Literature, Identity and Transculturality

Researchers in this research group examine the cultural meetings between people in the literature of other countries.

The research currently being conducted within the research group Literature, Identity and Transculturality has its foundations in the research work that was carried out in the former group Postcolonial Studies, which was headed by Irene Gilsenan Nordin. Whereas that research focussed on postcolonial literature, the focus has now broadened to include cultural meetings between people in the literature of other countries.

Research is primarily conducted within the field of literary studies and looks at the production of fiction from a number of countries, cultures and periods in time (for example, works in Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, German, Italian and Japanese) – often from a comparative perspective.

What unifies the group is the agreement that fiction is an art form of special significance in terms of the understanding of questions that deal with human relationships, social structures, cultural meetings and migration. Transculturality and identity are central terms that highlight the group's view of  literature as social discourse.

The group’s primary research areas are as follows:

  1. thematisation of cultural meetings and the creation of identity
  2. literary forms and ideology
  3. the role of literature in society

The research group Literature, Identity and Transculturality holds regular seminars at which researchers can meet and present their research. At times, international researchers are invited to be part of the ongoing research.

In 2013, a collection of essays was published in book form by the publishing house Rodopi as part of its Cross/Cultures series: the book was entitled Transcultural Identities in Contemporary Literature. The collection had four thematic sections: migration, cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism and literary translingualism. It looked at transculturalism in contemporary poetry and various forms of fictive storytelling from a number of international contexts.

In 2016, a second collection of essays entitled Transcultural Identity Constructions in a Changing World was published by Peter Lang. With a broad outlook on the concept of transculturality, 19 authors and specialists, of diverse origins, consider how transculturality can help us understand the world. The contributions deal with literary texts, movies, drama and visual art. The chapters cover themes such as multiculturalism, stereotypes, migration and bilingual writing.

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