transborder: On Translation and Difference in Contemporary Japanese Literature 
All welcome - Registration essential:

Thursday, 4 February 2021, 16:00-17:30 - Online Event
Mohammad Hamdan (An-Najah National University, Palestine) : Rewriting the Indian Other: A Post-Colonial Translation of Rudyard Kipling’s 'The Story of Muhammad Din' into Arabic 
All welcome - Registration essential:

Thursday, 18 March 2021, 16:00-17:30 - Online Event
Galin Tihanov (Queen Mary, University of London): Reflections on World Literature and the Resistance to Theory
All welcome - Registration essential:

Wednesday, 21 April 2021, 16:00-17:30 - LINKS/IMLR Seminar - Online Event
Michael Cronin (Trinity College Dublin): Minor Oversight? Translation, World Literature and Indigeneity
All welcome - Registration essential:

Thursday, 20 May 2021, 15:00-16:30 - Online Event
Translating Contemporary Writing in Cameroon: Reflections from Recent Workshops with Bakwa
Speakers: Ruth Bush and Madhu Krishnan (University of Bristol)
All welcome - Registration essential:

Wednesday, 8 December 2021, 17:00-18:00
Shifting Shores: Swahili and World Literature
Speaker: Clarissa Vierke (University of Bayreuth)
All welcome - Registration essential:


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

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