Worlds of Literature

Mi07Jul(Jul 7)16:00Fr09(Jul 9)20:00Worlds of LiteratureCompeting Notions of the GlobalVeranstaltungsartJahrestagung


With its first annual conference, “Worlds of Literature — Competing Notions of the Global”, the Cluster of Excellence “Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective” turns to the question of how competing notions of the global have affected and continue to affect debates about ‘world literature’ and processes of transnational literary canonisation. 

The Cluster assumes that literature becomes global through its temporal entanglements. Accordingly, this first annual conference seeks to reflect and expand upon established theories of world literature by investigating spatiotemporal literary networks, their practices of communality, and their interaction with other arts and media. The conference brings together international scholars from a broad range of disciplines to discuss different historical, theoretical, and methodological framings of world literature with special regard to their competing conceptions of cosmopolitanism and globality.

Programme :

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

3:45 Check-In
4:00 Conference Opening
Welcome: Directors Anita Traninger & Andrew James Johnston
Introduction: Frank Kelleter & Miltos Pechlivanos (Freie Universität Berlin,
EXC 2020) & Co-organiser Chunjie Zhang (UC Davies)

Panel 1 — Competing Notions of the Global
4:30—6:00 Part 1
Moderator: Simon Godart (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020)

Chunjie Zhang (UC Davis): World as Method in the Early Twentieth Century:
A Comparative Perspective

Sebastian Conrad (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020):
What is the ›Global‹ in Global History?

6:00—7:00 Break

7:00—8:30 Part 2
Moderator: Jasmin Wrobel (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020)

Anita Traninger (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020): Temporal Communities: Connecting the Dots

Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Universidade de Coimbra): How the Arts and Literature May Destabilize the Abyssal Line Structuring: The Spatio-temporal Cartography of Western Modernity

Thursday, 8 July 2021
Panel 2 — Constructing ›Worlds of Literature‹

2:30—4:00 Part 1
Moderator: Bart Soethaert (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020)

Susanne Frank (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, EXC 2020): Competing Claims to World Literature as Heritage (The Mid-1930s and Beyond)

Jutta Müller-Tamm (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020): ›One heritage; one future; one city. Two sectors.‹ Building International Literary Communities in 1960’s Berlin (East and West)

4:00—5:00 Break

5:00—7:30 Part 2
Moderators: Dustin Breitenwischer (Universität Hamburg) &
Samira Spatzek (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020)

Aamir Mufti (UCLA): The Nomos of World Literature

Rebecca Walkowitz (Rutgers University): English as an Additional Language

David Damrosch (Harvard University): What Isn’t World Literature?

7:30—8:15 Break

On Archaea, Seagulls and Gas Pipelines
Reading and conversation with Sergio Raimondi
Moderator: Susanne Klengel (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020)
Hosted by Literarisches Colloquium Berlin

Friday, 9 July 2021
Panel 3 — Temporalities of the Global
Moderator: Anna Degler (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020)

Bernhard Huss (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020): Global Temporalities under Construction: Petrarch at Work

Daniel Purdy (Penn State University): Paris-Weimar and the Worlding of Chinese Novels

Gloria Chicote (Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Buenos Aires): Popular Culture as a Starting Point of the Global: Ibero-American Literature at the Turn of the 20th Century

4:30—5:30 Break

Panel 4 — Scales of the Global
Moderator: Lindsey Drury (Freie Universität Berlin, EXC 2020)

Ban Wang (Stanford University): Does Tianxia Need the Nation-State? National Passages to Cosmopolitanism

Jessica Berman (University of Maryland, Baltimore County): The Case for a ›Trans‹-Critical Optic

Harsha Ram (UC Berkeley): World Literature, Urban Scale, and Travelling Genre

8:00 Closing

Please register via:


Conference Organisers: Frank Kelleter, Miltos Pechlivanos and Chunjie Zhang
Organisational Support: Dustin Breitenwischer and Sara Ehrentraut

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7. Juli 2021 16:00 - 9. Juli 2021 20:00(GMT+02:00)

Freie Universität Berlin

Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin