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Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS)

Institute for Comparative Literature and Society conference


The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society promotes a global perspective in the study of literature and culture and their social context.

One of the Institute's primary goals is to provide institutional support for cross-disciplinary and cross-regional comparative work, acknowledging the force of recent changes in the humanities, the social sciences, law, architecture, and the arts.

The work of the Institute is fully historical in its range. Of urgent interest to the Institute is to engage not just the problems but the new horizons open to the humanities today. Both in theory and in practice, in research and in teaching, ICLS brings the comparative methods of studying literature and society into the current globalized conditions of producing knowledge and making history. In this respect, a comparative and cross-disciplinary study of the politics of knowledge resides at the core of the Institute’s practices.

Our curricular planning relies heavily on cross-disciplinary team-teaching. In the curriculum, as well as in our conferences, lecture series and workshops, we bring a literature-focused study of language and culture to global studies as they seek to establish their proper object of inquiry. Conversely, we try to give substance and recognition to those directions in comparative literature that can benefit from the breadth of knowledge produced by a reshaped planetary understanding. In this effort, we work collaboratively within the full range of the human sciences.