A course on multilingual literature?

27 April 2009 at 4:19 AM | Posted in News | Leave a comment

Doris Sommer writes in her Bilingual Aesthetics: A New Sentimental Education (2004) why she started blazing the trail of multilingual criticism:

“At the School for Criticism and Theory during the summer of 2002, I graduated to a veritable United Nations of interlocutors interpellated by a call unfamiliar to aesthetics but commonplace in each of their fascinating lives. Josiane Peltier, for example, writes about detective fiction in her native French and elegant English when she is not reading in Spanish and Chinese literatures; historian Olga Dror’s original Russian and acquired Hebrew added Vietnamese, Latin, and Chinese to study popular religion in Vietnam; Laura Ceia-Minjares reveals Tristan Tzara’s private Romanian reveries between his public antics in French.” (pp. vii-viii)

Is it time to offer a course on Multilingual Literature? I would be interested in team teaching the course, if it is offered simultaneously across universities (using Skype or its equivalent). It would be paradoxical if the course were offered only in one language, so it would be ideal if the course could be offered in various languages to students speaking and reading in different languages. If not a course, then perhaps a lecture or two, by the leading critics in the field (Sommer would be one of them, and others I have named in this blog before). Or at the very least, a podcasted lecture. Anyone interested?

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