Cosmopolitan-vernacular dynamics in world literatures: a roundtable


Date: Friday 7 October 2022

Time: 14.00 – 16.00

Location: Online via Zoom


David Damrosch, Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard
Theo D’haen, Emeritus Professor of English, KU Leuven
Tonje Vold, Professor of Nordic Literature, Oslo


Stefan Helgesson, Professor of English, Stockholm

Earlier this year, four volumes appeared with Bloomsbury:

Claiming Space: Locations and Orientations in World Literatures
Vernaculars in an Age of World Literatures
Northern Crossings: Translation, Circulation and the Literary Semi-Periphery
Literature and the Making of the World: Cosmopolitan Texts, Vernacular Practices

All four books have resulted from a long-running Swedish research project that gathered scholars from six universities. They are available through open access at:

Together, the volumes attempt to develop the paradigm of world literature studies in such a way that locational specificity and circulational transformations are conjoined under one adaptable methodological framework. To quote from the general introduction, “the cosmopolitan-vernacular dynamic […] is precisely what is at stake in the world literature field: not just the outward success or failure of certain texts, genres or literary languages, nor just the ‘refraction’ of national literatures, but rather the always situated negotiation of cosmopolitan and vernacular orientations in the temporal unfolding of literary practice”.

To celebrate the occasion and inspire further discussion, we now have the privilege to engage with comments offered by three exceptional and experienced world literature scholars to offer comments on selected aspects of the four volumes. All welcome! The seminar will be held online.