Abstracts & Bio
|1||Sandra Bermann, Princeton University, USA||More|
|2||Vladimir Biti, University of Vienna, Austria||More|
|3||Lucia Boldrini, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK||More|
|4||Ipshita Chanda, EFLU of Hyderabad, India||More|
|5||Massimo Fusillo, University of L’Aquila, Italy||More|
|6||Paulo Lemos Horta, New York University Abu Dhabi, USA||More|
|7||Youngmin Kim, Dongguk University, Korea/Hangzhou Normal University, China||More|
|8||Svend Erik Larsen, Aarhus University, Denmark||More|
|9||Sebastian Hsien-hao Liao, National Taiwan University, Taiwan||More|
|10||Ning Wang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China||More|
|11||Haun Saussy, University of Chicago, USA||More|
|12||Cao Shunqing, Sichuan University, China||More|
|13||Galin Tihanov, Queen Mary University of London, UK||More|
|14||Anne Tomiche, Sorbonne Université, France||More|
Sandra Bermann, Princeton University, USA
Abstract“Translation, Migration and Digital Humanities”
My talk will focus on ways in which diasporic languages, like diasporic populations, undermine nationalist fantasies of pure language and nationhood. At times, this occurs with special intensity through contemporary polylingual or translingual texts.
Given the waves of migration in the 20th and 21st centuries, and the everyday experiences of linguistic and cultural “code-switching” that accompany them, it is perhaps not surprising that the number of polylingual texts has in fact grown. Such texts become ways in which migration and translation act effectively “from below” to subvert monolingual nationalist assumptions. Through the presence of multiple languages, polylingual texts can offer experiences of uncertainty and changefulness. They ask readers to ponder linguistic differences—and to ask what these may mean.
Due in part to the challenges they present, polylingual texts often attract more social modes of reading, as individuals from various ethnic, racial, national, and linguistic backgrounds tend to read and interpret in dialogue (rather than just individually)—whether through print resources that illuminate languages, genres, or cultures they do not know, through online media of various kinds, or through in-person conversation in classrooms and beyond. Readers thereby continue the text’s resistance to monolingual assumptions by their own everyday experiences of readerly dialogue, relation, and connection. What might be the ethical impact of these encounters? And what sorts of new “translations” might they prompt?
Sandra Bermann is Cotsen Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton. She has authored The Sonnet Over Time: Studies in the Sonnets of Petrarch, Shakespeare, and Baudelaire; translated Manzoni’s On the Historical Novel; co-edited Nation, Language, and the Ethics of Translation; and A Companion to Translation Studies, along with many scholarly articles and reviews. Her current projects focus on lyric poetry, translation studies, and new directions in comparative literature.
Professor Bermann has had longstanding interests in extending literary research programs internationally. During her 12 years as Chair of Princeton’s Department of Comparative Literature, she expanded its international reach as she also co-founded Princeton’s Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication and led the President’s working group to create the Bridge Year Program, offering students a year’s service abroad. She was President of the American Comparative Literature Association from 2007-09 and of the International Comparative Literature Association from 2019-2022.
Vladimir Biti, University of Vienna. Austria
Abstract“Goethe’s Weltliteratur as a trauma narrative”
Recent celebrators of literature’s “planetary system” use to consider Goethe as their vision’s founding father. However, by disregarding significant differences between the writer’s and their own historical and political circumstances, they uncritically place Goethe’s idea of Weltliteratur at the service of their intellectual and/or geopolitical projections. To oppose such misappropriations, in this lecture, I am going to uncover a personal and a collective trauma that generated Goethe’s project. The German writer appears to have been stranded in his present both as a writer and a German. To get out of this deeply frustrating situation, he forged transborder alliances that paved the way for his vision of world literature. However, as particular traumas make this project’s very foundation, its much trumpeted liberating capacity and universal scope have to be seriously re-examined. Considering that Goethe’s Weltliteratur was intended to hail traumas already in its initial form, my thesis reads that it continued to do so also in its recent reformulations by involuntarily inducing new traumatic exclusions. This does not disqualify new renderings of Weltliteratur entirely of course, but instructs us to be careful when implementing them.
