Damrosch, David    |    USA
Basic information
David Damrosch
Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature, Harvard University
Chair, Department of Comparative Literature
Director, Institute for World Literature

Research Fields: Theory and methods of comparative literature and world literary studies; Bible and ancient Near Eastern literatures; modern European and global Anglophone literatures. Current research projects include a book on the discipline of Comparative Literature, and a book on the role of global scripts in the formation of national literatures.

DAVID DAMROSCH – CV        February 2016
Department of Comparative Literature
Harvard University
Dana Palmer House 201
16 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA 02138   


Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature, Harvard University
Chair, Department of Comparative Literature
Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature, 2008-09
Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 1980-2009
Assistant Professor 1980-87, Associate Professor 1987-93, Professor 1993-2009


B.A. 1975, Yale College; Ph.D. 1980, Yale University, Dept. of Comparative Literature. Dissertation: “Scripture and Fiction: Egypt, the Midrash, Finnegans Wake”


How to Read World Literature. Blackwell, 2009
Turkish translation, Dünya Edebiyatı Nasıl Okunmalı? Bilgi U. P., 2010
Chinese translation forthcoming from Peking U. P., 2016
Italian translation forthcoming from Armando Editore, 2015
Vietnamese translation forthcoming from Institute of Literature, Hanoi, 2015

The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh. 
  Henry Holt, 2007; 3rd printing, May 2007. Paperback ed., December 2007
  Audiobook from Blackstone Audio. 6-CD set, January 2008
  Arabic trans. by Musa Al-Halool. Cairo: National Center for Translation, 2012

What Is World Literature? Princeton University Press, in hardcover and paperback, 2003
Japanese translation, Tokyo U.P., 2011
Chinese translation, Peking U.P., 2015
  Turkish translation forthcoming from Bilgi U.P., 2015
  Polish translation of the Conclusion, Teksly Drugie 4 (2014), 100-130
Estonian translation of the Introduction, Akadeemia 12 (2007), 2667-2705
Tibetan translation of excerpts, Latse Library Newsletter (Fall 2003), 25-27

Meetings of the Mind. Princeton University Press, 2000
  Paperback edition, 2010
  Polish translation, Mityngi myśli. Krakow: Jagiellonian U.P., 2011

We Scholars: Changing the Culture of the University. Harvard University Press,
  in hardcover and paperback, 1995
  Spanish trans. forthcoming from the Fundación Universidad de Palermo,
Buenos Aires

The Narrative Covenant: Transformations of Genre in the Growth of Biblical
  Literature. Harper & Row, 1987
  Paperback edition, Cornell University Press, 1991

Edited and Co-edited Volumes

Approaches to Teaching the Works of Orhan Pamuk, ed. Sevinç Türkkan and David Damrosch. New York: Modern Language Association, forthcoming in 2016
Classics of World Literature (in Chinese), ed. David Damrosch and Chen Yongguo. 10 vols., forthcoming from Peking U.P. in 2015
World Literature in Theory, ed. David Damrosch. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014
Theories of World Literature (in Chinese), ed. David Damrosch, Liu Hongtao, and Yin Xing. Beijing: Peking U.P., 2013
The Routledge Companion to World Literature, ed. Theo D’haen, David Damrosch, and Djelal Kadir. London: Routledge, 2012. Paperback edition, 2014
The Canonical Debate Today: Crossing Disciplinary and Cultural Boundaries, ed. Liviu Papadima, David Damrosch, and Theo D’haen. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011
Xin  fangxiang: bijiao wenxue  yu shijie wenxue duben [New Directions: A Reader of Comparative and World Literature], ed. David Damrosch, Chen Yongguo and Yin Xing. Trans. Yin Xing et al. Beijing: Peking U. P., 2010
Teaching World Literature, ed. David Damrosch. New York: Modern Language Association, 2009
The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature: From the European Enlightenment to the Global Present, ed. David Damrosch, Natalie Melas, and Mbongiseni Buthelezi. Princeton University Press, 2009
Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling, Heart of Darkness, The Man Who Would Be King, and Other Works on Empire, ed. David Damrosch. A Longman Cultural Edition. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006
The Longman Anthology of World Literature. Longman, 2004. Six vols., 6500 pp.  General editor, with twelve co-editors; regional editor for the ancient Near East and for Mesoamerica. Second ed., general editor with David L. Pike, 2008
The Longman Anthology of World Literature, Compact Edition. 2800pp., 2007, general editor with David L. Pike. Revised version published as Gateways to World Literature, Pearson / Penguin Academic, two volumes, 2012.
The Longman Anthology of British Literature. Addison Wesley Longman, 1998;
  general editor, with eleven co-editors. Six volumes, 6000 pp.
Fourth ed., 2009, general editor with Kevin Dettmar.
The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Compact Edition, 2600 pp, 1999; 2nd ed., 2003. Rev. ed. in two volumes, co-ed. with Kevin Dettmar, under the title Masters of British Literature, 2007
Contributing editor, The HarperCollins World Reader, ed. Mary Ann Caws and Christopher Prendergast, 2 vols., 1994; co-editor of the 500-page first section (“The Ancient Mediterranean World,” with Laura Slatkin) and the final section (“Literature Across Borders,” with Christopher Prendergast)


“A Sinister Chuckle: Sherlock in Tibet.” Forthcoming in Louise Nilsson, Theo D’haen and David Damrosch, eds., Crime Fiction as World Literature. New York: Bloomsbury, 2017.

“Rudyard Kipling: From Lahore to the World.” Forthcoming in The Blackwell Companion to World Literature, ed. Ken Seigneurie, 2017

“World Literature in the Anglosphere.” Forthcoming in Comparative Literature Studies, 2016

“Haun’s Way: A Response to Haun Saussy, ‘Compared to What?’”, with a follow-up, “Grounds of Comparison.” Forthcoming in Comparative Literature Studies, 2016

“Scriptworlds Lost and Found.” Forthcoming in Journal of World Literature 1:2 (2016), special issue on “Chinese Scriptworlds”

“General Introduction” (with Anders Pettersson), “The Ancient Near East” (with Bo Utas), and “Writing Systems and Cultural Memory.” Forthcoming in Anders Pettersson et al., eds. Literature: A World History. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 4 vols., 2016

“Antiquity.” Forthcoming in Eric Hayot and Rebecca Walkowitz, eds., A New Vocabulary for Global Modernism. New York: Columbia U. P., 2016

“From Ithaca to Beijing: Hu Shih’s Peripheral Centrality.” Forthcoming in Canadian Review of Comparative Literature/Revue canadienne de littérature comparée, 2016

“The World in a Journal.” Introductory essay for the inaugural issue of the Journal of World Literature 1:1 (2016), 1-7

“The World in a Zeitschrift.” Jahrbuch Komparatistik. Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 2015, 19-24

“Comparative? Literature? The Shifting Grounds of Comparison.” Forthcoming in Komparatistik im 21. Jahrhundert, ed. Tobias Gunst and Martina Kopf. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015

“Tupi or Not Tupi: The World in the Nation.” Forthcoming in Dedalus – Revista de Estudos Comparatistas, 2014

“Should We Defend the Humanities? A Roundtable with David Damrosch, Lois Zamora, and Marianne Hirsch.” Comparative Literature Studies 51:4 (2014), 587-602

