January 2016 MLA Panel on Comparative Poetics, Comparative Publics: The Problem of World Poetry

During the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association in January 2016, I introduced and moderated the first of two panels sponsored by the American Comparative Literature Association on the question of “World Poetry.” Panelists included Harris Feinsod (Northwestern), Virginia Jackson (UC Irvine), Aamir Mufti (UCLA), Anthony Reed (Yale) and Haun Saussy (U Chicago). Responding to current debates about world literature and the place of poetry in the public sphere, panelists drew on a range of theoretical approaches, languages, and historical perspectives to interrogate the idea of “world poetry” and to explore critical paradigms for past, present, and future work in comparative poetics. The discussion will continue with a second panel on the same topic during the annual ACLA meeting at Harvard in March 2016.