BCLT Book Launch

Prismatic Jane Eyre: Close-Reading a World Novel Across Languages

Monday 11 December 2023
4 – 6pm (GMT)
(Hybrid) and UEA Campus: JSC 1.03

Register to watch the event ONLINE

In this hybrid (in-person / online) book launch seminar, co-authors Matthew Reynolds (St Anne’s, Oxford), Eugenia Kelbert (UEA), Jernej Habjan (Ljubljana) and Kayvan Tahmasebian (SOAS, London) will be discussing Prismatic Jane Eyre, which is available as an open access download from Open Book Publishers.

Hear about the interesting book and meet one of its co-authors, our new colleague Eugenia Kelbert Rudan. She joined our institute on November 1, 2023, to work on the project TRANSLATION AND CROSS-LINGUAL STYLISTIC TRANSFER: TOWARDS A THEORY OF LANGUAGE CONTACT IN LITERATURE (funded by the grant scheme IMPULZ of SAS).

The event is co-hosted by BCLT, UEA East Centre, Institute of World Literature (Slovak Academy of Sciences) and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation.

Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Brontë and first published in 1847, has been translated more than six hundred times into over sixty languages. Prismatic Jane Eyre argues that we should see these many re-writings, not as simple replications of the novel, but as a release of its multiple interpretative possibilities: in other words, as a prism.

Prismatic Jane Eyre develops the theoretical ramifications of this idea, and reads Brontë’s novel in the light of them: together, the English text and the many translations form one vast entity, a multilingual world-work, spanning many times and places, from Cuba in 1850 to 21st-century China; from Calcutta to Bologna, Argentina to Iran. Co-written by many scholars, Prismatic Jane Eyre traces the receptions of the novel across cultures Continue reading

Guest Lecture: Ukrainian Culture after the Revolution of Dignity: Changes and Challenges

Dr. Dr. Olha Voznyuk
(International Research Center for Cultural Studies University of Art and Design Linz, Vienna)

15 November 2023 (Wednesday) at 14:00 CET
Institute of World Literature SAS + online





Meeting ID: 820 9012 1934
Passcode: 055833

The Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in 2014 has changed the direction of contemporary Ukrainian literature and culture. Modern Ukrainian literature has registered recent historical events in numerous works, which have changed the way of development of Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian identity as well. Some oeuvres of Ukrainian writers seek to recover Ukrainian historical narratives “lost” during the Soviet era and which in turn have influenced the Ukrainian film industry.
Continue reading Guest Lecture: Ukrainian Culture after the Revolution of Dignity: Changes and Challenges

Presidium of the SAS awarded personalities of the Institute of World Literature

Our colleagues Jana Cviková and Roman Mikuláš have been awarded distinguished academic awards from the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, our colleagues Jana Cviková and Roman Mikuláš accepted  distinguished academic awards from the SAS Vice-President Miroslav T. Morovics. Jana Cviková, the editor of the journal World Literature Studies and scientific secretary of the Institute of World Literature, was awarded the SAS Memorial Plaque by the SAS Equal Opportunity Committee. Roman Mikuláš, head of the Department of Literary Theory and editor of the Hyperlexicon of Concepts and Categories in Literary Studies, received the Ľudovít Štúr Plaque of Honour SAS for his contribution to the humanities and social sciences. Congratulations!

Read more here.

World Literature Studies 3/2023: World Literature and National Literature

ed. Péter Hajdu, Shenzhen University, China

From the perspectives of circulation or canonization, world literature does not exist in a single universal form, but in local, regional, areal, national, and sociocultural variations. National literature emerged as a meaningful term in the 19th century. Its relationship to world literature has been a topic of discussion for 200 years. The articles in this issue scrutinize the concepts of world and national literature from various theoretical approaches, such as investigating their interactions from viewpoints of power and gender. It also includes case studies from the Lusophone and Chinese contexts, showing how writers from the Renaissance to the Internet era have transcended national readerships and reached global ones. #openaccess #worldliteraturestudies 

Articles – Topic

National peculiarities in approaching the Classics: The case of Catullus with Hungarian modernism
Nation vs. world? Global imprints on Shakespeare and the orientation of world literature
World literature and national literatures in Portuguese
Gender as a mediation between world literature and national literature
Cross-culture, translation and post-aesthetics: Chinese online literature in/as world literature in the Internet era
The state’s role in “worlding” a popular national genre: The case of China and Liu Cixin
The end of world literature?

The full content of the issue with links to the individual texts can be found HERE.

Guest Lecture: No higher purpose: Ursula Le Guin’s existentialist anarchism

Professor Alexis Shotwell
(Carleton University, Canada)

11 October 2023 (Wednesday) at 14:00 CET
Institute of World Literature SAS + online

It is a standard existentialist trope that humans come into the world without a pre-given purpose for existence. On this view, there is nothing in particular that we are made for, and we must make for ourselves any meaning or direction. Often this sense of being condemned to our freedom is experienced and discussed at the individual scale. This is odd, since from the beginning of the tradition philosophers have theorized the relationship between individual freedom and the collective context in which we exercise it.
The urgency of thinking beyond the individual becomes clearer when we confront existentially demanding problems such as climate change, migrant crises, global pandemics, wars, or famines. Professor Shotwell will argue that anarchism helps us in thinking about the necessarily collective aspect of addressing wicked problems like these. She will take Ursula Le Guin’s science fiction as a key theoretical resource for an existentialist anarchism and reflect on the following questions: What are the implications of reading fiction as philosophy? How is Le Guin’s conception of shared social responsibility helpful for projects of ongoing life on earth?