“Jessica Trevitt Speaks to David Damrosch: World Literature and Translation.” The Translator (2015), 1-12

“The Politics of Global English.” Journal of English Language and Literature 60:2 (2014), 193-209

“Teaching World Literature in the Era of Globalization” (interview). Studies of Foreign Literature (Wuhan), vol. 3, June 2014, 1-6. Chinese tr. in Comparative Literature and World Literature (Peking U.P.), vol. 5, September 2014, 99-104

“World Literature and Modern Chinese Literature in a Comparative Horizon: An Interview with David Damrosch.” Interview and Chinese tr. by Lin Xiaoxia, in Frontiers of Literary Theory 11 (2014), 187-201

“Surveying the Landscape.” Introduction to Classics of World Literature, ed. Damrosch and Chen, forthcoming from Peking U.P., 2015

“Literary Criticism and the Qur’an.” Journal of Qur’anic Studies 16:3 (2014), 4-10

“Literary Theory: From Structuralism to Poststructuralism.” Vietnamese tr. in Trần Hải Yến, ed.,
Lý thuyết và ứng dụng lý thuyết trong nghiên cứu văn học [Literary Theories and their
Application]. Hanoi: Social Sciences Publishing House, 2014, 48-65

“Translation in Theory and Practice.” Vietnamese tr. in Trần, 66-83
“Theories of World Literature,” Vietnamese tr. in Trần, 84-102
“Comparative World Literature: From Molière to Marguerite Yourcenar.” In Micéala Symington, ed., Littératures, poétiques, mondes: La littérature comparée et ses sentiers qui bifurquent. Essais dédiés à Jean Bessière. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2015, 269-85

“Geopoetics: World Literature in the Global Mediascape.” In Figuren des Globalen: Weltbezug und Welterzeugung in Literatur, Kunst und Medien, ed. Christian Moser and Linda Simonis. Göttingen: V & R Unipress, 2014, 209-30

“Plus ça change? Die Komparatistik im globalen Zeitalter.” In Moser and Simonis, 157-67

“World Literature as Figure and as Ground.” In the “Paradigms” section of the 2014 ACLA “State of the Discipline Report,”

“Translation and National Literature.” In Sandra Bermann and Catherine Porter, eds.,
A Companion to Translation Studies. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014, 349-60

“World Literatures in Temporal Perspective.” CLCweb: Comparative Literature and Culture 15:5 (December 2013). Prior version pub. as “Chronologics,” in Theo D’haen, ed., A World History of Literature. Brussels: Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie, 2012, 35-46.

“Global Scripts and the Formation of Literary Traditions.” In Approaches to World Literature,
ed. Joachim Küpper. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2013, 85-102

“Comparing the Incomparable: World Literature from Du Fu to Mishima.” Renyxa 3 (2012),   133-53. Japanese translation in Bungei, Spring 2011, 36-51

“Global Comparatism and the Question of Language.” PMLA 128:3 (2013), 622-28

“World Literature in a Post-literary Age.” Modern Language Quarterly 74:2 (2013), 151-70

“World Literature in Theory and Practice.” Introduction to Damrosch, Liu, and Yin, eds., Theories of World Literature (in Chinese, tr. Yin Xing), 2013

“Literary History in a Global Age: The Legacy of Sisir Kumar Das.” In E.V. Ramakrishnan, Harish Trivedi, and Chandra Mohan, eds., Interdisciplinary Alter-natives in Comparative Literature. New Delhi: Sage, 2013, 37-51

“Translation and World Literature: Love in the Necropolis.” Repr. of Chapter 4 of What Is World
Literature? In Lawrence Venuti, ed., The Translation Studies Reader. Routledge, 3rd ed.,
    2012, 411-28.
Also repr. in Virginia Jackson and Yopie Prins, eds., The Lyric Theory Reader: A Critical Anthology. Johns Hopkins U.P., 2013, 632-42

“The End of the Book?  Literary Studies in a Post-Literary Age, 1960 / 2010 / 2060.” In Ricardo Gil Soeiro and Sofia Tavares, eds., Rethinking the Humanities: Paths and Challenges. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012, 67-86

“Comparative? Literature?” Afterword to Rizio Raj, ed., Quest of a Discipline: New Academic Directions for Comparative Literature. New Delhi: Cambridge U.P., 2012, 280-89

“World Literature.” Article for Wikipedia. Posted 27 December 2011

“Europe between the Nation and the Globe.” Universty of Bucharest Review 13:1 (2011), 7-20

“Comparative Literature / World Literature: A Discussion with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and David Damrosch.” Comparative Literature Studies 48:4 (2011), 455-85

“World Literature as Alternative Discourse.” Neohelicon 38:2 (2011), 307-317

“Weltliteratur, littérature universelle, vishwa sahitya. . .” (with Theo D’haen and Djelal Kadir). Introduction to The Routledge Companion to World Literature (2011), xviii-xxi

“Hugo Meltzl and the ‘Principle of Polyglottism.’” In The Routledge Companion to World Literature, 12-20

“Comparative World Literature.” In Liviu Papadima, David Damrosch, and Theo D’haen, eds., The Canonical Debate Today (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011), 169-78

Introduction and concluding interview, in Damrosch, Chen, and Yin, eds., Xin fangxiang (Peking U. P., 2010), 3-10 and 295-300

“National Literatures in an Age of Globalization.” ADE Bulletin 149 (2010), 26-37

“The Best that Has Been Bought and Stolen.” Critical Inquiry 35 (2009), 1063-68

“How American Is World Literature?” The Comparatist 32:1 (2009), 12-19.
Chinese translation in Foreign Literature Studies/Wai Guo Wenxue Yan Jiu 31:5 [139] (2009): 10-16; repr. in World Literature and China in a Global Age, ed. Zhang Jian et al. Beijing: Chinese Social Sciences Press, 2010, 135-43

“World Literature in Between,” trans. by Sila Okur as “Aralıkta Dünya Edebiyatı.” Introduction to E. Efe Çakmak, ed., Dünya Edebiyatı Deyince. Istanbul: Varlik, 2009, 9-18

Interview with Orhan Pamuk, trans. by F. and O. Deníztekín as “Orhan Pamuk ile Söyleşi,” in E. Efe Çakmak, ed., Dünya Edebiyatı Deyince, 19-34

“Frames for World Literature.” In Fotis Jannidis, ed., Grenzen der Literatur. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009, 1-20

“Introduction.” The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature (2009), ix-xvi

“All the World in the Time.” Introduction to Damrosch, ed., Teaching World Literature. New York: Modern Language Association, 2009, 1-11
Chinese translation in Humanities and Social Sciences Journal of Jiangnan University 12:3 (2013), 85-89. Repr. by Renmin University Information Center for Social Sciences, September 2013, 12-16

“Major Cultures and Minor Literatures.” In Damrosch, ed., Teaching World Literature, 193-204

“Toward a History of World Literature.” New Literary History 39:3 (2008), 481-95.
Japanese translation in Toru Kiuchi et al., eds., Sekai Bungakushi wa Ikanishite Kano ka Tokyo: Seibido, 2011.

