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Discover multilingual literature through our comparative readings

Explore MULOSIGE’s resources for teaching world literature

Join our discussions around critical and theoretical texts

Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies: For a New Approach to World Literature explores the numerous, often fractured, and non-overlapping worlds of literature, and studies world literature from the perspective of multilingual societies. MULOSIGE is a European Research Council-funded research project led by Professor Francesca Orsini, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

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Testimonials

“The conference made my understanding of world literature more nuanced, more complex and as something that is as unique as it is interlinked” – from Comparison as Relation: Multilingual literary regions and comparative colonialisms (December 2017).

“The workshop has been incredibly exciting. A lot of challenging and intriguing theories and methodologies have been discussed. This has seriously impacted on my historiographical understanding. MULOSIGE has led to a substantial enrichment of my bibliography and a revision of my epistemological approach” – from Comparison as Relation: Multilingual literary regions and comparative colonialisms (December 2017)

Prof Uoldelul Cherati Dirar, University of Macerata (Italy)

“The conference made my understanding of world literature more nuanced, more complex and as something that is as unique as it is interlinked” – from Comparison as Relation: Multilingual literary regions and comparative colonialisms (December 2017).

“During the conference the monolithic expressions of colonialism were dismantled, and collaborations were emphasised along with contradictions in the experimental enterprises” – from Comparison as Relation: Multilingual literary regions and comparative colonialisms (December 2017).

“I was introduced to theories of world literature only a couple of years ago, and the conference was an excellent opportunity for me to gain a deeper understanding of current debates in the discipline. In Ethiopia, which is a multilingual country, scholars of Amharic literature and historians do not engage in comparisons. The conference convinced me of the importance of introducing the MULOSIGE approach back home at Addis Ababa University. In order to continue the conversations we have started here in Delhi, I would like to organise a follow up workshop at AAU. In the immediate future, I will introduce the notions of “multilingualism”, “negotiation”, “ambivalence”, “colonial disjuncture” and “colonial encounter” in the theoretical framework of a study I am carrying out at the moment. Secondly, I will look into what has already been done (not much) on the history of the Ethiopian radio and I will encourage a young scholar to take up the theme for a doctoral study. In the long run, I will advocate grater comparative approaches to Ethiopian literatures at AAU” – from Comparison as Relation: Multilingual literary regions and comparative colonialisms (December 2017)

Prof Shiferaw Bekele, Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia)

“MULOSIGE has encouraged me to look at my work in a more comparative perspective while not losing sight of specific historical contexts. It has also encouraged me to look beyond the ‘local’ and also look at the ‘local’ in a different way – as already embodying strands of the ‘world'” – from Comparison as Relation: Multilingual literary regions and comparative colonialisms (December 2017).

Highlights

Brexit (© Paul Lloyd, via Flickr)

Fatima Burney looks back at our roundtable discussion with Professor Aamir Mufti and explores the consequences of his latest book, Forget English!, for the MULOSIGE project

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Hassan Blasim (© Katja Bohm, courtesy of TheNational.ae)

In a guest post for MULOSIGE, Annie Webster explores the contingency of Hassan Blasim’s Arabic stories, which impress upon readers the porous boundaries between fact and fiction

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Rhodes Must Fall (Wikimedia Commons)

As part of a series reflecting on the status of English in Africa, Wanga Gambushe notes that English remains ‘unassailable but unattainable’ in the context of post-apartheid South Africa

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Asoosama gabaabaa: A short story in Oromo

"I did not know it" tells the story of Ruufo Gurraachaa, a girl who survived the Surro massacre as a small child. Brought up by a perpetrator of the massacre and given in marriage to an old man who orchestrated the violence, Ruufo is unaware of her tragic past. Yet these secrets cannot stay hidden. As Ruufo discovers that her husband's past brutally connects with her own, she must decide whether or not to take revenge.

Postcolonial Print Cultures Conference: “How do we stop being somebody else’s image?”

Laetitia Zecchini discusses the politics of literary translation and publication, particularly surrounding the journal Quest funded by the International Council for Cultural Freedom, itself backed by the CIA. She examined the editor Nissim Ezekiel’s own positions and motivations, noting that for him Quest’s purpose was the create the conditions in which the magazine would provide the freedom to debate, argue, and hold different theoretical positions, creating a space of cultural independence which could in turn realise political independence.

Postcolonial Print Cultures Conference: Hindi literary activism in the 1950s

Professor Francesca Orsini (SOAS), examines the production and re-production of short stories in Hindi literary magazines in the 1950s, offering a case study of the Hindi magazine Kahani (Short Story, 1954). She argues that world literature can only be envisioned and produced through local views, rather than under one overarching banner of what constitutes “world literature.” Her talk highlights the medium of the magazine as a site of non-state literary activism that placed readers and young writers at the center, the preference for the story as opposed to the novel, and the multilingual knowledge that animated reading practices, even when publication occurred in a single language (Hindi).