Marko Juvan at the symposium on National Literatures and the Process of Cultural Globalization in Tbilisi

Published on: November 2, 2014

Between 24 and 26 September 2014, Ivane Javakhishvili State University and the Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature hosted their eighth International Symposium, titled National Literatures and the Process of Cultural Globalization. Led by Professor Irma Ratiani, the Institute of Georgian Literature has successfully survived 'reform' cuts in humanities institutes from the early years of transition. For many years, the institute has been systematically striving to integrate into the international scientific networks. The conferences they organise bring together experts in literature from all around the world.

Instead of making a routine protocollary opening, the organisers presented an interesting study showing that Georgian students have a clear understanding of globalisation with all its main strengths and weaknesses. Following this report, Make Elbakidze, a co-organiser of the conference, discussed the history of global interactions from antiquity to the present day.

In his opening plenary lecture, Marko Juvan spoke about the crisis of late capitalism and the Renaissance of Goethe’s Weltliteratur. Irakli Kenchoshvili, the doyen of Georgian comparative literature, reflected on the relationship between the centre and periphery of the increasingly homogenised global culture, referring also to the views of the Slovenian poet Boris A. Novak. The main event of the symposium was a lecture by David Damrosch from Harvard about ways in which writers from marginalised literatures and small languages can nonetheless become famous within world literature.