Vladimir Biti, Chair Professor Emeritus at the University of Vienna. Author of eleven books, Tracing Global Democracy: Literature, Theory, and the Politics of Trauma, Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2016 (second, paperback edition 2017), Attached to Dispossession: Sacrificial Narratives in Post-imperial Europe, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2018, and Post-imperial Literature: Translatio Imperii in Kafka and Coetzee, Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2021, among the most recent. Editor of the volumes Reexamining the National-Philological Legacy: Quest for a New Paradigm, Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2014, Claiming the Dispossession: The Politics of Hi/storytelling in Post-imperial Europe, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2017, and co-editor of The Idea of Europe: The Clash of Projections, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2021. Co-editor of arcadia: Journal of Literary Culture. Honorary President of the ICLA Committee on Literary Theory. Since 2016, he is the Chair of the Academy of Europe’s Literary and Theatrical Section.
Lucia Boldrini, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Abstract“Old and new questions for literature in the digital age”
In this paper, I will consider some of the question that arise for literature and the arts in a world of fast connectivity, social media, crowdsourcing, artificial intelligence: questions that are about writing, reading and publishing, about authorship and authority, about genre, popular and ‘high’ literature, about creativity, memory and identity. While they require answers embedded in and relevant to the contemporary digital world, they also prove to be old questions which literature repeatedly returns to.
Lucia Boldrini is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Centre for Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research interests include fictional biography and autobiography; Joyce, Dante and modernist medievalism; comparative literature; and literature on and from the Mediterranean area. Among her books: Autobiographies of Others: Historical Subjects and Literary Fiction (Routledge, 2012); Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations (CUP, 2001); and as editor, Experiments in Life-Writing: Intersections of Auto/Biography and Fiction, with Julia Novak (Palgrave, 2017). She was Academic Co-Director, with Ivan Callus and Stella Borg Barthet, of the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership “Mediterranean Imaginaries: Literature, Arts, Culture” (2016-2018). She has been General Coordinator of the European Network of Comparative Literature Studies (REELC/ENCLS, now ESCL/SELC). She is Editor-in-Chief, with Michael Lackey and Monica Latham, of the Bloomsbury “Biofiction” book series. She is an elected member of the Academia Europaea, and currently serves as President of the International Comparative Literature Association.
Ipshita Chanda, EFLU of Hyderabad, India
Abstract“Virtual Alterities : The Ethics of Relation and ‘World’ Literature.”
In this paper, I attempt to juxtapose the immersive environment of virtual reality with the human world to contrast and contextualise the dynamics of interpersonal relationships with user-environment interfaces. Virtual Reality simulates an apparently transparent medium through which we enter an “other” world, wherein subject-object relations, intersubjectivity and the ethos in which these relations become operational, are reconfigured. This juxtaposition is intended to emphasise the specificity of the relation between literature and the act of reading, and further reflect upon the difference between communication which underlies the construction of the virtual world, and expression which characterises literature as a human and humanising act. A willing encounter with alterity is the ethical impulse that grounds the comparative approach to literature : does the construction of a virtual world enable the reader of literature to engage with alterity in a similar ethical manner, thus contributing to crosscultural understanding, which is the humanistic aim of our discipline ?
Ipshita Chanda is a professor at the Department of Comparative Literature and English at Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. She has been ICCR Visiting Professor of Indian Culture, Georgetown University (2013–14). A member of the faculty team in the International Faculty Exchange Programme of the Virginia Council for International Education and the Virginia Community College System (2008–09), she has written extensively in books and journals including the edited volume Shaping the Discourse: Women's Writings in Bengali Periodicals, 1865–1947 (2014) and Packaging Freedom: Feminism and Popular Culture (2003). She is the author of Selfing the City: Single Women Migrants and Their Lives in Kolkata (2017).
Massimo Fusillo, University of L’Aquila, Italy
Abstract“Inter-mediality in Digital Media Environment”
As a medium literature has always been characterized by a strong virtual dimension: the capacity to evoke alternative worlds, an imaginary universe which can conflict with the real one, or even deconstruct the opposition between real and fictional. Postmodern fiction has stressed and expanded the inter-medial aspect of literature, showing a true obsession with visual media and extraliterary codes. Sometimes it goes well beyond playful infinite rewriting, and becomes a true inter-medial phenomenon, a significant synergy between media and arts, strongly linked to narrative strategies and symbolic values, as in the so-called maximalist novel. The digital revolution has already changed, and is still changing, the classical notions of author, text, public, intellectual property. Instead of defending the purity of a lost tradition, literature must now face the complex and multisensory logic of contemporary mediality, based on acceleration, simultaneity, and hyper-mediation. If literature is comparable to a medium, then, according to Derrida, the postmodern tendency to narrate the de-centration of the book might allow us to consider it as technology. Starting from this premise, the paper will try to illustrate how the material supports of literature, i.e. the book and the printed page, are technological forms involved in a continuous process of computerization. This consideration confirms what was emerging in nuce from the maximalist novels.
Massimo Fusillo is Professor of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the University of L’Aquila (Italy), where he is Coordinator of the PhD Program on Literatures Arts Media: The Transcodification, and President of the Centre of Research on Transcodification. He is also Chair of the Research Committee on Literatures Arts Media (CLAM) and member of the Research Committee on Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages (CHLEL) of the International Association of Comparative Literature (ICLA); and member of the Academia Europaea. Among his recent publications: The Fetish. Literature, cinema, visuality, Bloomsbury, 2017; Video Art Facing Wagner, in M. Fusillo – M. Grishakova (eds.), The Gesamtkunstwerk as a Synergy of the Arts. New Comparative Poetics, Bruxelles, Peter Lang, 2021, pp. 171-182; Negative Empathy, Catharsis, Fear: a Transmedial Itinerary, in R. Gasperoni Gerina e F. Milano (eds), Critica delle emozioni, Firenze, Franco Cesati, 2020, pp. 27-44
Paulo Lemos Horta, New York University Abu Dhabi, USA
Abstract“World Literature and Digital unrest: Maryse Condé and the New Academy Prize”
This paper takes the awarding of New Academy prize to Maryse Condé as the point of departure for an investigation of world literature in a digital age. As such, it sketches a counterintuitive literary history of the present, at a moment where immigrant writing across different national markets wins awards and would appear to be in vogue, perhaps even meriting the moniker of a ‘new world literature’. The very need for a new academy to be formed in Sweden in 2018 to recognize Condé should serve as a reminder of the narrowness of the parameters afforded immigrant writers and their politics by both literary markets and institutions. For over a century, the Nobel has succeeded in cultivating the aura of a disinterested, objective, literary prize. Pierre Bourdieu, Pascale Casanova and Gisèle Sapiro single out the role of the Nobel when seeking to substantiate evidence of a literary field disentangled from market and political concerns. The Swedish academy itself promotes a narrative of progress, whereby the aim to reward “the most outstanding work in an ideal direction” evolved from strictly formal criteria to encompass writing “true to the vernacular” and that subjects the world to historical and political scrutiny. Yet when the academy failed to award a prize in literature in 2018, the formation of a new academy by #metoo activists in Stockholm challenged these assumptions of the objectivity and progress of the Nobel as a barometer of ‘world literature.’ In contrast to the academic credentials and secretive deliberations of the Swedish academy (which seals its archives for half a century), finalists for the ‘alternative’ Nobel were determined via an open online vote. What the evidence of traditional and digital archives reveal is resistance to the kind of activist writing embodied by Condé and her precursors and contemporaries such as Simone de Beauvoir and Margaret Atwood, and salient in the response to the Franco-Guadeloupean author, and political immigrant writing. And it poses new questions with regard to research in world literature in an age of the waning power of elites and the rise of digital media.
Paulo Lemos Horta is the author of several works on the 1001 Nights, including Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of the Arabian Nights and The Annotated Arabian Nights, from Harvard University Press and Liveright/ W.W. Norton. This paper is part of a monograph on publishing and prejudice under contract at Harvard University Press. He is a global network associate professor at New York University.
