Institute for World Literature holds monthlong forum in Cambridge

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Though it’s first and foremost thought of in economic and political terms, globalization is having profound cultural effects as well – effects Harvard scholars and their peers around the globe are working to understand.

To explore the impact of globalization on literature, Harvard’s Institute for World Literature (IWL) earlier this year invited 140 participants from 28 countries to gather at Harvard for a month-long forum dedicated to exploring new directions in literary studies today.

Held June 24 through July 18, the event included seminars, guest lectures, and working group meetings that offered scholars and graduate students from around the world a chance to discuss, debate, and immerse themselves in the theory and practice of world literature.

Created with support from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the IWL was established to recognize that, in literary studies, both regional and national literatures are increasingly being seen in international – and even global – terms. The institute had previously held summer sessions in Beijing in 2011 and Istanbul in 2012.

The institute featured 14 two-week seminars offered by some of the preeminent names in the field today: Susan Bassnett (Warwick University), Helena Buescu (University of Lisbon), David Damrosch (Harvard University), Theo D’haen (University of Leuven), Wai Chee Dimock (Yale University) Djelal Kadir (Pennsylvania State University), Stephen Owen (Harvard University), Nirvana Tanoukhi (University of Wisconsin), Mads Rosendahl Thomsen (Aarhus University), Karen Thornber (Harvard University), and Lawrence Venuti (Temple University).