B. Venkat Mani
German, Professor
Email: bvmani@wisc.edu

Languages: German, Turkish, Hindi, Urdu

Research/Language Interests: 19th to 21st Century German literature and culture; World literature; Translation;  the Novel; Migrants and Refugees in the German, European, and global contexts; Literature and Migration;  Print- and digital cultural histories; Theories of cosmopolitanism, globalization, post-colonialism, and transnationalism.

Education: 2001 Ph.D. German Studies, Stanford University; 1996 M.A. German Studies, Stanford University; 1995 M.A. German Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; 1993 B.A. (Honors) German Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Affiliated Departments: IRIS (Institute for Regional and International Studies); Center for the History of Print and Digital Cultures

Undergraduate Courses: Introduction to World Literatures (LitTrans/ German 276); Tales of the Brothers Grimm: From the Nation to the World (LitTrans/German 276); From Gutenberg to the iPad: Books, World, Literature (German 236); Migration in Literature, Film, and Music (German 236); Bücher, Leser, Bibliotheken (German 362); Migration, Literatur und Kultur (German 676); Kosmopolitismus in deutscher Literatur, Philosophie, und Film (German 676); The Other Germany (German 676); 20th and 21st Century German Literature and Culture (German 411).

Graduate Courses: Germany’s Migrants: Texts and Contexts (German 804, Interdisciplinary CGES Graduate Seminar);  Transnational Approaches to German Studies (German 804, Interdisciplinary CGES Graduate Seminar); Comparative World Literature (German 948); The Global Book: World Literature in the World Market (German 742).

About Me: I received my BA (Honors) (1993) and MA (1995) in German Studies from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Ph.D. in German Studies from Stanford University (2001). In addition, I attended the University of Vienna, Bogazici University in Istanbul, and the Freie Universität, Berlin. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on 19th to 21st Century German literature and culture, world literature in translation, migration in the German and European context, book- and digital cultural histories, and theories of cosmopolitanism, globalization, post-colonialism, and transnationalism. I founded and co-directed UW-Madison’s World Literature/s Research Workshop (2007-2016). My publications include Cosmpolitical Claims: Turkish-German Literatures from Nadolny to Pamuk (University of Iowa Press, 2007) and Recoding World Literature: Libraries, Print Culture, and Germany’s Pact with Books (Fordham University Press, 2017). In addition I have co-edited three volumes and I am the co-editor of the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature (2018). Recent Awards and Grants include Alexander for Humboldt Foundation’s Fellowship for Senior Researchers [2011-12; 2013; Host institution: Institute of Book Studies, University of Leipzig], and Andrew Mellon Foundation’s, Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Comparative Cultural Studies Grant for the project, “Bibliomigrancy: World Literature in the Public Sphere” (2014-16), and UW-Madison’s Kellett Research Award (2017-20). I currently also serve as Director, Center for South Asia, UW-Madison.

Selected Publications



Recoding World Literature: Libraries, Print Culture, and Germany’s Pact with Books.

New York: Fordham University Press, 2017. Winner of the 2018 DAAD Book Prize of the German Studies Association in Germanistik and Cultural Studies; and the 2018 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize of the Modern Language Association for Studies in Germanic Languages and Literatures.

Reviewed in Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues (UK), The Berlin Review of Books, Choice, Comparative Literature, German Studies Review, German Quarterly, Goethe Yearbook, Library and Information Science (Romania), Modern Language Review (UK), Comparative Critical Review (UK), Postcolonial Studies @ Emory, Seminar, Unterrichtspraxis.


Cosmopolitical Claims: Turkish-German Literatures from Nadolny to Pamuk. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2007. Honorable Mention: 2010 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies.

Edited Volumes


The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature (5 Volumes) with Ken Seigneurie et al. Wiley Blackwell, 2018. Associate Editor for European and South Asian Literatures (Volumes 1-4); co-Editor, 20th and 21st Centuries (Volume 5).


Measuring the World” with Pamela Potter. Special Issue of Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur (Fall 2016, Issue 108.3).


What Counts as World Literature?” with Caroline Levine. Special Issue of Modern Language Quarterly: A Journal of Literary History (Vol. 74. 2, 2013).


Transnational and Cosmopolitical Approaches to German Studies.” with Elke Segelcke. Special Issue of TRANSIT: A Journal of Travel, Migration and Multiculturalism in the German-speaking World, (Vol. 7. 1, 2011).

Recent Articles and Book Chapters


“Jeder Begriff von Weltliteratur beinhaltet ein dreidimensionales Zeitgefühl.” Interview with Giulia Radaelli (University of Bielefeld) and Nike Thurn (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin). In Gegenwartsliteratur—Weltliteratur: Historische und Theroretische Perspektiven. Editors Giulia Radaelli and Nike Thurn. Berlin: Transcript-Verlag. [5000 words, in production.]


“Rights, Permissions, Claims: World Literature and the Borders of Reading.” In “Theories and Methodologies: New Geographies of Reading”. Editors Evelyne Ender and Deidre Lynch. PMLA 134.1 (2019): 1-10.


Translator’s Introduction to Hermann Hesse’s “A Library of World Literature” (Eine Bibliothek der Weltliteratur, 1929). Journal of World Literature 3.4 (2018): 417-419.


“Passport Stories: Aesthetic Affordances, Political Forms, and Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s Short Fiction.” Gegenwartsliteratur XVII (2018): 69-92.


Multilingual Code-Stitching in Ultraminor World Literatures: Reading Abhimanyu Unnuth’s

Lāla Pasīnā (1977) with Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies (2008).” Special Issue, “Debating World Literature.” Editors Omid Azadibougar and David Damrosch. Journal of World Literature 3.3 (2018): 373-399.


“Migrants, Refugees, Exiles: Cosmopolitical Claims Beyond Willkommenskultur.” “Forum on Migration Studies.” The German Quarterly. 90.2 (2017): 219-222.


“Unpacking Orhan Pamuk’s Library.” In Sevinç Türkkan and David Damrosch (ed.s) Approaches to Teaching Orhan Pamuk. New York: PMLA, 2017: 221-235.


“Weltliteratur als „Bibliomigrancy“: Auf Emine Sevgi Özdamars Sprachzüge.” In Edition Text+Kritik: Zeitschrift für Literatur. Special Issue on Emine Sevgi Özdamar. Yasemin Dayioglu-Yücel and Ortrud Gutjahr (ed.s). (VII, 2016/211): 59-70.


“Libraries.” In Eric Hayot and Rebecca Walkowitz, (ed.s) A New Vocabulary for Global Modernism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016: 130-145.


A Library of World Literature. Translation of Hermann Hesse’s Eine Bibliothek der Weltliteratur (1929). Journal of World Literature 3.4 (2018): 419-441.

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