Reading the Globe: Exploring the World's Literatures, Discovering Ourselves (26th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture)
From Andrew Stengele on 10/14/2016
In 2012, British writer Ann Morgan set herself the challenge of reading a book from every country on Earth in one calendar year. The blog-based quest – recorded at ayearofreadingtheworld.com – drew the support of readers, authors and translators around the planet, and has inspired numerous reading ventures.
Morgan’s lecture draws on her experiences during the project, her research for her book The World Between Two Covers and ongoing interactions with the international literature community. It considers some of the barriers to reading widely and the rewards that come from surmounting them.
The writer reveals her approaches to curating reading lists,
discovering unfamiliar writers, reading in translation, and encountering
texts that force us outside our cultural comfort zones. She also sets
out the transformative effect of exploring stories that challenge,
problematize and even re-write the dominant narratives of Western
society, and the role that sharing stories internationally can play in
enriching lives and promoting peace.