Most books begin to gain popularity in their country of origin and are translated into other languages once they gain enough renown . . . or is that really how it works?

Increasingly, transnational literature – literature written for an international audience – is becoming more common.

Transnational literature is only one of the topics set to be discussed at a summer seminar being held at West Virginia University.

“After the National Paradigm: Literary History, Translation & the Making of World Literature” will examine how translation often changes the meaning of a work, but also how some literature is now “born-translated,” or begins in more than one language.

Led by author and editor Rebecca L. Walkowitz, an associate professor of English at Rutgers University, the interdisciplinary seminar will explore three areas of current research: recent debates about world literature, both as an object of study and as an analytic method; emerging scholarship on the ethics of comparison in translation studies and comparative literary studies; and contemporary works of born-translated literature, including digital literature.

“The department’s annual summer seminar for faculty and advanced graduate students is one of the most exciting events of our year. I’m sure this year’s seminar will be a great success,” said Donald Hall, chair of WVU’s Department of English.

The seminar will be held from May 20-23, and registration fees are $250 for graduate students and $350 for faculty.

In order to reserve a space, a $100 deposit must be paid by April 23. Only 50 people will be able to participate in the seminar, and they will receive a list of reading materials closer to May.

For more information, contact Marsha Bissett at the Department of English, at 304-293-9699 or



CONTACT: Rebecca Herod, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
304-293-7405, ext. 5251,