You are here

Discussion Group

If you have an interest in Comparative Criticism and Translation Studies, come along to our friendly discussion group, convened by graduate students and early career academics working on literature and theory across national, linguistic, historical, and disciplinary boundaries. Current conveners are Karolina Watroba and Valeria Taddei. If you'd like to join our mailing list, please send a blank email to If you have any questions, please email Karolina Watroba: We welcome suggestions for texts and topics for discussion. If you have ideas, or you'd like to get involved, please do let us know.

In Trinity Term 2018, the OCCT Discussion Group will again be structured as an experiment in comparative reading out of context. It's a fantastic opportunity for graduate students and early career academics working on comparative projects to get a fresh perspective on the texts they study by getting other participants to respond to selected passages without the usual background (biographical information, historical context, etc.) that covertly informs our reading. Do get in touch if you'd like to host a session!

We'll meet at lunchtime (12:45-2pm) on Mondays of even weeks (week 2: 30 April, week 4: 14 May, week 6: 28 May, week 8: 11 June) in Seminar Room 10 at St Anne’s College. No preparation will be needed. Free sandwich lunch, fruit and coffee will be provided.

At the beginning of each session, we expose participants to two short excerpts from literary texts that are in some way comparable; however, no details surrounding the texts are disclosed (authors, titles, time periods, original languages, etc.). We then get some first reactions from an invited guest, a faculty member involved with OCCT, before opening the floor for discussion. Halfway through each session, the conveners reveal the identity of the authors and provide further background about the abstracts in question. For the remainder of each session, we continue the discussion by gradually moving to broader theoretical issues raised by the juxtaposition of the two texts and our reactions to them.

Hilary 2018: Comparative Reading Out of Context

Michaelmas 2017: Comparative Reading Out of Context

Trinity 2017: Reading Out of Context

Hilary 2017: Aesthetic Judgement Out of Context

Michaelmas 2016: Key Issues in the Methodology of Comparative Study

Trinity 2016: Multilingualism

Hilary 2016: Intermediality

Michaelmas 2015: Ambiguity; Inter-Asian Comparisons - Material Culture, Body, and Image

Trinity 2015: Aesthetics Today; Inter-Asian Comparisons - Comparisons between East-Asian Cultures

Hilary 2015: Tactility, Poetics and Cinema; Film and Speaking Near the Image; Yvette Siegert on Translating Alejandra Pizarnik; Adam Thirlwell in Conversation

Michaelmas 2014: On Caroline Bergvall; Lyric Philosophy; Benjamin’s Denkbild; Sartre and Heidegger

Trinity 2014: Ekphrasis; Creative criticism; Criticism, creativity and translation - Ali Smith in Conversation

Hilary 2014: Delinking and the grammar of de-coloniality; William Ernest Hocking and comparative philosophy; The Classic, the Canon and the Past; What Is World Literature?

Michaelmas 2013: Travelling Concepts ITravelling Concepts IITravelling Concepts III; Travelling Concepts IV

Trinity 2013: On Translation IV - Babel; On Translation V - Don Paterson; Travel and Theory I; Travel and Theory II

Hilary 2013: On Translation I - Schleiermacher; On Translation II - Benjamin; On Translation III - Literary Translation and Versions of Ovid

Past conveners: Kate Costello, Oriental Studies; Anita Paz, Ruskin School of Art; Amy Xiaofan Li, Oriental Studies; Kasia Szymanska, Medieval & Modern Languages; Peter Hill, Oriental Studies; Rosie Lavan, English.