Lecture by B. Venkat Mani (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

2:30pm
Friday, March 1, 2013
Gibson 242

 

“Shelf-Lives of Books: Libraries and the Institutionalization of World Literature”

This lecture suggests an indelible connection between “the book,” “the library,” and the “world.” Drawing on his current book project, Borrowing Privileges: Bibliomigrancy and the (Un)Making of World Literature, Mani investigates the dual role of books and libraries as instrumental to, and instruments of circulation, distribution, and reception of world literature. Mani makes a case for the investigation of world literature as a public sphere institution and proposes a new genealogy of world literature, which has at its center the notion of Bibliomigrancy: the physical and virtual (digital) movement of books. Mani presents world literature as a politically charged construct, and argues that historical forces of colonialism, fascism, Cold War, and the post-1989 multinational corporatism have had a strong impact on the uneven force-field of global literary dissemination. Locating world literature at the intersection of libraries, print-cultural studies, and translation histories, Mani suggests, opens up new significations for our understanding of world literature as a comparative literary and cultural project. This lecture suggests an indelible connection between “the book,” “the library,” and the “world.” 

Mani's faculty page:

http://german.lss.wisc.edu/new_web/?q=node/42