The Institute of World Literature of the Slovak Academy of Sciences was established in 1991 after the dissolution of the Institute of Literary Studies of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (1973-1990). Its predecessor was the Institute of World Literature and Languages of Slovak Academy of Sciences (1964-1973). The Institute’s directors have been prominent Slovak literary scholars such as Mikuláš Bakoš (1964-1972), Dionýz Ďurišin (1991), Dušan Slobodník (1991-1992), Ján Koška (1992-2006), and Adam Bžoch (2007-2019). The current director is Judit Görözdi.

The Institute of World Literature focuses on research in general and comparative literary studies and translation studies. It is dedicated to the research of the world’s literary movements, genres and cultures, as well as literary theory and the history of the reception of foreign literatures in Slovakia. The Institute seeks dialogue on current research topics with related disciplines, especially within the humanities. Students of the Institute’s doctoral studies programme, which is conducted in cooperation with Comenius University in Bratislava, are also involved in the Institute’s research activities.

The Institute collaborates with partner institutions in Slovakia and abroad; these include other institutes dedicated to the humanities and social sciences at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, domestic and foreign universities and academic institutions, foreign embassies and cultural institutes, writers’ organizations, literary and cultural associations and so on.

An integral part of the research activities of the Institute is the promotion of literary culture and knowledge in domestic and international forums. Many fellows of the Institute are also active translators of literary and academic texts.

The Institute aims to be a space for free inquiry and socially relevant discussion on various aspects of literature aimed at the broader domestic and international academic community. It regularly organizes public lectures open to scholars of the humanities from Slovakia and abroad.

The Institute publishes an international academic journal, World Literature Studies.