This Friday, in St. Louis, courtesy of Ignacio Infante and the Washington University Center for the Humanities:

Mobility and Rootedness in Literature Symposium

February 8, 2013 – 10:00am
Umrath Hall, Umrath Lounge

Keynote Address:
“Writing in Translation”
Rebecca Walkowitz, Associate Professor of English, Rutgers University, Walter Jackson Bate Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Followed by a panel discussion featuring:
“From Pentecost to Babel: Shapes of the Canton in Postwar Poetics and the Dream of a Transnational Language”
Jennifer Scappettone, Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, University of Chicago


“An Invitation in the Form of a Closed Door: One Immigrant’s Experience of Writing Fiction”
Saher Alam, Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, St. Louis University

Friday, February 8, 2013, 10:00 am
Umrath Lounge
Keynote: 10:00 to 11:30am
Coffee break
Panel discussion: 12:00 pm to 1:30

Rebbeca Walkowitz’s research focuses on the intersections between cosmopolitan aspirations and modernist aesthetics, and on transnational approaches to literary history. Her first book, Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation (Columbia UP, 2006), showed that new theories of cosmopolitanism, whose champions in philosophy, literary criticism, and anthropology had resisted associations with aesthetic practices, are in fact crucially shaped by the history of literary modernism. She is the editor or coeditor of seven books, including Immigrant Fictions: Contemporary Literature in an Age of Globalization (2007), Bad Modernisms (2006, with Douglas Mao), and The Turn to Ethics (with Marjorie Garber and Beatrice Hanssen, 2000). From 2008-2012, she was an editor of the journal Contemporary Literature. Walkowitz is also co-editor, with Matthew Hart (Columbia University) and David James (University of London, Queen Mary), of Literature Now, a book series published by Columbia University Press.

Jennifer Scappettone’s research and teaching interests span the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries, with particular emphasis on comparative global modernism; the history and presence of the avant-garde; poetry and poetics; literatures of travel, migration, and displacement; barbarism, polylingualism, and other futures of language in global contexts; translation; Italian culture and its echo in others; the study of gender and sexuality; relations between literary and other arts; and art history, visual culture, and aesthetics.  She is the author of Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice (forthcoming from Columbia University Press), and the editor and translator of Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press, 2012), and the poetry collections From Dame Quickly (Litmus Press, 2009), Ode oggettuale/Thing Ode (La Camera Verde, 2008), Beauty (Is the New Absurdity) (dusi/e kollectiv, 2007) and Err-Residence (Bronze Skull, 2007).

Saher Alam is a graduate of Princeton University and the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. She held a Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction at Emory University from 1998 to 2000, and she is a recipient of the 2010-2011 Howard Foundation Fellowship (in fiction). Her stories have appeared in the anthology Best of the Fiction Workshops 1999, as well as the journals Literary Imagination and Five Chapters. Her novel, The Groom to Have Been, won the 2008 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize.

 The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments and light snacks will be served during the symposium. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Ignacio Infante at

 Symposium organized by the Transatlantic Crossings Reading Group sponsored by the Center for the Humanities.  Also co-sponsored by Comparative Literature and the Department of English.

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