February 25, 2019 — From March 7 to 10, Georgetown University will host the 2019 American Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Meeting, one of the world’s largest conferences of comparative literature scholars.
Professor and Chair Nicoletta Pireddu of the Department of Italian, a comparative literature specialist, has spent the last two years planning the conference — the first time Georgetown has hosted the ACLA’s flagship event.
“I have been an active ACLA member for over two decades. Bringing its annual conference to our campus gives me the chance to serve an association that I deeply appreciate, and to promote scholarly debates across languages, literatures, and cultures that reflect the international and global mission of our university,” Pireddu said. “This conference covers an impressive variety of topics and innovative approaches, and I am delighted that the world-renowned novelist Amitav Ghosh has accepted my invitation to be our keynote speaker.”
Visiting scholars will participate in 184 themed seminars, with a total of nearly 2000 papers featured. Each seminar will include eight to twelve participants meeting over two or three days, a format designed to promote meaningful feedback and dialogue.
The ACLA Annual Meeting also includes one undergraduate research seminar, “Spaces of Otherness in a Globalized World,” which drew more than 80 submissions from the United States, Europe, India, and Turkey, for 15 spots. Three of the 15 presenters are Georgetown undergraduates, who will be forgoing a portion of their spring break to attend the conference.
“We are impressed by the quality of all the selected students,” Pireddu said. “This initiative highlights the pivotal role that an undergraduate education in the humanities plays in shaping sophisticated critical thinking.”
The conference represents an opportunity for Georgetown to showcase its robust scholarship at the intersection of teaching and research.
“On this welcome occasion, we are especially proud of our thriving Comparative Literature Program, which involves over twenty members of our distinguished faculty across the humanities, generates interdisciplinary research, and serves countless students,” Georgetown College Dean Chris Celenza wrote in a letter to conference attendees. “Your presence here will help catalyze projects already underway, even as we look forward to new horizons. I hope and trust that your time at Georgetown University and in Washington D.C. will prove fruitful for your work. Thank you for being with us.”