Since its inception in 2007, the Modernism & Globalization Research Group (MGRG) has explored the effects of globalization on the production, circulation, and study of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and culture. It has hosted several conferences at Rutgers University, and in 2011, it launched a new collaboration with Columbia University, the “New York-New Jersey Modernism Seminar.” Since that time, the seminar has met twice a year--once at Rutgers and once at Columbia--for intensive two-hour seminars devoted to advanced work-in-progress by leaders in the field, and it has sparked conversations among faculty and graduate students in modernist studies from campuses across the region, including Columbia, NYU, Princeton, Drew, SUNY, CUNY, and Fordham (among many others).

With public lectures, full-day symposia, informal roundtables, and discussion groups, the MGRG brings together scholars and students working in the fields of modernism, transnational and comparative literary studies, and globalization in order to spark searching conversations about such fields as modernist studies, world literature, postcolonial studies, translation studies, the history and theory of the novel, comparative cultural studies, South Asian and Caribbean studies, animal studies, and philosophies of mind.


2018-2019 Schedule

  • Fall Meeting of the NYNJ Modernism Seminar with Professor Aarthi Vadde (Duke)
    Friday, October 19, 2018, 12:00pm - 02:00pm
    Center for Cultural Analysis, Room 6051
    Academic Building West, 15 Seminary Place
    New Brunswick, NJ, 08901

 Professor Aarthi Vadde works in the field of 20th-21st century Anglophone literature, with particular interests in the historical and technological forces conditioning migration and globalization.  She looks at how literary history interfaces with theories of internationalism, the history of computation, and media studies more generally. 

Her book Chimeras of Form: Modernist Internationalism beyond Europe, 1914-2016 was published by Columbia UP in 2016 and won the ACLA's 2018 Harry Levin Prize for best first book in the field of comparative literature.  It illustrates how modernist and contemporary writers from Rabindranath Tagore to Zadie Smith reimagine the nation and internationalism in a period defined by globalization. Drawing on close readings of individual texts and on literary, postcolonial, and cosmopolitical theory, Vadde explains how modernist challenges to traditional notions of aesthetic form enable newfound understandings of the cohesion and interrelation of political communities.  An interview related to the book is available here.

The NYNJ Modernism Seminar, cosponsored by the Modernism and Globalization Research Group at Rutgers and the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia, meets twice annually to discuss work-in-progress by leading scholars in the fields of 20c and 21c literary studies.  Professor Vadde's paper will be available on the NYNJMS Sakai site in early October.  Everyone is welcome!  If you would like to be added to the site, please write to Rebecca Walkowitz (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Sarah Cole (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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Rebecca Walkowitz
Department of English, Rutgers
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rebecca L. Walkowitz is Professor and Chair in the English Department and Affiliate Faculty in the Comparative Literature Program at Rutgers University. She writes and teaches courses about modernism, twentieth-century British fiction, the contemporary Anglophone novel, translation, world literature, and transnational approaches to literary history. She is the author of Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation (2006) and Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature (2015), and the editor or coeditor of eight books.  Her work has been translated into Danish, Hungarian, Polish, and Japanese.  Her current research focuses on the concept of the anglophone and the representation of world languages in contemporary writing.  She served as President of the Modernist Studies Association in 2014-2015.


Steering Committee

Rebecca L. Walkowitz (English), director
Paola Gambarota (Italian)
Andrew Goldstone (English)
David Kurnick (English)
Anjali Nerlekar (AMESALL)