Youngmin Kim, Dongguk University, Korea/Hangzhou Normal University, China
Abstract“Transductive Reading of Comparative Literature and Digital Humanities”
Recently, even among humanities scholars, the use of database technology has led to a new type of analysis and methodology, particularly in the use of data which draw a cognitive map of the relationship between research subjects, in the collaborative nature of data generation, and in the final visualization of information patterns. It is a known fact that a new research environment is being created by linking existing fields with interdisciplinary research in terms of “convergence.” Both unstructured and structured data can be said to be “metastable pre-individual.” When the “database” of literary texts is put in the context of the “pre-individual” of the existing literature of the entire world, world literature can be constructed from various perspectives. We can look at foreign literature from the future-oriented and progressive perspective to redirect the national literature as an individual. How should we read the digital world literature that is being coded as it spreads through the logic of change? In order to understand the system as a whole, one must accept to lose something, and that humans always have to pay the price for their theoretical knowledge. In addition, reality is infinitely rich, and concepts are abstract and poor. World literature as a pre-individual existence is the repository of discourses of human intellect, sensibility, and understanding with infinite potential. It is my contention that the logic of transduction is a structural and executional inventive and creative logic that lies at the center of the continuous and dynamic conversion between the pre-individual and the individual of each converging event of digital world literature.
Youngmin Kim is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of Trans Media World Literature Institute and Director of Digital Humanities Lab at Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea, and Jack Ma Chair Professor at Hangzhou Normal University, China. He was Visiting Professor at Cornell University. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Yeats Journal of Korea (1993-97, 1999-2000); Journal of English Language and Literature (2007-2009, 2013-2021); and currently Editor-in-Chief of Journal of East-West Comparative Literature of Korea. He was President of Yeats Society of Korea; Society of Lacan and Contemporary Psychoanalysis; and English Language and Literature Association of Korea, Vice President of IASIL(International Association of the Study of Irish Literatures) and currently Vice President of Korea Digital Humanities Association (KADH) and IAELC (International Association of Ethical Literary Criticism); Executive Council Member of ICLA (International Comparative Literature Association), International Yeats Society, and International Pound Society. His recent publications focus on modern poetry, comparative literature, world literature, digital humanities, and new techno humanities. His current book project, “Database and World Literature,” takes up Digital Humanities to explore the potential methodology in the field of world literature and translation studies.
Svend Erik Larsen, Aarhus University, Denmark
Abstract“Analogical reasoning: the horizontality of world literature”
My paper argues that the main driving forces for diachronic dissemination of literatures follow partly random analogical pathways, not least pushed by translations in verbal as well as non-verbal media. Within traditional comparative literature hierarchical center/periphery models for literary transmissions were to a large extent based on unilateral influence from dominant source cultures and their canonical writers and texts. With the aim of replacing this model I will suggest analogical reasoning as a bi-directional and non-hierarchical approach to literary dissemination as it is embedded in aesthetic and performative practices across languages and cultures. My example is an early twentieth-century case of cross-media use of an indirect German translation of Chinese poetry in Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
Keywords: analogical reasoning, translation, cultural context, comparative literature, national literature, intermediality
Svend Erik Larsen, dr. phil., Professor Emeritus, Comparative Literature, Aarhus University. Honorary Professor, University College London, and Yangtze River Professor, Sichuan University. Co-editor of Orbis Litterarum. Board Member of EuroScience. Past Vice-President of Academia Europaea and past General Treasurer of the International Comparative Literature Association. Recent articles: “Interdisciplinarity, History and Cultural Encounters,” European Review 26.2, 2018: 354– 367; “Breaking the Silence. Cultural and Legal Encounters.” Chiara Battisti and Sidia Fidora, eds.: Law and the Humanities. Cultural Perspectives. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2019: 349–369; “Taking Responsibility for the Pasts.” Pólemos 15.2, 2021: 191–206. Co-author and co-editor of Landscapes of Realism 1-2. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2021-2022. (See complete CV and bibliography: http://firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sebastian Hsien-hao Liao, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Abstract“Would It Ever ‘Want’?: Creativity in the Age of AI”
Given enough training in machine learning, AI can now create all kinds of art works- from painting to poetry- and often in a style apparently more sophisticated than those by many human beings. But so far, AI has to be programed to begin and stop working, a process that involves no genuine spontaneity. In other words, unlike the humans, it does not have the “urge” to create. On the other hand, human beings create precisely because he has this urge, which in psychoanalysis is alternately called desire. Both Freud and Lacan believe “having desire” is the fundamental truth of human beings. A double-edged sword, desire cuts the child off from his being but gives him a subjectivity, albeit one grounded in an emptiness or “want” at its core. It is this “want”/ desire that motivates all human actions, including the various kinds of creative activities such as art and literature. Can we expect that one day AI would emulate human beings also in terms of spontaneity? That is, can AI desire? Would it ever “want”?
