Set of Books Inside of a Library during Daytime, image courtesy of Pexels

Bibliomigrancy: World Literature as a Pact with Books, 11 October 2016, SOAS

In this podcast Professor Mani draws on his book Recoding World Literature: Libraries, Print Culture, and Germany’s Pact with Books (Fordham University Press, 2017) to politicise the idea of world literature. Mani argues that investigations of library and print and digital cultural histories assist in understanding world literature as historically conditioned, culturally determined, and politically charged, and focuses on the role of the state in the construction of world literature. It presents Nazi Germany as a case study, sharing archival finds that have made into the book.

Venkat Mani is Professor, Department of German and faculty affiliate, DAAD Center for German and European Studies, Global Studies, Center for South Asia, and the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research and teaching focus on 19th to 21st Century German literature and culture, world literature in translation, migration in the German and European context, book and digital cultural histories, and theories of cosmopolitanism, globalization, post-colonialism, and transnationalism. He is the founder and co-director of UW-Madison’s World Literature/s Research Workshop. His first book, Cosmopolitical Claims: Turkish-German Literatures from Nadolny to Pamuk (University of Iowa Press, 2007) was the first monograph published in the US to evaluate Turkish-German literature in comparison with contemporary Turkish literature. His second monograph, Recoding World Literature: Libraries, Print Culture, and Germany’s Pact with Books (Fordham University Press, 2017) will be the first to consider the “medial” development of world literature through library and book histories.

This event was part of the MULOSIGE seminar series hosted by CCLPS at SOAS and a LINKS event. LINKS (London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies), is a collaboration between London institutions involved in teaching and research in comparative literary studies, to promote dialogue and cooperation. Participating institutions include University College London, King’s College London, Goldsmiths, Queen Mary, SOAS, Birkbeck and Royal Holloway.