The present volume connects three academic fields that share central concerns but remain surprisingly isolated from each other: world literature studies, postcolonial studies, and translation studies. It approaches translation not as a vague metaphor but as a distinct and socially embedded practice that connects literatures. In similar vein, it interrogates the smoothness of many versions of global theory by insisting on the specificity of place and the resistance to translatibility among languages, oeuvres and genres. The topics covered in the chapters include the formation of world literature as a progamme of study, the French concept of litterature-monde, the rise of English in nineteenth-century Sweden, the translation of Arabic literature in Europe, and the transnationalism of the avant-garde. Through such case studies, and by drawing on the theoretical frameworks of Edouard Glissant, Pierre Bourdieu and David Damrosch, among others, the international group of contributors add substantially to the theoretical and methodological consolidation of world literature as a field of research.
About the Author: Cecilia Alvstad is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Oslo, Norway. In 2011 she is a guest researcher at Stockholm University, Sweden. Her main research interests are translation of Latin American literature in Scandinavia after World War II and translation of children's literature. In 2007-10 she led a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council on translations of Latin American, African, and Arabic literatures in Sweden. Stefan Helgesson is Professor of English at Stockholm University, Sweden. Apart from his academic focus on southern African literature, Brazilian literature, postcolonial theory, and theories of world literature, he freelances as a literary critic and is also a novelist. His most recent academic book is Transnationalism in Southern African Literature (2009). David Watson is Associate Professor of English, with a specialisation in American literature, at the Department of English at Uppsala University, Sweden. He has published on literary modernism, American literature, and transnational studies, and is currently working on two projects: a book-length study of transnational connectivity in nineteenth-century America entitled The Hauntings of America, and a research project entitled Locating the Ends of US Imperialism.