“‘What Could a Message Mean to a Cloud?’: Kalidasa Travels West.” Translation Studies 1:1 (2008), 41-54. Rev. version in Ipshita Chanda et al., eds, Travelling in Cultures: Comparative Studies, Theory and Practice (Delhi: Worldview, 2009, 119-34), repr. in Ruth Vanita, ed., India and the World: Postcolonialism, Translation and Indian Literature: Essays in Honour of Professor Harish Trivedi. New Delhi: Pencraft International, 2014, 75-92. 

“Epic Hero” (excerpt from The Buried Book). Smithsonian Magazine (May 2007),

“Trading Up with Gilgamesh.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 9 March 2007, B5

“Teaching with – and against – Translation.” In the ADPCL Report on the Undergraduate Comparative Literature Curriculum, Profession 2006, 177-197; pp. 191-93

“Scriptworlds: Writing Systems and the Formation of World Literature.” Modern Language Quarterly 68:2 (2007), 195-219.
Vietnamese trans. in Nghiên Cúu Văn Ho̟c [Literary Studies] 11 (465), 2010, 21-43, repr. in Tiếp cận văn học châu Á từ lý thuyết phương Tây hiện đại [Asian Literatures Read through Modern Western Theories], ed. Trần Hải Yến. Hanoi: Vietnamese Institute of Literature, 2013

“Global Regionalism.” European Review 15:1 (2007), 135-43
Repr. in Nele Bemong et al, eds., Re-Thinking Europe: Literature and (Trans)National Identity. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2008, 47-58

“Where Is World Literature?” In Gunilla Lindberg-Wada, ed., Studying Transcultural Literary History. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006, 211-20

“World Literature in a Postcanonical, Hypercanonical Age.” In Haun Saussy, ed., Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization. Johns Hopkins U.P., 2006, 43-53.
Danish trans. in Mads Thomsen, ed., Verdenslitteratur. Aarhus U. P., 2008
Polish trans. in Tomasza Bilczewskiego, ed., Niewspółmierność: Perspektywy
nowoczesnej komparatystyki. Krakow: Jagiellonian U.P., 2010, 367-80

“Rebirth of a Discipline: The Global Origins of Comparative Literature.” Comparative Critical Studies 3:1-2 (2006), 99-112
Chinese trans. by Yin Xing, in Damrosch et al., Xin fangxiang, 40-51
Hungarian trans. by Kupán Zsuzsanna, in Irodalomtörténet (Fall 2007)
Polish translation in Wieloglos (“Polyphony”), 2011

“Vectors of Change.” In Envisioning the Future of Doctoral Education, ed. Chris M. Golde and George E. Walker. Jossey-Bass, 2006, 34-45

“P. G. Wodehouse.” The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, ed. David Kastan. Oxford U. P., 2006, 5:303-6

“Secular Criticism Meets the World.” Cairo Review of Books, November 2005, 3-6.
Trans. Valentino Baldi as “Quando la critica secolare incontra il mondo,” Allegoria 67:1 (2013), 20-35

“Oblique Refractions” (interview), Al-Ahram Weekly, 17-23 Nov. 2005, 19.

“Death in Translation.” In Sandra Bermann and Michael Wood, eds., Nation, Language,
and the Ethics of Translation. Princeton U. P., 2005, 380-98

“Though It Was Jade, Though It Was Gold: Mutability in Aztec Poetry.” Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 50 (2004), 5-14

“World Literature, National Contexts.” Modern Philology 100:4 (2003), 512-531

“The Road of Excess: Comparative Literature at a Double Crossroads” (ACLA presidential address). Comparative Literature 55:3 (2003), viii-xv

“What Is World Literature?” World Literature Today, April-June 2003, 9-14

“Comparative Literature?” PMLA 118:2 (2003), 326-330

“National Culture, International Theory.” In Eduardo Coutinho, ed., Fronteiras Imaginadas. Rio de Janeiro: Aeroplano Editora, 2001, 97-103

“World Literature Today: From the Old World to the Whole World.” Symplokê 8:1-2 (2001),
7-19. Repr. In Jeffrey R. Di Leo, ed., On Anthologies: Politics and Pedagogy. University of Nebraska Press, 2004, 31-46

“Mentors and Tormentors in Doctoral Education.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 November 2000, B24

“The Mirror and the Window: Reflections on Anthology Construction.” Pedagogy 1:1 (Fall, 2000), 207-14

“Four Characters in Search of the Meaning of Culture” (excerpt from Meetings of the Mind). Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 December 1999, B6-9

“So Much to Read, So Little Time: Anthologies and the Changing Shape of the Past.”
  The Chronicle of Higher Education 16 April 1999, B7-8

“Museum-Quality Politics.” Washington Post, Outlook section, 1 January 1998, C1, 5

“A Past We Can Live With.” Civilization (April 1997), 76-78
“Gilgamesh and Genesis” (excerpt from The Narrative Covenant). In John Maier, ed., Gilgamesh: A Reader. Bolchazy-Carducci Press, 1997, 192-204

“The Semiotics of Conquest.” American Literary History (Fall, 1996), 516-32

“P. G. Wodehouse.” In British Writers III, ed. George Stade. Scribner’s, 1996, 447-64

“Can Classics Die?” Lingua Franca 5:6 (September, 1995), 61-66

“Collaborative Writing and the Mentalist Myth.” Writing Sociology 3:2 (1995), 4-5

“Literary Study in an Elliptical Age.” In Charles Bernheimer, ed., Comparative
  Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism Johns Hopkins U.P., 1995, 122-133

“The Scholar as Exile.” Lingua Franca 5:2 (January 1995), 56-60

“The Ethnic Ethnographer: Judaism in Tristes Tropiques.” Representations 50 (1995),

“Auerbach in Exile.” Comparative Literature 47:2 (1995), 97-117. Turkish trans. by Kemal Atakay, “Sürgündeki Auerbach,” in E. Efe Çakmak, ed., Dünya Edebiyatı Deyince. Istanbul: Varlik, 2009, 259-93

“The Aesthetics of Conquest: Aztec Poetry Before and After Cortés.”Representations 33 (1991), 101-20; repr. in Stephen Greenblatt, ed., New World Encounters. University of California Press, 1992, 139-58

“Non Alia sed Aliter: The Hermeneutics of Gender in Bernard of Clairvaux.” In Images of Sainthood, ed. T. Szell and R. Blumenfeld-Kosinski. Cornell U.P., 1991, 181-95

“The Rhetoric of Allegory: Burke and Augustine.” In The Legacy of Kenneth Burke, ed. Herbert Simons and Trevor Melia. Wisconsin U.P., 1989, 224-38

“The (Am)bivalence of Allegory.” Prooftexts (Fall 1989), 125-33

“Allegories of Love in Egyptian Poetry and the Song of Songs.” Stanford Literature Review 5 (1988), 25-42

“Leviticus.” In The Literary Guide to the Bible, ed. Robert Alter and Frank Kermode. Harvard U.P., 1987, 66-77

“The Politics of Ethics: Freud and Rome.” In Pragmatism’s Freud, ed. J. Smith and 
  W. Kerrigan. Johns Hopkins U.P., 1986, 102-25

“Heinrich von Kleist.” In European Writers, ed. George Stade. Scribner’s, 1985.

