The ‘Here’ and ‘Elsewhere’ in World Literature: Interview with Bodhisattva Kar

The Transregional Academy “Minor/Small Literature(s). Perspectives on World Literature from Elsewhere” (Berlin, 11-20 July 2019) aimed to question common assumptions of world literature through the prism of minor/small literature(s). Even though Eurocentric foundations have been criticized and questioned for more than two decades, especially from a post-colonial perspective, there has yet to be an alternate literary historiography through which to imagine world literature otherwise. The Academy was organised by the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung in cooperation with the Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research (ZfL).

Bodhisattva Kar (University of Cape Town) was part of the Academy’s Steering Committee and led the thematic discussion “The Elsewheres of Nativism”. During the Academy, Botakoz Kassymbekova (Forum Transregionale Studien) interviewed Bodhisattva on the notion of ‘elsewhere’ that he inspired in the Academy’s title. They discuss the dialectic between the concepts ‘here’ and ‘elsewhere’, questions of nativism, identity, and positionality, and their overall relation to the literary genre.


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