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Opening of Lecture Series New Directions in Literary

Postcolonial Studies

organized together with

Center for the Humanities, Utrecht
Research Institute for History and Culture OGC, Utrecht
Onderzoekschool Literatuurwetenschap, OSL


Lecture by Emily Apter (NYU)

Translating the 'World' in World Literature

Organized within the new lecture series New Directions in Literary Postcolonial Studies

Convenors Birgit M. Kaiser (Utrecht) and Emmanuelle Radar (Utrecht)

Date/Time: Monday, 20 June 2011, 10.00-13.30
Location: Drift 21, 0.05 (Sweelinckzaal), Utrecht

Introduction: 10.00-10.30
New Directions in Literary Postcolonial Studies (Birgit M. Kaiser, Utrecht)

Lecture: 10.30-12.00
Translating the World in World Literature (Emily Apter, NYU)

Coffeebreak: 12.00-12.30

Round Table: 12.30-13.30
Participants responding to Emily Apters morning lecture:
Hans Bertens (Utrecht), Robert Folger (Utrecht), Theo DHaen (Leuven)

Please register at using apter lecture as a subject of your mail.

For more information see:

Related Masterclass Emily Apter (NYU)
-abilities of Untranslatability

organized with OSL

The masterclass will discuss central positions of Emily Apter's new book Against World
Literature? The Politics of Untranslatability in Comparative Literature (forthcoming). The
book engages in a critique of recent efforts to revive World Literature models of literary
studies (Moretti, Casanova, Damrosch, Dimock) arguing that they construct their curricula
on the assumption of translatability. As a result, incommensurability and what she calls the
untranslatable are, according to Apter, insufficiently built into the literary heuristic.
Drawing on philosophies of translation developed by Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, Sam
Weber, Barbara Johnson, Abdelfattah Kilito and Edouard Glissant, the aim of the new book
is to activate "Untranslatability" as a theoretical fulcrum of Comparative Literature and
sound its bearing on approaches to world literature, literary world systems and literary
history, and the poetics of translational difference. In the masterclass, students will discuss
texts from the new book as well as selected texts from the earlier publication The
Translation Zone (2006), as well as chapters from Samuel Webers Benjamins abilities

In preparation of the master class, students are invited to send in focused questions

Reader will be made available via OSL, register via :

Emily Apter teaches at NYU since 2002, after having taught in French and Comparative
Literature at UCLA, Cornell University, UC-Davis, Penn and Williams College. At NYU she
teaches in the departments of French, English and Comparative Literature, specializing in
courses on French Critical Theory, the History and Theory of Comparative Literature, the
problem of "Francophonie," translation studies, French feminism, and nineteenth-and
twentieth-century French literature. Recent essays have focused on paradigms of
"oneworldedness," the problem of self-property and self-ownership, literary world-systems
and the translatability of genres, and how to think about translation as a form of
intellectual labor.

Date/Time: Tuesday, 21 June 2011,

Location: Janskerkhof 13, zaal 0.06,