Weltliteratur: Crossing Boundaries An Interdisciplinary Conference on World Literature

Location: University of Notre Dame

Weltliteratur Poster

“The Voyage of World Literature as Alternative Discourse”

Professor David Damrosch
6:00 pm, Keynote Address
McKenna Hall Auditorium

Chair of Literature and World Literature at Harvard University
Author of What is World Literature? and How to Read World Literature

The Ph.D. in Literature Program and the Nanovic Institute of European Studies at the University of Notre Dame announce a conference entitled “Weltliteratur: Crossing Boundaries,” in tribute to its objective to encourage and develop research on the place of world literature. In the last few years an increasing number of eminent scholars have been drawing attention to the manner in which the institutional division of literatures into an archipelago of disciplines enclosed in national boundaries hampers and even distorts literary studies. The publication of books like Gayatri Spivak’s Death of a Discipline and Emily Apter’s The Translation Zone demonstrates increasing dissatisfaction with the traditional model of comparative literature, and various alternate approaches to literature have surfaced: “global literature” (Jameson), “cosmopolitanism” (Robbins, Brennan, Appiah), “transationalism” (Spivak), “world literature” (Damrosch). The motivation for this event comes from Goethe’s idea of Weltliteratur: “National literature is now a rather unmeaning term; the epoch of world literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach.”

Goethe’s conception of world literature allows us to recognize that national and cultural boundaries still exist, but that literature circulates across these boundaries, helping to reshape relations among peoples. This conference – dedicated to considering literature as a space that extends beyond historical, linguistic, and traditional disciplinary boundaries – will include panels on the following topics: Multiplicity and the Transnational Text, Cross-Cultural Adaptation, Plurilingualism, Translating Reality, Interdisciplinary Reading, Beyond the Book: Alternative Discourses, Theorizing Weltliteratur, and The Future of Literary Studies.

Register for the Conference at Eventbrite.com
Full Conference Schedule (PDF) Revised 03/01/2010
Conference Presenter Biographies (PDF)
Download the Conference Poster”:Weltliteratur Poster (PDF)
Questions? Email the conference organizers.

Sponsored by the Ph.D. in Literature Program and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.