An Ecology of Verbal Art: Literature and its Worlds from the Local to the Global


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships


Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Increasing scholarly and pedagogical interest is turning to the question of "world literature," and to how Comparative Literature in particular as a discipline might best reimagine itself to integrate more fully literatures from outside the modern west. One of the largest problems here is theoretical: existing models of world literature rely heavily on economic metaphors derived from world-systems theory, and these models lose their explanatory power the further we move from our own time and place. This project replaces that economic metaphor with one taken from ecology, to examine the interactions of literatures with their environments typologically and comparatively, and to imagine the discipline of Comparative Literature as constituted around that question.