The School on Global Studies and Critical Theory is a new summer program jointly promoted by Duke University, the Department of History and Cultures at the University of Bologna, and University of Virginia. We think that the so-called global age needs a radical rethinking of our theoretical tools and critical exchange among different research fields.
This is why every year, in a lively and stimulating intellectual and cultural environment, outstanding scholars will offer to faculty, postgraduate and graduate students, lectures, intensive courses and seminars on one specific topic of this contemporary global turn, encouraging the collective production of knowledge and critical thought.
The Institute for World Literature (IWL) has been created to explore the study of literature in a globalizing world. As we enter the twenty-first century, our understanding of “world literature” has expanded beyond the classic canon of European masterpieces and entered a far-reaching inquiry into the variety of the world’s literary cultures and their distinctive reflections and refractions of the political, economic, and religious forces sweeping the globe. Many people are now interested in teaching courses in world literature and in pursuing research within a global framework, but few programs in comparative or even world literature have yet established ways to train scholars and teachers to do such work on a broad basis. Meeting for four weeks each summer, in locations from Beijing to Istanbul to Harvard and beyond, the Institute is global in its presence as well as its intentions. With its headquarters at Harvard University and partners around the world, the IWL seeks to offer training in world literature in global perspective, and to provide the basis for ongoing community and exchange long after each session ends. The IHGC's Director, Debjani Ganguly, serves on the Harvard Institute's Advisory Board.
In our globalized world, writers and scholars from the Global South increasingly engage with one another through their mutual relationship to the West. This obscures South-South relationships, both past and present. Cultures of the Global South — which includes the Third World and minority groups in the West — have a great deal to learn from one another by engaging in direct relationships and establishing direct lines of cultural and intellectual communication.
The goal of the Global South Cultural Dialogue Project, initiated by scholars of color at Cornell University together with writers and scholars based in the Third World, is to facilitate conversation among writers and scholars from Africa, Latin America, and Asia as well as minority groups in the West. Through such a dialogue, we can learn how our different societies have responded to questions of language, identity, and the role of culture in the work of decolonization. This project seeks to encourage an honest discussion about the ties that bind the South to the South and to help imagine and create a more democratic and egalitarian global culture.