Travels across Language: Cosmopolitanism Made/Unmade
Galin Tihanov (London)
- Thursday, 25 November 2021 16:15
On thursday, 25 November 2021 the Graduate School and the Leibniz ScienceCampus invite to a colloquium lecture by Galin Tihanov entitled "Travels across Language: Cosmopolitanism Made/Unmade" .
In this paper Tihanov focuses on the centrality of exile and exilic writing in the making and unmaking of our modern notions of cosmopolitanism. Not only is writing about exile a specific mode of producing a particular version of the world; it is also a way of thinking about movement, mediations, transfers, and boundaries - all of this through the prism of language, and in response to the most important question a literary scholar could ever ask: what happens to language. Exile is one of the foundational discourses of modernity in that it interrogates the nexus of memory, identity, and language and sets the parameters of belonging and exclusion. Today’s endorsement of cosmopolitanism, as much as its critique, is inseparable from our capacity to reflect on exilic experiences and the heterogeneous practices of exilic writing. I begin this paper by establishing what I believe to be two different types of cosmopolitanism; then I draw attention to two different genres of exilic writing: a piece of what one might call "philosophy of culture" (1920) and a couple of novels, both speaking directly to past and present concerns of relevance to Central and Eastern Europe.
Galin Tihanov is the George Steiner Professor of Comparative Literature at Queen Mary University of London. His most recent book is The Birth and Death of Literary Theory: Regimes of Relevance in Russia and Beyond (2019) which won the 2020 AATSEEL Prize for Best Book in Literary Studies. His research focus is, inter alia, on comparative literature and cultural history, esp. Russian, German, and Central- and East-European culture and thought (19th-20th c.) intellectual history and cosmopolitanism, world literature, and exile.
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