“Peter Bell Revised.” The Wordsworth Circle 4 (1980), 232-38

Book Reviews

Review of Emily Apter, Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability. Comparative Literature Studies 51:3 (2014), 504-8

Review of Mads Rosendahl Thomsen, Mapping World Literature.
Comparative Literature Studies 47:3 (2010), 396-99

Review of Yusef Komunyakaa and Chad Gracia, Gilgamesh: A Verse Play. 
American Book Review 28:6 (2007), 14

Review of Eugene Eoyang, ed., Intercultural Explorations.
Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 52 (2007), 193-96

Review of Steven Brint, ed., The Future of the City of Intellect: The Changing American University.  Academe, January 2003

Review of Vasilis Lambropoulos, The Rise of Eurocentrism. Annals of Scholarship, 1996

Review of David Denby, Great Books, and of Lawrence Levine, The Opening of the American Mind. Washington Post Book World, 29 September 1996, pp. 3, 14

“The Idea of a University”: Review of James Freedman, Idealism and Liberal Education and Nicholas Farnham, ed., Rethinking Liberal Education. Washington Post Education Review, 7 April 1996, 14f.

Review of William H. Pritchard, English Papers, and of John K. Wilson, The Myth of Political Correctness. Washington Post Education Review, 5 November 1995, 13

Review of David Pinault, Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights.  Journal of the American Oriental Society 114:2 (1994), 39-40

Review of Olivier Bernier, Fireworks at Dusk: Paris in the Thirties. New York Newsday,
21 March 1993, 38

Review of Erling Holtsmark, Tarzan and Tradition. Comparative Literature Studies
  (Summer 1984), 246-47


Kabti-ilani-Marduk, “Erra and Ishum.” In Damrosch et al., The Longman Anthology of World Literature, 2004, volume A:143-56

Walther von der Vogelweide, “Saget mir ieman, waz ist minne?” and four other poems. Ibid., B:898-903

Mechthild von Magdeburg, from Das fließende Licht der Gottheit. Ibid., B:1060-65

“Xi huel om pehua” (Aztec song). Ibid., C:798-99

Mbwil a M. Ngal, from Giambatista Viko ou le viol du discours africain. Ibid., F:966-69

Germaine de Staël, “De l’Esprit générale de la littérature moderne.” In Damrosch et al., The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature, 10-16

Jean-Marie Carré, “Un Préface à La Littérature comparée.” Ibid., 158-60


World Literature lecture series, Thailand. Three lectures, plus a panel on “World Literature in Thailand,” sponsored by the Thai Humanities Research Forum, at Chulalongkorn, Thammaset, and Chiang Mai Universities, February 2016 

“Poetry across Cultures.” Lecture plus seminar with faculty, Vientiane International School, Laos, February 2016.

“Head to Head or Tête-à-Tête? The (Un)translatability of World Literature.” Panel debate with Emily Apter, MLA, Austin, January 2016

“Frames for World Literature.” Keynote lecture, “International Summit Dialogue and Forum, Ideas and Methods: What Is World Literature?” Beijing Normal U, October 2015

“World Literature in China, Chinese Literature in the World.” Renmin University, Beijing, October 2015

“Comparing the Incomparable: The Challenge of World Literary Studies.” University of Helsinki, October 2015; Tsinghua University, Beijing, October 2025

“Home Is Somewhere Else: Comparative Literature as a Migrant Discipline.” K.U. Leuven, October 2015

“Worldliness.” Moscow State University, June 2015

“The Mediterranean, Ancient and Modern.” Keynote lecture for conference on “Mediterranean Passages,” SUNY Brockport, April 2015

“The Politics of Global English: From Rudyard Kipling to Orhan Pamuk.” Qafqaz University, Baku, February 2015

“Literary Criticism and the Qur’an.” University of Tehran, February 2015

“Translated Texts in National Traditions.” Shiraz University, Iran, February 2015; also given at Qafqaz University, Baku, February 2015

“Conrad after Colonialism.” The annual Joseph Conrad Lecture for the Conrad Festival, Krakow, October 2014

“The World in the Nation, the Nation in the World.” Georgian Institute of Literature, Tbilisi, September 2014

Three lectures for a Tsinghua/Harvard-Yenching training session on “New Directions in Comparative Literature”: “Grounds for Comparison,” “Borderline Personalities: Madness and Obsession in Global Peripheries,” and “Literary Studies in the Internet Age.” Tsinghua University, Beijing, June 2014

“Teaching Literature Globally: Strategies for the First Day of Class.” Valdosta State University, Georgia, April 2014

“World Literature Today: From the Old World to the Whole World.” Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut, Heidelberg, March 2014; Yale Club of Hong Kong, July 2014

“The World in the Nation” and “The Nation in the World,” together with two seminars: “Paris, Capital of Cultural Capital” and “A Far Cry from Florence: Localizing World Literature.” The 2014 Babits Mihály lectures, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, March 2014

“What Is ‘Literature’? Notes toward a Global Poetics.” University of Ljubljana, March 2014; Beijing Language and Culture University, June 2014

“Borges E.U.: Spanish Literature between Europe and the World.” Keynote talk for a conference on “Glocal Spanishes,” Universidad Complutense de Madrid, February 2014. Revised version given as keynote lecture for conference on “Frictions of World Literature,” Harvard, May 2015

“The World in the Nation: Translated Texts in National Contexts.” Keynote talk for a conference on “Literatura mundial: literatura, hermenéutica y traducción,” Universidad de Granada, February 2014; also given at Universität Göttingen, February 2014; Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana, March 2014; Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, May 2014; Nida Symposium on Translation, New York, September 2014

“Chronologics: Periodizing Culture in a Global Age.” Centre for Transcultural Studies, Universität Heidelberg, February 2014

“After Istanbul: Philology’s American Afterlife.” Universität Bonn, January 2014;
Universität Gießen, February 2014; Hebrew University, Jerusalem, May 2014; Universität Heidelberg, October 2014

“Disappearing Ink: Writing, Erasure, and Cultural Memory.” Keynote address, conference on “Disappearance: Cultural and Temporal Horizons.”  CUNY Graduate Center, November 2013

“Sites and Places in World Literature.” Aarhus University, Denmark, September 2013

“Comparative Literature as Discipline, Indiscipline, and Interdiscipline.” ACL(x) convention, Pennsylvania State University, September 2013

“World Literature as a Concept and a Problem.” IWL, Harvard, June 2013

“Comparative? Literature? The Shifting Grounds of Comparison.” Keynote talk for conference on “Komparatistik im 21. Jahrhundert: Disziplin der Zukunft.” Universität Mainz, May 2013

“Grand Theft Ovid: Literary Studies in the Internet Age.” Susanne Zantop Memorial Lecture, Dartmouth, May 2013; Nicholas Copernicus University, Torun, Poland, September 2013; University of Chicago, October 2013; Universität Tubingen, January 2014; Aalto University, Helsinki, October 2015

“The Politics of Global English: From Kipling to K-Maro.” Anis Makdisi Memorial Lecture; plus workshop on Comparative Literature graduate program design. American University, Beirut, April 2013

“African World Literature.” Plenary discussion with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. Rutgers University, April 2013

“Literature before ‘Literature.’” ACLA annual meeting, Toronto, April 2013

“Defending the Humanities.” Roundtable participant, ACLA, Toronto, April 2013

“Grand Theft Ovid: Literary Studies in the Internet Age.” American Embassy, Belgrade, March 2013

