Graduate Symposium: World Literatures And the Culture of Texts, Stockholm University, 7 – 8 May 2020

World Literatures and the Culture of Texts

7-8 May 2020

Graduate Symposium at Stockholm University

Download the call for papers in pdf here

Call for papers

“[…] a text in its being a text is a being in the world” (1)

World Literature continues to raise “considerable perplexities” (2) and remains “notoriously difficult to define.” (3) While consensus has it that it is a slippery, unstable term, its basic component is unquestionably textual. The debate about World Literature is a debate about the shape of its textuality. As Michael Holquist has pointed out, “World Literature is not a canon of particular texts, but rather a mode of reading, so is philology.” (4) Working through the how of World Literature, scholars are constantly re-visiting their methods and theoretical perspectives in order to explore the movements texts make in the world.

With its dual focus on textuality and cross-cultural comparison, this symposium on world literatures aims at providing interdisciplinary, critical and exploratory responses to questions such as: What is a text? What happens when texts are remediated, edited, relocated or translated? What methods are available for textual study? How can textual theory, translation studies, and theories of world literature illuminate one another?

The symposium, which will take place at Stockholm University on 7-8 May 2020, will conclude the two-year theme World Literatures and the Culture of Texts, held by the Doctoral School in the Humanities at Stockholm University (see The idea is to bring together doctoral students from across the disciplines in order to examine world literary texts in transition.

Keynote speakers at the Symposium will be Efraín Kristal (UCLA) and Luise von Flotow (University of Ottawa). Efraín Kristal specializes in Latin American literature, especially the authorships of Mario Vargas Llosa and Jorge Luis Borges, and works with comparative contexts, translation studies, and aesthetics. Luise von Flotow, professor and director of the School of Translation and Interpretation, is currently studying transnational aspects of feminism and gender in translation.

The organising committee welcomes the submission of abstracts (approximately 300 words including a short bio) addressing the topic ‘World Literatures and the Culture of Texts’ under the following subthemes.

•    Textual Cultures (early print/materiality/archives/paratext/remediation/orality)
•    World Literature and the Global South
•    Translation and Cultural Transfers

Please submit your abstract to by 01 February 2020.

Organizing committee:

Louise Faymonville
Anna Finozzi
Jonathan Foster
Jana Rüegg
Joanna Woods


(1) Edward Said, “The Text, The World, The Critic” The Bulletin of the Midwest Modern Language Association, 8 (2), 1975, pp. 1-23.
(2) David Damrosch et al (eds), The Routledge Companion to World Literatures, (Routledge, 2012).
(3) Mads Rosendahl Thomsen, Mapping World Literature. International Canonization and Transnational Literatures, (Bloomsbury, 2008). 2.
(4)  “The place of philology in an age of world literature”, Neohelicon, 38 (2), 2011, pp 267–287. 284.