To continue our discussions of World Literature as a theoretical concept in more depth, we will discuss four crucial articles in the field and also the preface and introduction to my new book where I use this framework.
Each of you should consider yourselves “experts” on one of these articles, which means roughly 8 people should read each one carefully and be ready to present it. But you should have read all five works at least quickly.
The first is a classic and is accompanied by many others that bolster Moretti’s still controversial position against close reading, favouring “distant” reading. Mufti’s is more recent and provides a crucial discussion of Orientalism’s links to the institutionalization of World Literature. Tanoukhi’s piece focuses on the context of Africa and elaborates on some of the larger problems with World Literature through her discussion of art and literature. Nadia al-Baghdadi concentrates on putting the way in which Arabic literature has been studied traditionally into conversation with ideas underpinning World Literature as a concept. My new book uses World Literature as a framework to think through the way in which we talk about Lebanese women writers who use Arabic words/language in their texts written in standard French. All of these works are available through the McGill library system. I have copied links below, but it is your responsibility to find and read these articles/chapters.
(1) Franco Moretti, “Conjectures on World Literature,” New Left Review
(2) Aamer Mufti, “Orientalism and the Institution of World Literature,” Critical Inquiry 36 (Spring 2010)
(3) Nirvana Tanoukhi, “The Scale of World Literature,” New Literary History, 39: 3 (2008) pp.599-617
(4) Nadia al-Baghdadi, “Registers of Arabic Literary History,” New Literary History, 39: 3 (2008): 437-461.
(5) Michelle Hartman, preface and introduction, Native Tongue, Stranger Talk: The Arabic and French Literary Landscapes of Lebanon (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014).
(NB: You must be connected through the McGill system, or another system that subscribes to JSTOR and project MUSE to download most of these articles, I will upload mine ASAP…).