The Institute for Contemporary and Comparative Literature (ICCL) explores current conceptions and practices of both ‘the contemporary’ and ‘comparative literature’, and works towards (re)definitions of these fit for the twenty-first century. Launched in 2010, the Institute hosts seminars, workshops and conferences, operating alongside a suite of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Two Leverhulme grants related to the Institute have been secured: a Visiting Professor Award (Jan.-May 2015) and an International Network Award (2015-2018: see menu). A Writers in Residence programme was launched in 2017.

Upcoming event

Under Scotland. Extraction, climate change, narrative

A talk by Karen Pinkus, Professor of Romance Studies and Comparative Literature at Cornell University

Monday 27 May 2019, 2pm, Buchanan 216

In this talk I will ask about how the subterranean in general (and more specifically, the spaces/formations of deep time under our very feet) can help us think about possible future, “after” climate change. I will focus on a novel of Scotland, written “before” climate change, by Jules Verne, to think about the radical disjunctions between the surface and subsurface today. What can narrative (theory) teach about the unfathomable (and perhaps unnarratizable) disruptions posed by climate change? What kinds of alternatives can we posit between the two extremes of extraction (“Drill, baby, drill”) and non-extraction (“leave it in the ground”) in the public sphere?

This talk is supported by a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at the CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities), University of Cambridge, and by the ICCL (Institute for Contemporary and Comparative Literature), University of St Andrews.

New MLitt programme in Contemporary Studies