The Comparative Literature Association of India (CLAI) is the national association for scholars and students of Comparative Literature in India. It is actively engaged in propagating the case for a more holistic study of literature and culture using the tools of comparative literary studies. It was formed in 1987 when the Indian national Comparative Literature Association (INCLA) and the Comparative Indian Literature Association (CILA), centred at Kolkata and Delhi respectively, decided that the academic, intellectual and professional interests of the discipline would be better served if they merged into one body.
◦CLAI has around 1,000 members representing various Humanities disciplines from across South Asia. CLAI organizes an international conference once every two years. Twelve such biennial conferences have been held so far; the last one was hosted by the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, in March, 2015. The theme was “Culture, Arts and Socio-political Movements in South Asia: Comparative Perspectives”
◦CLAI is also an active member of the International Comparative Literature Association/Association Internationale de l’Litterature Comparee, and runs the ICLA’s Standing Research Committee on South Asian literary and cultural relations. The proceedings of the research committee’s international meetings are published by CLAI.
◦CLAI also organizes several academic events related to the study of Comparative Literature all through the year at various universities and institutions.
- To spread the concept of Comparative Literature among members of the academic community especially those involved in the Single Literature disciplines, and among other individuals, associations of institutions genuinely interested in Comparative Studies.
- To further national interaction through awareness of Comparative Literature among the linguistic states of India.
- To promote the ideal of one world by appreciation of Comparative Literature beyond national frontiers, and in pursuance thereof to rise above separate identities of single national literatures so that the all embracing concept of Viswa-Sahitya as visualized by Tagore or Goethe’s Weltliteratur may be realized as a measure of international understanding.
- To encourage interdisciplinary studies among educational institutions and other related bodies in order to promote the study of literature and other arts.
- To establish contact with other similar bodies in other countries and other similar bodies in order to foster interchange of ideas and information.
- To establish contact with international associations within the area of Comparative Literature Studies viz. International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA), the Modern Language Association, the International Federation of Modern Languages and Literatures and specialized agencies of knowledge and research work.
- To open its various chapters/branches in different parts/zones of India, whenever the Executive Committee so desires of research and development of Literature.
- To publish a Bulletin/Newsletter of the Comparative Literature Association of India giving all the current news of such studies in India, so that collection and redistribution of important information and data so far not available may be feasible.
- To sponsor or support research projects in Comparative Literature for diffusion of knowledge.
- To publish research papers, articles, journals etc. in the field of comparative literature.
- To facilitate interchange of literary ideas and information and institute such activities in India among the different linguistic states. In furtherance of these aims, the association may organize national / international comparative literature seminars / workshops / conferences and other related activities in different parts of the country from time to time and a general Comparative Literature National / International Congress every one/two/three years as the Executive Committee may decide from time to time.
- To contact Government, semi-government departments of education and other international foundations and institutions or sponsoring large projects in comparative literature studies in India, and ensuring effective participation of the Association in international gatherings of Comparative Literature for diffusion of knowledge.
- To encourage the spread of literacy and education and print concerned books in India and throughout the world.
- To arrange and organize social, cultural and educational programmes from time to time.
To make correspondence in a lawful manner, to arrange meetings, conferences, seminars with the authorities concerned from time to time as decided by the Executive Committee.