The department of English at West Virginia University will explore the changing nature of world literature during the 2010 Summer Seminar in Literary and Cultural Studies from May 20 to 23.

Fiction written for an international audience and rapid translation of literary texts has led critics and scholars to question how multilingualism of books changes their national singularity. This seminar will examine new genres of transnational writing in the context of the global literary marketplace, the geography of the book, the history of close reading and new concepts for describing the relationship among literatures worldwide.

Rebecca Walkowitz, associate professor of English at Rutgers University, will kick off the event with a free public lecture, “Born-Digital and Born-Translated Comparative Writing in an Age of Electronic Literature,” on May 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Colson Hall Room 130.

The remainder of the seminar, which requires registration, is titled “After the National Paradigm: Literary History, Translation and the Making of World Literature,” and includes five, two-hour sessions at Lincoln Hall spanning Friday and Saturday.

Discussions will focus on three areas of research: recent debates about world literature as an object of study and 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 seminar concludes Sunday, May 23 at noon with a ceremony hosted by Lisa Weihman, assistant professor of English at WVU, and led by Walkowitz.

Walkowitz is author of “Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation,” and co-editor of several books, including “Bad Modernisms,” with Douglas Mao and “The Turn to Ethics,” with Marjorie Garber and Beatrice Hanssen.

She also serves on the executive committee of the MLA Division on Prose Fiction, the advisory board of the Joseph Conrad Society and the advisory board of the American Comparative Literature Association.

Faculty and independent scholars may attend the seminar for $350. Students may attend for a discounted rate of $250. Participants can choose single or double occupancy lodging in Lincoln Hall, where fully accessible rooms are available. Local hotels are also nearby for those who prefer non-dormitory housing.

For more information, visit or contact Lisa Weihman at 304-293-3107,



CONTACT: Rebecca Herod, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
304-293-7405 ext. 5251,

Follow @wvutoday on Twitter.