Hsien-hao Sebastian Liao is Dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and Distinguished Professor of English and comparative literature at National Taiwan University, Taiwan. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and was post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, visiting professor at University of Washington (Seattle), Vienna University, Charles University, and Ghent University, visiting fellow at Princeton University, Chicago University, University of Melbourne and Free University of Berlin. He also served as President of the Comparative Literature Association of Taiwan (ROC) and Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs of Taipei City Government. His research interests include comparative poetics, contemporary theories, the Chinese diaspora, Taoist aesthetics, modern Sinophone literature and film, and cultural policy formation. His English articles have appeared in Journals such as Diogenes, American Journal of Semiotics, Journal of Chinese Literature, and Philosophy East and West, and in collected volumes such as: Postmodernism and China (Duke 2000), Postmodernism in Asia (Tokyo UP, 2003), Cultural Dilemmas in Transitions (Lit Verlag, 2004), Genre in Asian Film and Television (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Imaging and Imagining Taiwan (Harrassowitz, 2011), China and Its Others (Brill, 2013), Deleuze and Asia (2014), Deleuze and the Humanities (Rowman & Littlefiled, 2018), Thirty-three Takes on Taiwan Cinema (Michigan UP, 2022), and Pandemic, Event and the Immanence of Life (Rowman & Littlefieldm, 2022)
Ning Wang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Abstract“The Challenge of Digital Humanities in Comparative Literature”
At present, scholars of the humanities are enthusiastically talking and even debating about the topic of “digital humanities” in the context of international academia. But there are plenty of skeptics and even some holdouts. Nonetheless, digital humanities have indeed had a kind of revolutionary impact on our teaching and academic research. It also means a shift of paradigm of research. This is especially true in comparative literature studies in which I have been engaged since the early 1980s. In this paper, I will discuss the current state and potential role of digital humanities as a comparatist in an attempt to demonstrate the possible complementarity of two different reading methods. For the study of world literature, the big data method can give us a general picture of the historical development of world literature in a short time, which has been proved by the distant reading method proposed by Franco Moretti. But everything has its two sides: the application of “distant reading” method has its own strengths, but in-depth study of world literature classics and their authors should be supplemented by the close reading method. Therefore, the two methods can form a complementary relationship. In short, in my view, digital humanities do not completely exclude the humanities, especially those excellent literary works and humanities works with high cultural and aesthetic content are all created by excellent writers or scholars, and they can be replaced by no one else with less talent. The same is true of translation: even machine and AI translation cannot replace advanced literary and humanities translation. The ideal literary research should combine the methods of distant reading and close reading so as to form a complementary relationship as there is a complementarity between science and humanities.
Ning Wang is Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Changjiang Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Tsinghua University. He was elected to the Academy of Latinity in 2010 and to Academia Europaea in 2013. Apart from his numerous books and articles in Chinese, he has authored books in English: Globalization and Cultural Translation (2004), and Translated Modernities: Literary and Cultural Perspectives on Globalization and China (2010), and After Postmodernism (Routledge, 2022). He has also published extensively in English in many international prestigious journals like European Review, New Literary History, Critical Inquiry, boundary 2, Modern Language Quarterly, Modern Fiction Studies, ARIEL, ISLE, Comparative Literature Studies, Neohelicon, Narrative, Semiotica, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, Journal of Contemporary China, Telos, Perspectives: Translation Theory and Practice, etc.
Haun Saussy, University of Chicago, USA
Abstract“Translation, Adaptation and Repurposing: Where Writers and Scholars Often Diverge”
A “creative translation” is not usually what is desired. Translators are, rather, praised for their faithfulness, accuracy, and ability to transmit an unaltered original content. The virtues of the translator are close, then, to the traditional virtues of the scholar (impartiality, impersonality, respect for the facts). But writers claim an authority of their own. Is the independence of the writer a temptation for the translator, or a justified extension of the realm of translation? Here we will scrutinize some examples of “not-quite-translation,” works that, even if they arose from translation, gain the reputation of independently authored works, at the same time as they cause scholarly translators to groan. Just where to draw the line between translation and adaptation and repurposing is a delicate question on which the author-translators themselves are not always reliable witnesses.
Haun Saussy is University Professor at the University of Chicago, teaching in the departments of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages & Civilizations as well as in the Committee on Social Thought. His work attempts to bring the lessons of classical and modern rhetoric to bear on several periods, languages, disciplines and cultures. Among his books are The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic (1994), Great Walls of Discourse (2001), The Ethnography of Rhythm (2016), Translation as Citation: Zhuangzi Inside Out (2017), Are We Comparing Yet? (2019), The Making of Barbarians: Chinese Literature in Multilingual Asia (forthcoming, 2022) and the edited collections Sinographies (2007), Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (2008), and Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader (2010). As translator, he has produced versions of works by Jean Métellus (When the Pipirite Sings, 2019) and Tino Caspanello (Bounds, 2020), among others. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Cao Shunqing, Sichuan University, China
Abstract“The Comparative Literary Hermeneutics”
Comparative literature research has mainly relied on influence study, parallel study, interdisciplinary study, and also variation theory proposed recently by Chinese scholars. It seems that they are quite comprehensive already, but in fact, they are not. These research methods cannot embrace all practices within the field of comparative literature. For example, Qian Zhongshu's idea of Datong made intercultural comparisons through reciprocal interpretation, which is a practical approach in the globalized era to equal dialogues and mutual learning among civilizations. James Liu utilized Western poetics to interpret classical Chinese literary theories in his Chinese Theories of Literature; however, it is widely recognized as a masterpiece of comparative poetics, achieving a commensurable system both in content and structure of Sino- Western poetics. Those are the concrete applications of comparative literature hermeneutics. As a new idea in terms of comparative literature which deserves our attention.
Cao Shunqing is a distinguished professor in Sichuan University. He is the president of China Comparative Literature Association (CCLA), and also the chief editor of Cultural Studies and Literary Theory, Comparative Literature: East and West. His areas of specialization include classic Chinese literature theory, Comparative Literature, comparative poetics, and world literature.
Galin Tihanov, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Abstract"World Literature and Literary Theory: a Reconsideration"
Hopes that literary theory can be reinvented in its previous modus operandi should be met with skepticism. As a European (or Western) project, theory today can only function under the sign of erasure and an epistemic humility in the face of a radically different cultural landscape that has thrust the West into the uncertain zone of no longer binding values and discursive rules. “Global theory” is not on the agenda; the parts left over after the break-down of theory – that previously reliable machine for producing globally valid truths and universally applicable interpretative tools – cannot be reassembled into a meaningful aggregate. But theory can lead today and tomorrow an intrepid partisan existence, in Carl Schmitt’s understanding of the “partisan,” mobilised and relied upon to sabotage, again and again, in numerous acts of local valour, the deleterious condition of post-truth and elective isolationism. World literature, with the irreducible variety and heterogeneity of its genres and of its writing strategies and structures, is capable of keeping in check any residual claims of theory to finality and universality; and World Literature as a field of inquiry, constituted in its modern shape after the zenith of literary theory, to a large extent repurposing some of its debris to construct its own edifice, has to retain the freedom of exploring literature in a way that holds in abeyance the imposition of a single outlook and thrives on the negotiation between different methodologies.
Galin Tihanov is the George Steiner Professor of Comparative Literature at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of five books, most recently The Birth and Death of Literary Theory: Regimes of Relevance in Russia and Beyond (Stanford UP, 2019) which won the 2020 AATSEEL prize for "best book in literary studies". Tihanov has been elected to the British Academy and to Academia Europaea. Currently he is completing Cosmopolitanism: A Very Short Introduction for Oxford UP.
Anne Tomiche, Sorbonne Université, France
Abstract"Comparative Literature and Gender Studies in the Digital Age"
Both in North America and in Europe, gender studies have recently been criticized and denigrated. This presentation will focus on the forms taken by the current backlash against gender studies, and analyze the impact of the digital age (development of websites, of social media…) on the controversies.
Anne Tomiche is Professor of Comparative Literature at Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Before joining the Sorbonne in 2010, she taught in the United States as well as in France. She has been the President of the French Comparative Literature Society (2005-2009), the French General Secretary of the International Association of Comparative Literature (2016-2022), and she is currently Vice-President of the ICLA. Her fields of interest are modernisms, avant-gardes and experimental writing in the XXth century as well as gender studies and philosophical approaches to literature. Among her recent publications : La Naissance des avant-gardes (2015), Genre et signature (2018) or Genre et Manifestes (2022).