Multilingual Literatures: Interdisciplinary Conference
Knowledge of multiple languages was once common for most writers who chose their idiom according to the purpose of their text and its intended readership. It has been argued that it was only with the rise of the nation state in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and its dependence on a unique Sprachgeist (Herder) that literary production came to be coupled to a national tongue (Anderson). In the current age of globalisation, knowledge of another language is increasingly rare among Anglophone writers, while in other parts of the world an ability to use English as a second language is a basic skill. In literary expression translated English genres and styles threaten to crowd out native or mother-tongue traditions (Mizumura), while English simultaneously absorbs outside influences and Anglophone readers shun translations.
This conference sets out to explore diverging trends across minor and major languages, especially those with an established presence in Europe with respect to individual authors or literary periods, extending from the Medieval to the contemporary.