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Projects Research Area 1

Constructions of Bisexuality in Irish Women's Writing since 1995 (2023-)

This project explores constructions of bisexuality in the novels of three Irish women writers: Emma Donoghue, Sally Rooney, and Naoise Dolan. It contextualises this exploration in light of the novels' specifically Irish cultural background, while also interrogating the supranational discourses of sexuality in which the novels are implicated by virtue of their global readership.

Border Temporalities and/in Literature (2023-)

The project “Border Temporalities and/in Literature” investigates how different temporalities inherent in the often asymmetrical power relations in border regions – especially those with fortifications or walls – inscribe themselves in literary texts and other artistic expressions. It places particular emphasis on examining the make-up and (trans)national dynamics of literary communities in these border areas, using examples such as the US-Mexico border.

Chronotopias: Revolution and the Cultural Magazine in the Arab Long Sixties (2022-)

The project examines the crucial role that cultural magazines have played in shaping the idea, concept and practice of revolution in the Arab world between the 1950s and the 1970s. It particularly explores the way periodicals contributed to and counterpointed a Leftist project of emancipation that synchronized the Arab world with the global Long Sixties, therein enabling particular understandings of 'revolution' while sidelining others. The magazine is conceived of as a form that is structured by time while also structuring receptions of time by offering readings of a contemporary moment and by staging itself as an archive of future historiography.

Translating the Relics of Byzantium. Imagery Transfer and the Politics of Translation. From Greek East to Latin West, 1453-1535 (2021-)

The research project scrutinises the dynamics of cultural translation and the adaptation of eastern imagery to dominant local western narratives. The project examines how different geographical areas, cultural spaces and political formations in various European realities respond to the textual and visual rhetorics about the re-appropriation of the Greek tradition and salvation of the Byzantine heritage. Thus, juxtaposition of divergent agencies, like those of Bessarion and Anna Notaras, of the brothers Constantine and Janus Lascaris or of Demetrius Ducas in Venice and in Spain, evinces disparate conceptualisations of political and cultural universalism. Additionally, the project attempts to understand cultural heritage management programmes by tracing divergent responses of western art (Pisanello, Piero della Francesca, Andrea Mantegna, Pinturicchio, Paolo Romano) to the call for the formation of an aesthetic frame for the re-appropriation of the classical world in literary, material and territorial means.

Arts of Memory (2021-)

"Arts of Memory" explores historical arts of memory as transtemporal and transcultural modes of community building. We start from the assumption that cultural ‘arts’ such as mnemotechnics, rhetoric, writing or translation are decisive for the genesis of temporal communities, along with non-verbal or trans-linguistic modes of communication (performative, artistic, institutional, technological). The project’s focus is on the art of memory as it was originally developed in Roman rhetorics and then productively recast in the early modern period.

The Cultural Work of Competing Fashion Literatures in Nineteenth-Century America (2021-)

This research project investigates the cultural work of “fashion literatures,” i.e. novels, fashion-oriented periodicals, women’s magazines, and historical newspapers in the United States at the turn of twentieth century. The overarching goal is to examine how various literary communities both negotiate and navigate diverging ideologies of fashion across genres while competing for their own ‘fashionability.’ Within this conceptual framework, the project carves out how notions of literature and fashion have mutually constituted each other and reveals the ways in which these notions relied on racialized gender norms.

Enlightened Medialities (2020-)

"Enlightened Medialities" investigates communicative technologies and techniques during the age of Enlightenment in the Greek "republic of letters" (the Ottoman Empire and the Western European Greek diaspora), Spain and its (former) colonies, and the newly founded United States at the time of the French and Haitian Revolutions. The project focuses on Enlightenment theories and practices of disinterested deliberation, on the one hand, and the Enlightenment rhetoric of friendship and empathy, on the other, analysing them as two versions of one and the same desire for non-normative norms.

(Post-)Soviet Literary Cosmopolis (2020-)

"(Post-)Soviet Literary Cosmopolis" approaches the challenging task of theoretically developing and applying the EXC 2020’s concept of temporal literary communities to the situation that emerged when Soviet cultural politics laid claim to global cultural dominance. While the Soviet value system was engaged in constant competition with the capitalist world, pre- and post-Soviet literary communities are understood as specific cases of literature in imperial and post-imperial contexts. An integral focus on the history of more or less violent constructions and (post)Soviet reconstructions of "national" literatures must necessarily account for recent discussions of (post)Soviet literatures from the perspectives of postcolonial studies, decolonial studies and world system theories.

Petrarchan Worlds (2019-2023)

“Petrarchan Worlds” scrutinises com­peting appropriations of Petrarchan modes of expression from the early modern period to modernity. The project will thus reconstruct a transnational and transtemporal community, taking into account the issues of power deriving from Petrarchism’s changing political con­texts, but also the specific gen­dered­ness of Petrarchan poetic styles.

The Creativity of Reform: Frederick Douglass’s Philosophical Imagination (2019-2021)

Centering on the idea of competing intellectual, political and cultural communities, this project investigates the philosophical imagination of Frederick Douglass, arguably one of the most influential and (in)famous voices in the long history of U.S. reform movements.