Digital Philology, World Literature, and sustainable Global Culture

Posted on 27 October 2015

Talk: Gregory Crane (University of Leipzig), “Digital Philology, World Literature, and sustainable Global Culture”


Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Time: starting at 17:00 c.t. (i.e. 17:15)

Venue: DAI, Wiegandhaus, Podbielskiallee 69-71, D-14195 Berlin (map)


Philology is the aggregate of those practices by which we exploit the linguistic record to engage culture perspectives that are distant from us in time, space, and/or perspective. Whether we are exploiting post-colonial theory, corpus linguistics, or some aspect of the cognitive and brain sciences, we are practicing philology. In the 21st century, we confront the challenge of managing interactions across boundaries of space, language, and culture that are unprecedented in speed and complexity, which each point on the globe now able to interact with any other point in real time. We must think in terms of a World Literature – as Goethe suggested almost two centuries ago – and to do so we must articulate a new philology, one that exploits every possibility of new digital media. Ultimately, we need to establish a sustainable set of evolving cultures – a dynamic Global Culture that provides a voice for many different cultures within it. The field of Altertumswissenschaft has an opportunity to play a fundamental role in this larger process but realizing that opportunity requires a reexamination of what we do, why we do it and for whom.


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