Meeting ID: 829 3617 4665
Passcode: 272992

Alexis Shotwell’s work focuses on complexity, complicity, and collective transformation. She is a professor at Carleton University, the co-investigator for the AIDS Activist History Project (aidsactivisthistory.ca), and the author of Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding and Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times.

Elaheh Karimi Riabi – Literary studies in Iran: history, concepts and institutions

Guest lecture: Dr. Elaheh Karimi Riabi (Asst. Prof. at the University of Tehran, NSP scholarship holder at Slovak Academy of Science)

4 October 2023 (Wednesday) at 14:00 CET
Institute of World Literature SAS + online

Literary studies in Iran have a rich and diverse history that spans a millennium, reflecting the country’s cultural heritage, linguistic complexity, and significant contributions to literature. Literature in Iran encompasses a vast and diverse range of literary works from ancient epics to modern novels. Classical Persian literature flourished during the Islamic Golden Age, particularly during the Abbasid Caliphate. Prominent figures like Rumi, Omar Khayyam, and Hafez contributed significantly to Persian literature during this period. Persian literature also absorbed influences from other cultures, including Arabic, Turkish, and Indian, which enriched its literary heritage. Iranian literature continues to thrive and evolve, making an impact on the global literary scene. It often reflects the complexities of modern life and addresses identity and socio-political issues. Continue reading Elaheh Karimi Riabi – Literary studies in Iran: history, concepts and institutions

Monograph prize for Dobrota Pucherová

Our colleague Dr. Dobrota Pucherová, D. Phil. has been awarded a prize by the Slovak Academy of Sciences for her monograph FEMINISM AND MODERNITY IN ANGLOPHONE AFRICAN WOMEN’S WRITING: A 21ST-CENTURY GLOBAL CONTEXT (Routledge, 2022). She accepted the prize at the prize ceremony  on Sept. 18, 2023 from the hands of Prof. RNDr. Pavol Šajgalík, DrSc., President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, and Prof. RNDr. Peter Samuely, DrSc., Vice-President for sience, research and innovations. Congratulations!

CfP World Literature Studies 4/2024 Fictional realities of eternal peace

Editor: Johannes D. Kaminski (The Institute of World Literature, Slovak Academy
of Sciences in Bratislava)

In the wake of Russia’s prolonged attack on Ukraine, this special issue of World Literature Studies reconsiders theoretical and literary ideas of how peace can be established in the long term. Provocatively, this also includes the question why a perennial state of peacefulness might not even be desirable.

While Eternal Peace represents an elusive but necessary goal in philosophy, speculative fiction evinces a striking ambivalence about its desirability. One the one hand, the climaxes of science-fiction narratives frequently coincide with a utopian promise. On the last page of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy (1992–1996), for example, Ann describes her new habitat in glowing terms: “Nowhere on this world were people killing each other, nowhere were they desperate for shelter or food, nowhere were they scared for their kids.” Peace has come, finally. On the other hand, the joyful prospect of Eternal Peace stands at odds with the experiences of those unlucky protagonists who indeed inhabit a society that has already been harmonized. Especially in dystopian writing, the beneficiaries of Eternal Peace are bound to suffer from oppressive laws and homogenized lifestyles. Others simply feel bored beyond belief. The Controller in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) already knows: “Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune.”

 Languages of contribution: English, German

Please send your abstracts and short bio to j.kaminski@savba.sk and a copy to usvlwlit@savba.sk by 31 October 2023. (The submission of the full articles will be February – March 2024.)

Read more HERE.

The image of Persian women in Russian travelogues in the 19th century

Dr. Elaheh Karimi Riabi
(Asst. Prof. in University of Tehran, NSP scholarship holder in Slovak Academy of Science)

13 September 2023 (Wednesday) at 10:00 CET
Institut of World Literature SAS + online

Travelogues are significant sources of knowledge about the culture, rituals, customs, geography, and climate of nations. Although travelogues contain valuable information about nations, countries, and civilizations, they are at times affected by the hegemon’s viewpoints about the status of the concerned society, turning them into strategic tools for the purposeful study of that society. Although the 19th century is marked by the rivalry of Western powers over winning the Persian kings and usurpation of their natural resources, Persia has never been formally colonized. The fact has led to the Western indirect intervention in the country in the disguise of visitors, merchants, orientalists, and spies, giving way to a plethora of travelogues we have today on Persia. The postcolonial literature with its significant figures including Edward Said indicates that texts are not void of meaning. As such, travelogues carry a general message about the colonies that label them with backward, primitive, feudal, and pre-industrial badges. In these texts, the colonized is characterized by passivity rather than agency. Here, the East is framed within a Western perspective and the resulting generalization leaves the colonized bereft of human dignity. The present research is an analysis of Persian women’s images in literary texts (travelogues) of the 19th century with an imagological approach. As a postcolonial investigation, it is the first of its kind to deal with women’s images in Persia. The purpose of the case study of the travelogues by Stanislav Yulyevic Lomnitskii (1854 – 1916) and Egor Ivanovich Cherikov (1804 – 1862) is to shed a critical light on his postcolonial discourse that presents Persia and the Persians as the “other” to the Russian “self”.

Meeting ID: 830 9399 5890
Passcode: 322674