The idea of World Literature was conceptualized by the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who used it as a tool to resist and overcome the constructs of nationalism. This was further reinforced by the publication of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, exactly after two decades of the pronouncement by Goethe. Further, the publication of the first journal of Comparative Literature under the editorship of Hugo Meltzl and Samuel Brassai , under the multilingual title, Összehasonlító Irodalomtörténelmi Lapok/ Acta Comparationis Litterarum Universarum, (1877) was an initiative to promote polyglottism in Comparative Literature and World Literature. The focus was both on polyglottism and translation for a successful survival of world literature. In 1899, George Brandes too promoted the ideas like universalism and multilingualism through his article titled “ World Literature”.Then, in the context of India, the first reference to world literature was made by Rabindranath Tagore in his lecture at the National Council of Education. Placed in a colonial context, Tagore employed an opposition to narrow minded nationalism, discriminatory multiculturalism and British policy of colonization in the agenda of world literature. After Tagore’s conceptualisation, the idea of Visva Sahitya has been received by various regional languages across the country. In this context, Odisha has a long tradition of adapting, abridging and retelling the classics of literature from across the world. There are major publishing initiatives in Odisha which played an important role in disseminating the idea of world Literature. These initiatives offer a regional idea of world in projecting World Literature as Biswa Sahitya in Odisha over a century. This invites a deeper study of the reception of World Literature in Odisha and in the larger context of India as no intensive study on the idea of regional World Literature has been taken place till date. In this regard, the Centre for the Study of World Literature has been set up to explore the study of the reception of World Literature in India in general and in the context of Odisha in particular. The Centre at IIIT Bhubaneswar aims to promote and advance the study of Literature from across the world. This Centre assumes significance for its focus on contemporary issues in the study of World Literature in a regional context. This is the first initiative of its kind in India. The major objective of the Centre is to carry out advanced research in the field concerned and establish network with scholars working in the area. Some important steps towards this objective include promotion of collaborative research in association with other institutes, publishing books/journal in the area of World Literature, organising annual conferences seminars, symposiums, panel discussions on cutting-edge areas of knowledge, exchange ideas and thereby enhance the research environment in the Centre. This is an initiative to create a platform beyond national boundaries, foster meaningful cross-cultural understanding and develop substantial academic and research networks with leading institutes in India and abroad.
- Study the reception of World Literature in India in general and in Odisha in particular.
- Provide a forum for study and research on World Literature, Digital Humanities, Translation, Interpretation and Comparative Literature.
- Study World literature in the context of Odisha and work on the pedagogical possibilities in curriculum designing.
- Promote research through collaboration and partnership with academic institutions working in these areas.
- Explore the periodicals and journals that disseminated the idea of Biswa Sahitya in Odisha
Our Areas of Research:
· World Literature in regional languages
· Cold war and World Literature
· Role of periodicals in disseminating World Literature
· Print Culture and World Literature
· Publishing history and the study of literature
Our Research Activities
- Lecture Series
- Invited Talks