Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies: For a New Approach to World Literature

These worlds will be explored through case studies in north India, the Maghreb (led by Dr Karima Laachir, SOAS), and the Horn of Africa, both chosen for their multiple precolonial written and oral traditions and different experiences of colonialism and nationalism. The project will focus on three periods: colonial consolidation, decolonisation, and the current globalising moment. It will study the local interplay of cultural traditions, local debates on world literature, old and new forms of multilingualism, and actors and technologies of print and orality.

Professor Orsini, who lectures on Hindi and South Asian Literature, said: “The aim is to counter the identification of world literature with English by highlighting the multilingualism and the many factors that contribute to regional and transnational literary fields. Instead of imitation and diffusion, we’ll seek to illuminate the dynamics of appropriation and creativity.”

Project Contact:

Francesca Orsini
fo @ soas.ac.uk