“Regional Literatures in a Global Market.” University of Belgrade, March 2013

“The Journey to the West of Journey to the West.” Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, February 2013

“The Tale of Genji as World Literature.” Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Los Angeles, February 2013

“The Politics of Global English: From Kipling to Kim Jong-Il.” New College, Oxford, January 2013

“Comparing the Incomparable: Area Studies in a Networked World.” SOAS, University of London, January 2013

“Back to Babel: Global English in a Multilingual World.” The George Steiner Lecture, while Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Queen Mary (U. of London), January 2013

“Global Comparatism and the Question of Language.” MLA, Boston, January 2013

Roundtable participant, “Perspectivizing World Literature.” MLA, Boston, January 2013

“The Uncommon Market of European Literature.” University of Lisbon, December 2012

“Tupi or Not Tupi: The World in the Nation.” Keynote address, Associação Portuguesa de Literatura Comparada, Aveiro, December 2012

“Comparative Literature and the Contemporary: From 2000 (BCE) to 2012 (CE).” University of Oregon, Eugene, November 2012

“The World Market of Letters.” Conference “Towards a Global Literature,” IULM University, Milan, October 2012

“The World in the Novel, the Novel in the World.” Plenary discussion with Orhan Pamuk, Institute for World Literature, Istanbul Bilgi University, July 2012

“Scriptworlds: Global Scripts in the Formation of World Literature.” Dahlem Humanities Center, Freie Universität Berlin, June 2012; plus public forum discussion, “Weltliteratur im 21. Jahrhundert.”

“Comparing the Incomparable.” Lecture as Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taipei, May 2012

Participant in a roundtable discussion on “World Literature and Transculturation.” National Taiwan University, Taipei, May 2012

“Periodization.” ACLA annual meeting, Brown University, March 2012

Participant in a roundtable discussion on “The Eighties,” ACLA, March 2012

“Finding Parity in a Non-Tenure Track Job.” ACLA Graduate Student Caucus session, March 2012

“From Gilgamesh to Genesis: The Worlds of World Literature.” Middlebury College, February 2012

“Poetry of Love and Desire from Ancient Egypt to the Internet Age.” Harvard University, February 14, 2012

“World Literature in Antiquity.” Boston University, February 2012

Discussion with David Henry Hwang on Journey to the West. Rubin Museum, New York, January 2012

Respondent, session on “Translation and World Literature.” MLA, Seattle, January 2012

Roundtable participant, “The New Dissertation: Beyond the Proto-book.” MLA, Seattle, January 2012

“Comparing the Incomparable: World Literature from Du Fu to Yukio Mishima.” University of Tokyo, November 2011

“The Customer is Always Writing.” Conference on “The Future of the PhD,” Johns Hopkins University, October 2011

“Europe after Eurocentrism: Nation, Region, World.” University of Berne, October 2011

“World Literature between the Nation and the Globe.” Plenary lecture, triennial meeting of the Féderation Internationale des Langues et Littératures Modernes, Halden, Norway, October 2011

“Against Translation.”  ACL(x) conference, Pennsylvania State U., October 2011

“Exodus in History and Ritual.” Boston University, September 2011

“Gilgamesh in the Internet Age.” Ursinus College, September 2011

“Chronologics: Cultural Historiography from Ezekiel to Literature: A World History.”
Conference on “A World History of Literature,” Brussels, September 2011

“Translation and World Literature.” Keynote address for the annual meeting of the Australian Association for Literary Translation, Monash University, July 2011; also a concluding presentation, “The Institutional Location of World Literature.”

“The Globe Writes Back: Englishes Today.” University of Western Sydney, July 2011

“World Literature and Translation Theory” and “World Literature and Globalization.” Lectures for the Institute for World Literature, Beijing, July 2011

“Poetics of World Literature” (with Zhao Baisheng) and “Reading World Literatures of the Modern Era,” seminars for the Institute for World Literature, July 2011

“Geopoetics: World Literature and World Music in the Global Mediascape.”
Keynote address, annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allgemeine
und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft, Bonn, June 2011

“World Literature as a Bridge for Cross-Cultural Understanding.” Persian Academy of Language and Literature, Tehran, June 2011; Beijing Language and Culture University, July 2011

“Joyce’s Linguistic Minimalism.” Conference on “James Joyce and Language,” Center for the Book, Tehran, June 2011

“Scriptworlds: From Sumer to Seoul.” U. of Virginia, April 2011; Peking U., July 2011

“World Literature from Cluj to the World.” Address on receipt of honorary doctorate,
University of Bucharest, April 2011

“Europe between the Nation and the Globe.” Plenary address, conference on “Rethinking European Literature,” University of Bucharest, April 2011; Johannes-Gutenberg Universität, Mainz, June 2011

“Comparative Literature / World Literature.” Plenary debate with Gayatri Spivak,
ACLA annual meeting, Vancouver, April 2011

“Bringing Literature to the World.” A screening and discussion of episodes from the WGBH “Invitation to World Literature” series. ACLA Vancouver, April 2011

Three lectures at the Institute of Literature, Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences, Hanoi, on structuralism and poststructuralism, translation theory, and theories of world literature, March 2011

“Grand Theft Ovid: Literary Studies and the Internet.” Tsinghua University, Beijing, March 2011; Harvard Club of Chicago, June 2012

“Literary History for a Global Age: The Legacy of S.K. Das.” S.K. Das Memorial Lecture, Comparative Literature Association of India, Ahmedabad, March 2011

“National Literature, Comparative Literature, World Literature.” Closing address, CLAI biennial conference, Ahmedabad, March 2011

“The End of the Book? Literary Studies in a Post-Literary Age, 1867 / 1967 / 2067.”
Peter Burton Hanson Memorial Lecture, Northeastern U., February 2011. Revised version given at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, November 2011

“The Post-Parisian Post-colonial.” MLA, Los Angeles, January 2011

“Reshaping the Multilingual Classroom.” MLA, January 2011

“The Imitative Fallacy in Scholarly Writing.” MLA, January 2011

“The Politics of Global English: From Kipling to Kim Jong-Il.” Keynote address, English Language and Literature Association of Korea, Daejeon, South Korea, December 2010, and at the Australian National University, Canberra, July 2011

“City Walls and Culture-founding Fish: Ideas of Civilization in the Ancient Near East.” City University of Hong Kong, November 2010

“Is Jesus an Epic Hero?” University of Tampa, November 2010

“Becoming Canonical: National Literatures in the Empire of Signs.” Research Institute
for Korean Studies, Korea University, Seoul, August 2010

“World Literature as Alternative Discourse.” Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
August 2010

“Ideas of World Literature: From Brandes to Casanova and Back Again.” Conference on “Scandinavian World Literature,” Georg Brandes-Skolen, U. of Copenhagen, June 2010

“Snorri Sturluson and the Invention of Scandinavian World Literature.” Brandes-Skolen, June 2010

“Scriptworlds: Writing Systems, Canon Formation, and Cultural Identity.” Center for Canon and Identity Formation, University of Copenhagen, June 2010. Revised version given at the Institute of Literature, Hanoi, March 2011

“The Voyage Out: World Literature as Alternative Discourse.” Keynote address, conference on “Weltliteratur: Crossing Boundaries.”  University of Notre Dame, March 2010, and Dept. of Comparative Literature, U. of Copenhagen, June 2010

