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World Literature in the 21st Century

Panel Discussion on June 26, 2012, at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 167/2012 from Jun 19, 2012

A public panel discussion dealing with "World Literature in the 21st Century" will take place on June 26, 2012, at Freie Universität Berlin. The discussion is being organized by the Dahlem Humanities Center in cooperation with the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School. Besides well-known scholars from Harvard University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of London, the writer Durs Grünbein will participate in the discussion. It will take place in German and English with simultaneous translation. There is no charge for admission, but as space is limited, advance registration is requested.

The panel discussion will take place during a three-day concept lab devoted to "Approaches to World Literature." The term "world literature" in this context is not synonymous with a Western literary canon, but rather is a concept that includes African, Arab, South and East Asian, and occidental literatures and their different theorizations. During the panel discussion the topic will be discussed from both a literary studies perspective and from the practical perspective of writers: To what extent do different literary traditions influence text production? How do different writing systems and different literary and religious traditions influence literature? Is it possible to talk about a new "inclusive" canon of world literature?

This is the third concept laboratory to be held at the Dahlem Humanities Center of Freie Universität. It is being sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research with the aim of exploring new research formats.


  • Professor Vilashini Cooppan, Department of Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Professor David Damrosch, Department of Comparative Literature, Harvard University
  • Dr. Ayman El-Desouky, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Durs Grünbein, Poet, translator, and essayist
  • Moderation: Professor Joachim Küpper, Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature, Freie Universität Berlin

Time and Location

Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.; Habelschwerdter Allee 45, Room KL 32/123, 14195 Berlin; To sign up, please send an e-mail by June 20, 2012 to:

Further Information

Dahlem Humanities Center, Freie Universität Berlin,
Katja Heinrich, Tel.: +49 (0)30 838-55057, Email:;
Kathinka Rosenkranz, Tel.: +49 (0)30 838-52293, Email: