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Seminar in Literary Relations

CWL 571

Investigation of the impact of one literature upon another, or of some specific works upon others (the role of English literature in continental Europe, the influence of Russian novelists on French and German writers, etc.). May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours if topics vary.

This seminar examines the concept of “world literature,” from Goethe’s coinage of the term “Weltliteratur” to the current academic industry, which has boomed since the end of the Cold War, producing conferences, workshops, monographs, and anthologies. What are the theoretical underpinnings of world literature in its various articulations and paradigms? What is considered “world literature” and what is not? Topics of discussion include the role of translation, transnational circuits of exchange and mobility, literary prizes, and the publishing industry, along with the multiple afterlives of older classics such as The Arabian Nights and Shakespeare. The seminar should appeal to students with interest in globalization, postcolonial, and transnational studies, or who would like to acquire a foundation for teaching the world literature courses.

CWL 571 for Fall 2018, "Literature, Violence, and the Archive" will explore concepts and practices of witnessing, documentation and the archive, especially as they pertain to mass, public violence in periods of political upheaval. Theoretical works from a number of disciplines, including visual studies, and non-fiction and fiction texts will be the main focus. Consideration will also be given to the biopolitical concept of "creaturely life." Will meet in English 109