Multilingualism in the Novel. Comparative Perspectives

The aim of this workshop is to bring together and establish research links among scholars working on multilingualism and the novel.

Although often interpreted as an exception to the norm represented by monolingualism, multilingualism is present in most literary traditions. Yet, approaches to multilingualism tend to focus on specific case studies, with few attempts to define the phenomenon in broader terms or in its theoretical implications. Even less studied is the international dimension of the phenomenon in comparative perspective.

Research questions:

  1. What are the forms of the multilingual novels in different linguistic traditions?
  2. What are the variants and invariants?
  3. What is its ideological or political dimension?

These broad questions can be approached only if scholars with converging interests but different specialisations and linguistic expertise start working on the topic together. The workshops in Leeds is a first step in this direction.


  • Laura Lonsdale (Oxford) focuses on multilingualism and modernity in Spanish and American literature;
  • Elisa Segnini (Glasgow) studies the role of multilingualism within world literature;
  • Gigliola Sulis (Leeds) works on the Italian modern and contemporary multilingual novel;
  • Juliette Taylor-Batty (Leeds Trinity) studies multilingualism in Anglophone modernist fiction.

For further information, please contact Dr Gigliola Sulis at