“Literary Anthologies for a Post-Literary Age.” Plenary address, “Anthologies” conference, Trinity College, Hartford, March 2010

“Translating the Orient: From The 1001 Nights to Le Hip-hop.” Jordan lecture, Wellesley College, March 2010. Earlier versions given at SUNY Binghamton, February 2009, and at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania, February 2008

“Making It New in the Digital Age.” Keynote address, conference on “Mapping the New,” Qatar University, Doha, February 2010

“Anatomy of Comparison: 1957 / 2010 / 2057.”  Northrop Frye Lecture, University of Toronto, February 2010; Universidade de Lisboa, May 2010

“What Every Comparatist Needs to Know.” MLA, Philadelphia, December 2009

“World Literature in a Post-literary Age.” Keynote address, world literature conference “In a Few Wor(l)ds,” University of Wisconsin, Madison, December 2009

“Foundational Translations: The Worldly Origins of National Classics.” Keynote address, conference on “Foundational Texts,” U. C. Santa Barbara, November 2009

“Catalan beyond Catalonia.” Conference on “Standing in the Shadows: Catalan Literature and English Translation,” New York, October 2009 

“National Literatures in an Age of Globalization.” Keynote talk, Association of Departments of English, Las Vegas, June 2009

“World Literature in a College Setting.” Kenyon College, May 2009

“Writing Locally in a Global Language.” Plenary discussion with Gish Jen and Elias Khoury, ACLA annual meeting, Harvard, March 2009

“Comparing World Literatures.” ACLA, Harvard, March 2009

“Comparing the Literatures: What Every Comparatist Needs to Know.” Northwestern University, March 2009

“How to Read World Literature.” Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, March 2009

“Literature and Globalization.” Baruch College, CUNY, February 2009

“After Exile: Comparative Literature in the Twenty-first Century.” Versions given at University of Lisbon and at Bilgi University, Istanbul, December 2008

“Comparative World Literature.” Keynote speech, Chinese Comparative Literature Association triennial meeting, Beijing, October 2008

“How to Read World Literature.” Peking University, October 2008

“On World Literature: Theory and Reading.” Tsinghua University, Beijing, October 2008

“How American Is World Literature?” Keynote speech, “World Literature Today and China” conference, Beijing, October 2008; other versions given at ACLA annual meeting,   Long Beach, April 2008 and at MLA, Philadelphia, December 2009

“Teaching World Literature.” Rutgers, October 2008

“A Rune of One’s Own: Negotiating Latinity in Medieval Europe.” New York Anglo-Saxon Colloquium, NYU, April 2008, and Stanford University, April 2008

“From Gilgamesh to Gigamesh: A Hero’s Rebirth.” Conference on “Epic Heroes Then and Now,” Yale University, March 2008

“Migratory Memories: From Snorri to K-Maro.”  European Science Foundation conference on “Literature for Europe,” Vadstena, Sweden, May 2007

Various readings and talks based on The Buried Book, April 2007 – February 2008: Archaeology Institute of America program, New York City; Community Bookstore, Brooklyn; Labyrinth Books, New York; Yale University; Columbia University Seminar on Religion; U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis

“El Week-end en Guatemala: Joyce, Asturias, and the Mythic Method.” ACLA annual meeting, Puebla, Mexico, April 2007

“Viko in Paris: or, Le Vol du Discours Africain.” School for Criticism and Theory annual conference, Columbia University, April 2007

“Global Scripts and the Formation of Medieval Literary Culture.” University of Toronto, March 2007

“Scripture’s Scripts: Writing, Religion, and Cultural Memory.” NYU Center for Religion and Media, March 2007

“‘What Madness to Think a Cloud Can Speak’: Kalidasa Travels West.” Jadavpur U., Kolkata, January 2007. Previous versions given at Cornell, March 2005, at City University of Hong Kong, April 2005, at the U. of Texas, Dallas, October 2006

“Beyond English.” Public lecture while Visiting Fellow, Department of English, Delhi University, January 2007

“The Ph.D. Platypus.” MLA, December 2006

“Otherwise Engaged: Comparative Literature and the Clash of Cultures.”  Keynote address, conference on “Comparative Studies Out in the World,” U. of Texas, Austin, October 2006

“Global Regionalism.” Keynote address, symposium on “Rethinking Europe,” Katholiecke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, June 2006

“Teaching the Expanded Canon of World Literature.” University of Nevada, Las Vegas, April 2006, and Northern Essex Community College, Massachusetts, May 2006

“Animal Gods and Talking Animals: Metamorphoses in the Egyptian “Tale of Two Brothers.” ACLA annual meeting, Princeton, March 2006

“‘Oh, That My Enemy Would Write a Book’: Job and the Babylonian Theodicy.”  “Translatio” Conference, Columbia University, March 2006.
Revised version given at MLA, December 2006

“Scriptworlds: Global Scripts and the Formation of World Literature.” Versions given at Yale University, February 2006, and at Harvard University, May 2006

“Anglo-Normans and Indo-Anglians: Varieties of British Literature from Marie de France to     G. V. Desani.” MLA, Washington, December 2005

“Job in Exile.” Literature Humanities Colloquium, Columbia, November 2005

“Secular Criticism Meets the World.” Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture, American University, Cairo, November 2005

“Archaeology and Imperialism: Gilgamesh after Orientalism.” American University, Cairo, November 2005

“Translating the World.” Conference on Translation, Columbia Univ., September 2005

“Beyond English: Teaching with and against Translation.”  Plenary panel, MLA joint ADE/ADFL summer session, Washington DC, June 2005; revised versions given at MLA, December 2005, and at ACLA, Princeton, March 2006

“Ulysses without Fear.” Community Bookstore, Brooklyn NY, June 16, 2005

“Major Powers and Minor Literatures: The Cultural Politics of Weltliteratur.” University of Utrecht, and Justus-Liebling Universität, Giessen, May 2005. Revised version given at University of Bucharest, October 2008

“Teaching World Literature Today.” Yale University, March 2005

“‘Was He Large?’: The Politics of Imperial Memory in Late Modernism.” ACLA annual meeting, Pennsylvania State University, March 2005

“Scriptworlds: Writing Systems and the Formation of World Literature.” Tel Aviv University, February 2005. Also given at City University, Hong Kong, April 2005, and at SOAS, University of London, May 2005

“Writing Across Cultures.” Jerusalem Book Fair, February 2005

“Saddam’s Gilgamesh: Reading World Literature Today.” Matheson Memorial Lecture, Washington University, St. Louis, February 2005. Versions given at Hebrew U., Jerusalem, February 2005; at North Carolina State U., April 2005; and at City University of Hong Kong, April 2005

“Philology in the Face of Fascism: Strategies of Response in Curtius, Auerbach, and Spitzer.” Yale University, Colloquium on “Art and Answerability,” January 2005, and at a Columbia University conference on Comparative Literature, March 2006

“The Post-Canonical Canon: Hypercanon, Anti-canon, Shadow Canon.” Versions given at the CUNY Graduate Center, December 2004; at MLA, Philadelphia, December 2004; and at Fordham University, January 2005

“The Cultural Politics of Weltliteratur: Goethe, Meltzl, and Posnett.”  Institute of Literary Studies, Hungarian Academy, Budapest, November 2004

