Comparative Literature and Translation Studies faculty, School of Letters, & School of Liberal Studies
Invite you to a lecture by Francesca Orsini (SOAS, London)
Doing World Literature: South-South Comparisons
Francesca Orsini (SOAS, University of London)
As Comparative Literature for our globalized age, World Literature seems keen to shed its old Eurocentrism and expand to the world. Yet, paradoxically, current definitions and theorisations (Moretti, Casanova, Damrosch, WREC) end up circumscribing world literature to a rather limited set of works, genres, and languages. This session discusses some of the problem with current models before turning to other approaches that undertake South-South comparisons. “Through new South-South investigations,” Matt Reeck argues, “research articulates new comparative models. The comparisons effectively create space to perform the comparisons underway and… can help make explicit the flaws of existing models” (Matt Reeck)
Francesca Orsini is Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS, University of London, a Fellow of the British Academy, and the author of The Hindi Public Sphere (2002) and Print and Pleasure (2009). She has just finished a book on the multilingual literary history of Awadh, north India, from the 15c to the early-20c, and is leading an ERC research project on “Multilingual locals and significant geographies: for a new approach to world literature” from the perspective of three regions: North India, the Maghreb, and the Horn of Africa.