Doing Literature in a Global Perspective

The Cluster of Excellence 2020 "Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective" aims to create a new theoretical and methodological take on literature in a global perspective that moves beyond the categories of nation and period and conceives of literature instead as a transcultural and transtemporal phenomenon in deep time. Based on the insight that literature is a fundamentally performative and intermedial phenomenon, a form of social action taking place in complex networks of human and non-human actors, the Cluster studies how literature becomes global through its temporal entanglements. Introducing the notion of ‘temporal communities’, the Cluster investigates the ways in which literature reaches out through space and time and establishes extensive transtemporal networks in which the notion of literature itself is constantly re-constituted as it interacts with other arts and media.

The Cluster is situated within a vibrant network of international academic partners and local collaborators including universities and libraries as well as literary and artistic institutions and museums, and it combines an international fellowship programme with a dynamic and flexible platform for projects involving early career researchers, established scholars and international fellows from all career stages.

EXC Temporal Communities Governance Structure

International Academic Advisory Board

The International Academic Advisory Board consists of eight internationally renowned scholars. Each has played a significant role in shaping and developing the field of global literary studies to which the Cluster is dedicated. During an annual community event, the International Academic Advisory Board meets with Principal Investigators, Participating Researchers and early career researchers to advise on the further development of the Cluster and to join resident members in discussing the Cluster’s emergent research questions.

  • Suzanne Conklin Akbari, Professor of English and Medieval Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (USA)
  • Wai Chee Dimock, William Lampson Professor of English and American Studies, Yale University (USA)
  • Rita Felski, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Virginia (USA)
  • Wiebke Denecke, Professor of East Asian Literatures and Comparative Literature, Boston University (USA)
  • David Damrosch, Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University (USA)
  • Simon During, Professorial Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland (Australia)
  • Theo D’haen, Professor of English Literature, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
  • Robert Reid-Pharr, Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University (USA)
Steering Committee

The Steering Committee consists of the representatives of the Cluster’s international cooperation partners. The committee members advise the Executive Board on issues relating to the development and implementation of the Cluster’s international network. Furthermore, the Steering Committee assists in identifying distinguished candidates for fellowships.

  • Bishnupriya Dutt, Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Dehli (India)
  • Clare Lees, Professor of Medieval Literature, University of London (UK)
  • Joshua Davies, Lecturer in Medieval Literature, King’s College London (UK)
  • Timothy Hampton, Aldo Scaglione and Marie M. Burns Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and French, University of California, Berkeley (USA)
  • Stefan Keppler-Tasaki, Associate Professor of Modern German Literature, University of Tokyo (Japan)
  • Tanja Michalsky, Director, Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck Institute for Art History, Rome (Italy)
Inter-Departmental Governance Board

The Inter-Departmental Governance Board safeguards the Cluster’s institutional integration within Freie Universität Berlin. The board members examine and evaluate the Cluster’s activities based on the Cluster’s official reports and give recommendations concerning core activities.

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