“Modernism and Its Enemies: Portraits of the Artist from Woolf to Wodehouse.” Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, November 2004. Also given at the University of Heidelberg, May 2005, and at Delhi University, January 2007

“Where Is World Literature?” Swedish Research Council symposium on Transcultural Literary History, Stockholm, November 2004

“Language, Script, and Manuscript: The First Global Literatures.” University of Washington, Seattle, October 2004

“Epic Grief: The Cost of Heroism in Homer and the Ancient Near East.” Reed College, Oregon, October 2004

“Saddam’s Gilgamesh: World Literature Today.” Chancellor’s Lecture, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, October 2004

“What Is World Literature?” Versions delivered at Case Western U., at Creighton University, and at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, September 2004

“Paris, Texas: Romance Studies in American Context.” Duke University, April 2004

“Oddly Connect: Writing Against the Canon.” University of Toronto, April 2004

“The Buried Book: Networks of Antiquity in Egypt and Greece.” ACLA, Ann Arbor, April 2004

“Halving It All: The Double Life of a Teaching Scholar.” Princeton, March 2004

“Modernism and Its Enemies.” Barnard College, March 2004

“From the Old World to the Whole World: Teaching World Literature Today.”  Brookdale Community College, March 2004

“The Three Faces of Comparative Literature.” U. of California, Irvine, January 2004

“The Postcanonical Canon.” MLA, San Diego, December 2003

“What Isn’t World Literature? Problems of Selection, Definition, Presentation.” MLA, San Diego, December 2003, and George Mason University, March 2004

“Teaching the World.” Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, October 2003.

“The Road of Excess: Comparative Literature at a Double Crossroads.” ACLA Presidential Address, San Marcos CA, April 2003

“All the World in the Time: British Literature Today.” Texas Community College Association, Austin, February 2003

“Three Myths about Interdisciplinarity.” William Paterson College, February 2003

“Innocence Abroad: From Ethnic Cleansing to Postmodern Play in Dictionary of the Khazars.” MLA, New York, December 2002

“The Quest for the Historical Gilgamesh.” MLA, New York, December 2002

“What Is World Literature?” Keynote address, Southern Comparative Literature
  Association annual meeting, University of Alabama, October 2002

“Translating Kalidasa Across Cultures.” ACLA annual meeting, San Juan, April 2002

“Scholarship in the World.” Keynote address, conference on “What to Do with the Ph.D.?”  NYU, February 2002

“The Corporate University.” Emory University, February 2002

“Disciplinary Nationalism in an Interdisciplinary World.” Keynote address, Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences annual meeting, Washington DC, November 2001

“Tenochtitlan Before and After Cortés.” ACLA annual meeting, Boulder, April 2001

“Weltliteratur and the World.” Pennsylvania State University, March 2001

“‘Wodehouse and Tolstoy, Not Bad but Not Good’: English Abroad.” Conference on Global English, University of Virginia, February 2001

“The Other Colonial America: Reading Ritual in 17th-century Mexico.” Yale American Studies Colloquium, January 2001

“The Worlds of World Literature.” MLA, Washington DC, December 2000

“New Worlds for Old: Inventing the Past from Mesopotamia to Mesoamerica.” MIT,
  November 2000

“The Changing Cultures of K through . . . 22.” Inaugural lecture, Center for the Scholarship of Teaching, Michigan State University, November 2000

“World Literature Today: From the Old World to the Whole World.” Harvard University Humanities Center, October 2000

Half a dozen readings from Meetings of the Mind, Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores  (New York, New Haven, Philadelphia), October-November 2000

“The Intertwined Cultures of the Human Sciences.” Keynote address, “Re-envisioning the Ph.D.” conference, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, April 2000

“National Internationalism and the Origins of Comparative Literature.” Princeton University Colloquium on Comparative Literature, March 2000

“Our Mentors, Our Tormentors: Scholarly Training and the End of Discipleship.”  Plenary address, American Association for Higher Education conference on “Scholarship Reconsidered Reconsidered,” New Orleans, February 2000

“Out of your Sanscreed into Our Aryan: Sanskrit Commentary in American Hands.”  ACLA annual meeting, Yale University, February 2000

“Goethe in the Necropolis: Reading World Literature Today.” Princeton, February 2000

“National Culture, International Theory.” Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, June 1999

“The Ends of Collaboration.” Plenary address, conference on interdisciplinary research, Trinity College, Dublin, May 1999

“Teaching beyond the University.” Drexel University, April 1999

“The Afterlife of Mechthild von Magdeburg.” ACLA, Montreal, April 1999

“British Literary History Today.” Rutgers University, March 1999

“What Is World Literature?” Princeton University, February 1999

“All the World in the Time.” Conference on the discipline of comparative literature, 
Yale University, February 1999

“A New Literary Geography: British Literary History Today.”  MLA, December 1998

“Intraculturalism: Comparative Study within National Contexts.” CUNY Graduate Center, November 1998

“Scholarship in the Twenty-first Century.” Keynote address for “Scholarship Unbound,” a conference at Oregon State University, October 1998

“Great Things of Us Forgot: The Changing Shape of Our Literary Past.” Columbia College Dean’s Day, April 1998

“My Elder Sister Xochiquetzal: Brother Hernando and the Goddess of Love.” ACLA annual meeting, Austin Texas, March 1998

“Antiquity and Modernity in the Ancient Near East.” Plenary talk at “A Future for the Past: Ancient Studies in the Modern University,” NYU, February 1998

“Comparative Literature and the Rebirth of Nationalism.” MLA, Toronto, Dec. 1997

Panelist on President’s plenary panel on the future of Comparative Literature, International Comparative Literature Association meeting, Leiden, August 1997

“National Internationalism and the Rise of Comparative Literature: Friedrich Nietzsche   and H. M. Posnett.” ICLA meeting, Leiden, August 1997

“Mutability in Nahuatl Poetry.” ACLA annual meeting, Puerto Vallarta, April 1997

“A Traitor to Her Racists: Rigoberta Menchú and the Myth of Mayan Identity.”
  SUNY Stony Brook, December 1996

“Literary Study and the End of Discipleship.” Baldwin/Dahl Memorial Lecture,
  Dept. of Comparative Literature, Yale University, April 1996

Respondent, panel on Research in Classical Studies, Classical Association of the Atlantic States annual meeting, Baltimore, April 1996

“Philology in the Face of Fascism: Curtius and Spitzer.” ACLA annual meeting, Notre   Dame, March 1996

Keynote speaker, Georgetown U. faculty retreat based on We Scholars, February 1996

“‘Can Classics Die?’ in Context.” George Washington University Seminar on Ancient   Mediterranean Cultures, November 1995

“Traveling Theory Comes Home.” Conference on “World Wide Webs: Comparative Literature in the Global Field,” NYU, November 1995

“The Afterlife of Mechthild von Magdeburg: From Vernacular to Latin and Back.” European Science Foundation conference on Women in the Christian Tradition, Mont Sainte-Odile, France, October 1995

“The End(s) of Comparative Literature.” University of Pennsylvania, April 1995

“The Closing of the American Bible.” Indiana University, Bloomington, January 1995

“The Afterlife of Mechthild von Magdeburg.” ACLA annual meeting, March 1994

“The Canon of Jewish Studies.” Jewish Theological Seminary, March 1994

“The Ape behind the Camera: Technologies of the Self in Buster Keaton’s The Cameraman.” Cinema Studies Association panel, MLA, December 1993

“The Ethnic Ethnographer.” ACLA annual meeting, Bloomington, March 1993

“Desert/Islands in Walcott’s Omeros.” African Literature Association, Guadeloupe, April

“A Short History of Androgyny: From Professor von X to Virginia Woolf.” Conference on Gender at the Fin de Siècle, Columbia, November 1992

“Auerbach in Exile.”  ICLA, Tokyo, August 1991

“Auerbach and the Problem of History.” ACLA annual meeting, Pennsylvania State University, March 1990

“David as Goliath: The Three Versions of the David Story.” Fordham, May 1989

“Translation and the Curriculum.” ACLA annual meeting, Brandeis, March 1989

“The Hermeneutics of Gender in Bernard of Clairvaux.” Barnard, November 1987

“Euripides versus Sophocles.” Columbia College Dean’s Day, April 1987

“Postmodernism and New Historicism.” Graduate School Dean’s Day, February 1987

“Art and Underworld in the Modernist Epic.” NYU, November 1985

“Allegory in Theory.” Columbia College Dean’s Day, March 1985

“The Optics of Autobiography.” MLA session on Proust and Ruskin, December 1984

“The Rhetoric of Allegory.” Conference on Kenneth Burke, Temple U., March 1984

“Heschel and Midrash.” Conference on Judaism and Quakerism, New York, Oct. 1983

“Beyond Good and Evil in Don Giovanni.” Yale, November 1982

Recent Courses (2006-14)
Grounds for Comparison
The Philosopher and the Tyrant
The Poetics of World Literature
The Critic in Culture
Comparative Modernisms
Joyce and Company
The Historical Novel after Modernism
Novel and Anti-Novel
Global English Literature
Writing Across Cultures: Antiquity to 1700;1700 to the Present
Introduction to Comparative Literature and Society (with Sheldon Pollock)
Border Crossings and Double Identities (with Orhan Pamuk)

Professional Activities

Director, Institute for World Literature, 2011-
Sessions to date at Peking University (2011), Istanbul Bilgi University (2012),
Harvard (2013), City University, Hong Kong (2014), and University of Lisbon (2015)
Member, Academia Europaea, 2012-
Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, University of Bucharest, April 2011
Honorary Adjunct Professor, Beijing Language and Culture University, July 2011-
Honorary Guest Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, August 2010-
American Comparative Literature Association:
President, 2001-2003; Vice President, 1999-2001
Member of the ACLA Board of Advisers, 1993-97 and 2011-14; chair of the Program Committee, 2011-14
Member of the editorial board for the 2015 ACLA report on the state of the discipline
Conference committee, ACLA 2016, Harvard
Conference director, ACLA 2009 annual meeting, Harvard, March 2009
Conference director, ACLA 1997, Puerto Vallarta, April 1997
  Conference director, ACLA 1992, Columbia University, April, 1992
Conference committee, ACLA 2010, New Orleans, and ACLA 2002, San Juan
Recent ACLA seminars (organizer or co-organizer):
“Crime Fiction as World Literature” (with Louise Nilsson), ACLA 2015
“Comparative World Literatures” (with Galin Tihanov), ACLA 2014, NYU
“The Global Street,” ACLA 2011, Vancouver
“Comparative World Literature,” a series of three seminars, held at ACLA 2009, Harvard, at ACLA 2010 in New Orleans, and at ICLA 2010 in Seoul
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, planning committee for conferences in comparative literature,
International Comparative Literature Association: Member, Nominating Committee 2015-
Faculty Council, Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences, 2014-17
Humanities Advisory Committee, Harvard FAS, 2014-16
Honorary Degree Selection Committee, Harvard, 2015-18
Advisory board, Whiting Foundation, 2012-13
Lead literary adviser for “Invitation to World Literature,” a thirteen-part half-hour television/DVD/web series produced by WGBH, Boston, with funding from the Annenberg Foundation, broadcast nationally in fall 2010
Co-director (with Chen Yongguo), Tsinghua/Harvard-Yenching Institute Training Session, “New Directions in Comparative and World Literature.” Tsinghua U, Beijing, June 16-20, 2014
Co-director (with Wang Ning) of the Fifth Sino-American Bilateral Symposium on Comparative Literature, “Comparative Literature in the Phase of World Literature.” Shanghai Jiao Tong University, August 2010 
Conference co-director (with E. Efe Khayyat), “World Literature in Between,” Bilgi University, Istanbul, December 2008
Conference co-director (with Wiebke Denecke), “Translatio: Translation and Cultural Appropriation in the Ancient World,” Columbia University, March 2006
Editorial board memberships:
Journal of World Literature (co-editor in chief)
Comparative Literature Studies
Comparative Literature in China
Textxet: Studies in Comparative Literature (Rodopi)
Member, Stockholm Collegium of World Literary History, 2009-
Member, PEN, 2008-
Member, Ad Hoc Committee on the Annual Convention, MLA, 2006-09
Member, Executive Committee, MLA Division on Literature and Religion, 2003-07
(chair, 2005); organizer or co-organizer of various MLA panels for the Division: “Literary Syncretism” (2004), “From Moses to Muhammad” (2005), “Wisdom and Anti-Wisdom” (two panels for 2006)
Interviewed on BBC Radio 4 for a program on Gilgamesh in a series “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” broadcast March 1, 2010
Participant in two MLA “What’s the Word?” radio broadcasts, one on anthologies (2001), one on The Epic of Gilgamesh (2008)
Board Member, Association of Departments and Programs of Comparative Literature, 2005-09
Board member, Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, Columbia, 2004-08
Member, Advisory Board, Carnegie Foundation Initiative on the Doctorate, 2002-05
Member, ICLA Research Committee on Literature and Cultural Identity, 1997-99
Chair, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia, 1996-99;
Director of Graduate Studies for English, 1991-95 and 2001-04
Member of the Interdepartmental Committee on Comparative Literature, Columbia
(1983-98); Director of Graduate Studies for Comparative Literature, 1984-91
Consultant to The Norton Anthology of World Literature, on Mesoamerica, 1994
Board member, Society for Critical Exchange, 1991-95
Board member, Oratorio Society of New York, 1999-2001
President, Mount Desert Summer Chorale, 2001; board member, 1999-2003


Speaking and reading: German, French, Spanish
Reading only: Akkadian, biblical Hebrew, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Greek, Italian, Latin,
Nahuatl, Old Norse

Work in Progress

Comparing the Literatures: What Every Comparatist Needs to Know, for Princeton UP, 2016

How to Read World Literature, expanded second edition for Blackwell, 2016

Scriptworlds: Writing Systems and the Formation of World Literature.

Crime Fiction as World Literature. Co-editor, with Louise Nilsson and Theo D’haen. Forthcoming from Bloomsbury, 2016

Literature: A World History, ed. Anders Pettersson et al. Blackwell, 4 vols. Executive board member; author for the ancient Near East; co-author of the general introduction.

Translation and edition of Mbwil a M. Ngal, Giambatista Viko, ou le viol du discours africain, for the MLA “Texts in Translation” series.