Anders Pettersson: On the Concept of World Literature

anderspetterssonOn the Concept of World Literature
Anders Pettersson

online guest lecture
6 April 2022 (Wednesday) at 14:00 CET

The expression “world literature” is currently being used in several ways: about various culturally and temporally inclusive bodies of literature and about various ways of studying such literature. In the lecture, special attention will be devoted to the editorial concept of world literature in The Cambridge History of World Literature (2021) edited by Debjani Ganguly. Formulations about world literature sometimes cast it as a mind-independent entity, sometimes as a scholarly construction. Anders Pettersson will argue that the choice between these alternatives is important, since it has significant consequences for the logic of thinking and reasoning about world literature.

knihyAnders Pettersson is an emeritus professor of Swedish and comparative literature at Umeå University, Sweden. Continue reading Anders Pettersson: On the Concept of World Literature

CfP – World Literature Studies 4/2022: Perspectives on the research complex Literature and Knowledge in the context of literary interdiscourse analysis

books-4167422_960_720Editors: Roman Mikuláš – Ján Jambor (Institute of World Literature SAS)

The main focus of this thematic issue is to consider theoretical and methodological questions that are still open and to specify the perspectives that can be derived from them, all of which should in the end enable us to grasp the broad and dynamic spectrum of interrelationships between literature and knowledge in a new, different, or at least clearer way.

Please send abstracts for articles in Slovak, German or English to:; and by January 31, 2022.

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(Foto: Pixabay)

Translation studies in the journal World Literature Studies

The international conference Translation, Interpreting and Culture 2: Rehumanising Translation and Interpreting Studies will take place in Banská Bystrica (in-person and on-line) on 22-24 September 2021. On the occasion of this major scholarly event, we would like to draw your attention to seven thematic issues of our journal World Literature Studies in the field of translation studies, available online.

Komunikácia, konformnosť a vzdor v medzikontextových kontaktoch / Communication, Compliance and Resistance in Inter-Contextual Encounters IVANA HOSTOVÁ – MÁRIA KUSÁ (eds.)

Preklad a kánon / Translation and Canon MÁRIA KUSÁ (ed.)

Popovičovo a Holmesovo dedičstvo v súčasnosti / Legacy of Popovič and Holmes beyond their century EMÍLIA PEREZ – MARTIN DJOVČOŠ – MÁRIA KUSÁ (eds.)

Slovenská translatológia na priesečníku kultúrnych trajektórií súčasnosti a budúcnosti / Slovak translation studies at the intersection on the cultural trajectories of the present and future MÁRIA KUSÁ – LIBUŠA VAJDOVÁ (eds.)

International conference: Translation, Interpreting and Culture

Bez názvu22–24 September 



We invite you to the international conference Translation, Interpreting and Culture 2: Rehumanising Translation and Interpreting Studies, which will take place from Wednesday 22 to Friday 24 September 2021 in Banská Bystrica – with in-person and online participation (youtube without registration in program).

Keynote speakers: Jan Pedersen Rehumanising Subtitling – Why humans make better subtitles than machines / Susan Bassnett The Translational Imagination / Lawrence Venuti On a Universal Tendency to Debase Retranslations; or, The Instrumentalism of a Translation Fixation / Nadja Grbić “The rigid, the fuzzy, and the flexible” Perceptions of the interpreter (not only) in the digital age

The detailed conference program can be found HERE.

For further information, please visit the conference website.

World Literature Studies 2/2021: The Location of Utopia

WLS2_2021_obalka_vyrezEditors: Péter Hajdu and Róbert Gáfrik

The geographical and temporal orientation of European and non-European utopias seem to differ in many politico-cultural aspects. The articles collected in this issue demonstrate that national and cultural determination can still be perceived, and they confirm the attention paid to the issues of nationalism, colonialism, or religious imperialism in utopia studies. Moreover, some of the authors show that an interplay between the culture of origin and the local/cultural otherness of the imagined elsewhere allows for an imagological approach to utopias.

Read more HERE.

CfP – World Literature Studies 2/2022: World literature from the perspective of “small” and “large” literatures

Editors: Róbert Gáfrik (Institute of World Literature SAS, Bratislava) and Miloš Zelenka (University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice and University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra)

The concept of world literature has recently become subject of intense discussion. Although it is referred to by various other terms such as “literature of the world”, “worldliness of literature”, “the world literary system”, “the world republic of letters”, etc., the methodological frameworks for discussing the concept of world literature were most clearly set by Pascale Casanova, Franco Moretti and David Damrosch, who understand it as a system into which texts enter through the so-called “large” literature, most often written in English. The historical experience of the so-called “small” literatures (e.g. Central and Eastern European ones) points to the fact that methodological discourse cannot be limited to a single approach, but rather in theoretical practice it takes place in different languages and among different power relations. Theorists from these (small) countries question the idea of such a “network” or standardized canon, which would mean accepting inequality as a certain epistemological framework and a way of presentation codifying the binary oppositions of “development” vs. “underdevelopment” or “center” vs. “periphery”. On the other hand, it is not possible to ignore the real power of this hegemony, which presents itself as universal.

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Johannes D. Kaminski: The Global Sorrows of Werther: A Modular Approach to Cross-Cultural Transfer

JKOnline Guest Lecture
Wednesday, 23th June 2021, 14:00

In the game Chinese whispers, all the excitement lies in the emergence of new meaning, as a phrase is passed around and abandons its original wording. When it comes to transcultural migration of texts, however, distortion of meaning is met with a less welcoming response. Here, different interpretations are often dismissed as misunderstandings.
The case of Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther serves to illustrate the dilemma of a text that moved far beyond its ‘intended audience’. After the novel’s enthusiastic reception in France, England and Italy in the 19th century, it also triggered waves of translations and adaptations in China and Japan in the early 20th century. Inevitably, Weite (Chinese for Werther) and Ueruteru (Japanese) depart significantly from the Werther portrayed in established critical discussions. Is is possible to engage these revenants in a dialogue?
Join the Zoom meeting:

Johannes D. Kaminski studied German and Chinese at the University of Vienna. Continue reading Johannes D. Kaminski: The Global Sorrows of Werther: A Modular Approach to Cross-Cultural Transfer

Fascism through the lens of translation: a comparative study of four regimes

Christopher Rundle_(500x500)_BWChristopher Rundle
(University of Bologna and University of Manchester)
Online guest lecture
Wednesday 9th June 2021 at 14.00

In this guest lecture I shall compare four fascist regimes through the lens of translation: Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Francoist Spain and Salazarist Portugal. The comparison will focus on books, because this is the field in which significant differences emerge; while policies concerning cinema and theatre, for example, tend to resemble each other more and so do not provide such an illuminating point of comparison. My analysis will be made around key themes which I consider to be particularly revealing and significant; these are: censorship policies, the role of popular literature and racism. My aim will be to show how the role that translation played within each regime can be seen as an indicator of how genuinely fascist it actually was; I intend to show that policies specifically aimed at restricting translations (as opposed to monitoring literature in general) only occurred in those regimes which adopted official racism; also that where restrictions against translation were put in place these were at least in part prompted by hostility towards popular fiction which was widely perceived as a foreign (and corrupting) import.

To conclude, I will reflect on the relationship between translation history and history, as it emerges from this case study on fascism, and consider some of the methodological implications.

Meeting ID: 959 4850 0391
Passcode: 861947

Christopher Rundle is associate professor in Translation Studies at the Department of Interpreting and Translation of the University of Bologna, Italy. Continue reading Fascism through the lens of translation: a comparative study of four regimes

Eugenia Kelbert Rudan: Romain Gary’s Collaborative Self-Translation and the Translational

kelbertOnline talk
Dr. Eugenia Kelbert Rudan, University of East Anglia
Wednesday 26th May 2021 at 14.00

This talk focuses on the possibility of translational processes beyond translation through a genetic editing approach to an understudied phenomenon in translation studies, which I call collaborative self-translation (CST), i.e. a self-translator’s practice of involving a hired translator to provide an initial translation of an entire work, later to be revised extensively by the author. With a focus on Romain Gary and to a lesser extent Vladimir Nabokov as its case studies, it argues that an inductive extension of our notion of the translational can shed light on the ways in which our notions of the translational may meaningfully extend beyond translation and thus offer a pathway to distinguishing between literal and metaphorical use of translation in literary theory. It thus suggests a potential alternative to existing translational discourse in interdisciplinary settings, as well as presenting a view of collaborative self-translation as a practice that can be fruitfully theorized within multiple paradigms in translation studies.

Dr. Eugenia Kelbert Rudan is Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at British Centre for Literary Translation at University of East Anglia and Assistant Professor of Philology at HSE University, Moscow (currently on leave). She studied philosophy and translation studies at the Sorbonne, French and German at University of Oxford, and comparative literature at Yale. Her PhD dissertation, „Acquiring a Second Language Literature: Patterns in Translingual Writing from Modernism to the Moderns“ (2015) under the supervision of Haun Saussy and Vladimir Alexandrov, was awarded the Charles Bernheimer Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association. She is an active member of the Centre for Multilingualism at University of Oslo (MultiLing), DARIAH Belgrade Centre for Digital Humanities (CDH), and ITEM CNRS (Institut de textes et manuscripts modernes, team Multilinguisme, traduction, création) in Paris. She co-developed Bukvik, an original collaborative tool for Digital Humanities research and cross-lingual stylistic analysis,


World Literature Studies 1/2021: Posthuman Topics in Literature and Other Arts

WLS1_2021_obalka vyrezEditor: Bogumiła Suwara

Since its emergence as a genre, science fiction has dealt with the concept of human transformation. In various narratives describing the encounter of people with posthumans or aliens, human stereotypes, human nature and the humanistic paradigm itself are exposed to the challenge and critical reflection which posthumanism has introduced and developed within the contemporary humanities. The articles in this issue are focused on identifying transhuman and posthuman themes and motifs in both literary and artistic forms of science fiction (including bioart, film and television series) from a posthumanist perspective.

Read more HERE.