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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Teaching World Literature Conference at UW Oct. 21-22

Books on shelves

Save the date: The conference Teaching World Literature: Debates, Models, Pedagogies will bring noted leaders in the field of world literature to the University of Washington on October 21-22, 2016. The conference explores the teaching of world literature with the eventual goal of developing a new undergraduate major. Speakers include David Damrosch (Harvard University), John Burt Foster (George Mason University), David Palumbo-Liu (Stanford University), Melek Ortabasi (Simon Fraser University), Shu-mei Shih (UCLA), and Rebecca Walkowitz (Rutgers University).

Look for more information on the conference's program page, or contact organizer Eric Ames (Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media), eames@uw.edu.

Ames and Gary Handwerk (Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media) are also teaching a one-credit HUM microseminar, Teaching World Literature, in conjunction with the conference.

More from Ames:

Literature is everywhere alive, transforming people and cultures both within and across nations, historical eras, and languages. More than ever before, literary works today are read and have effects world-wide. The new major would study literatures as global phenomena, seeking to read texts more intensively, more extensively, and more connectedly. Who are we, and why? What values, beliefs, and perspectives constitute our identities? How have our pasts, individual and collective, shaped who we are?

Reading across world literatures allows us to deal with persistent questions such as these, exploring human ethics, cultures, psyches, and spirits in broadly comparative ways. Examining how works of literature travel across time, space, languages, and media, and exploring how they change along the way, we weigh against one another the choices that different peoples have imagined and adopted.