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Laetitia Zecchini

Laetitia Zecchini

Director, CNRS-UChicago HumanitiesPlus IRL; CNRS Research Fellow, Comparative Literature

Laetitia Zecchini joined the CNRS in 2008. She works in the field of Indian literatures and her research interests focus on contemporary Indian poetry, postcolonial modernisms and print cultures, and the politics of literature.

A lot of her work stems from research in often neglected archives (of Bombay poets and Bombay modernisms, of the Indian branch of International PEN, of the Cultural Cold War in India) and on non-canonical genres or forms. One of her concerns is how certain general narratives and categories (such as modernism, cosmopolitanism or activism) or ways of thinking about literary history can be reconsidered from the perspective of Indian texts and contexts, from so-called minor forms or genres (little magazines and periodicals, poems or reviews), and from specific ‘locations’, also understood as sites of worldliness and entanglements.

She is the author of a monograph on the poet Arun Kolatkar (Arun Kolatkar and Literary Modernism in India, Moving Lines, Bloomsbury, 2014) whom she has also translated into French for Gallimard. Her more recent publications include several co-edited or co-authored volumes: “The Worlds of Bombay Poetry” (Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 2017);The Locations of (World) Literature: Perspectives from Africa and South Asia” (Journal of World Literature, 2019); Pen International: An Illustrated History (2021); The Form of Ideology and the Ideology of Form: Cold War, Decolonization and Third World Print Cultures (Open Book Publishers, 2022).

She was co-investigator of the “Writers and Free Expression” project (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2017-2021), and coordinates the International Research Network on Postcolonial Print Cultures (2023-2027)

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Haun Saussy

Haun Saussy

University Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Committee on Social Thought; Deputy Director, CNRS-UChicago HumanitiesPlus IRL

Haun Saussy joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2011. He received his BA in Greek and Comparative Literature from Duke University and his MPhil and PhD from Yale in Comparative Literature; between undergraduate and graduate school, he studied linguistics and Chinese in Paris. Saussy was president (2009-2011) of the American Comparative Literature Association. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Faculty Advisory Board for the University of Chicago Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society.

Saussy’s primary teaching and research interests include classical Chinese poetry and commentary, literary theory, comparative study of oral traditions, problems of translation, pre-twentieth-century media history, and ethnography and ethics of medical care. His books have discussed the tradition of commentary that has grown up around the early Chinese poetry collection Shi jing (known in English as the Book of Songs); ways of knowing and describing specific to China scholarship, Chinese as well as foreign; issues in translation and oral traditions in China; and forms of comparison. His current project is the editing of a multi-author international literary history of Asia from the Bronze Age to the present. With a collective of artists led by Mel Chin, he contributed to the design of some sixty sculptural installations for the new public and university library of San Jose, California.

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