cosmopolitanism; South Asian literatures in English; postcolonial studies; literary analysis; transnationalism; transculturalism; community; migration; diaspora; belonging; second-generation British Asian; conflict; violence; religion; nation; history; identity; author; Postcolonial Literatures; Novel; Family; Alterity; 2nd and 3rd Generation Writers
Escherle Nora Anna (2013), Loquacious Silences: Vikram Seth's Two Lives and the German Language, in Gabriele Rippl Philipp Schweighauser Tiina Kirss Magrit Sutrop and Therese Steffen (ed.), Toronto University Press, Toronto, 107-122.
Gabriele Rippl Philipp Schweighauser Tiina Kirss Magrit Sutrop and Therese Steffen (ed.) (2013), Haunted Narratives: The Politics and Poetics of Identity Formation and 20-Century Life Writing Writing in the Age of Trauma
, Toronto University Press, Toronto.
Cottier Annie (2013), Haunted Whispers From the Footnotes. Life Writing in Raj Kamal Jha’s 'Fireproof', in Gabriele Rippl Philipp Schweighauser Tiina Kirss Magrit Sutrop and Therese Steffen (ed.), Toronto University Press, Toronto, 305-315.
Rippl Gabriele, Schweighauser Philipp, Steffen Therese (2013), Introduction, in Gabriele Rippl Philipp Schweighauser Tiina Kirss Magrit Sutrop and Therese Steffen (ed.), Toronto University Press, Toronto, 3-18.
Escherle Nora Anna (2013), Meddling with Memory - Negating Grand Narratives, in Gabriele Rippl Philipp Schweighauser Tiina Kirss Magrit Sutrop and Therese Steffen (ed.), Toronto University Press, Toronto, 203-210.
Cottier Annie (2013), Trauma Narratives and National Identity, in Gabriele Rippl Philipp Schweighauser Tiina Kirss Magrit Sutrop and Therese Steffen (ed.), Toronto University Press, Toronto, 152-158.
Mettler Melanie (2012), Monica Ali and the Suspension of Disbelief, in Wolfgang Funk Florian Groß and Irmtraud Huber (ed.), Transcript, Bielefeld, 163-186.
Cottier Annie (2012), Settlers in the Sundarbans. The Poetry and Politics of Humans and Nature in Amitav Ghosh's 'The Hungry Tide', in Geetha Ganapathy-Doré and Helga Ramsey-Kurz (ed.), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge, 125-137.
Rippl Gabriele (2011), Inszenierung von Differenz: Interreligiöse Konflikte im englischsprachigen indischen Gegenwartsroman, Erich Schmidt, Berlin, 175-196.
Rippl Gabriele (2011), Stumme Augenzeugen. Funktionen erzählter Fotos in englischsprachigen postkolonialen trauma novels, in Sabina Becker und Barbara Korte (ed.), Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 249-267.
Richter Virginia (2011), Zoë Wicomb’s Ghosts. Uncanny Translocations in David’s Story and The One That Got Away, in Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies
, 2011:12(3-4), 373-388.
Cottier Annie, Loss, Belonging and the Vagaries of Migration: Cosmopolitanism in M.G. Vassanji’s 'The Assassin’s Song', in Asma Sayed (ed.), Guernica Press, Toronto.
Since the mid-1990s, the term ‘cosmopolitanism’ has become highly visible in various disciplines. Clearly, the significance of the term has undergone an extensive revision, no longer referring to the traditional humanist ideal of the ‘citizen of the world.’ Rather, in recent debates in sociology, social anthropology, political philosophy and related fields, three tiers of meaning have emerged: an epistemological, a normative, and an experiential level of cosmopolitanism. (1) On the epistemological level, a methodological shift has taken place, from national to transnational parameters of analysis. This movement has had a particularly strong impact on theoretical debates in the humanities and social sciences. The epistemological aspect of cosmopolitanism is therefore highly relevant for the theoretical framework of the proposed project, but does not constitute its primary object of investigation. (2) Cosmopolitanism in a normative sense - implying ethical positions and norms such as transnational human rights - is deployed to countervail globalization; i.e. while globalization is perceived mainly in the light of its negative economic effects (mass migration, pauperization, disempowerment), the theorists of cosmopolitanism are committed to providing a basis for political participation beyond national citizenship. (3) This normative concept of cosmopolitanism is frequently baffled by the actual social practices, the experiential level of cosmopolitanism. The ‘new cosmopolitans’ are no longer mainly members of a well-educated, wealthy elite, but often migrants displaced by economic exigencies or political processes. However, they are agents who realise different choices in their daily practices. The diversity of their practices continually disrupts the homogenizing framework of normative cosmopolitanism. It is precisely the interaction between normative and experiential cosmopolitanism that constitutes the focus of our research interest.In our research group, we propose to address the issues raised by cosmopolitanism by narrowing down this broad field in two ways. Firstly, we will focus on contemporary literary texts. We regard literature and the novel in particular, as a medium that, due to its polyvocal and performative qualities, is suited to negotiate between the competing trajectories of normative and experiential cosmopolitanism. More precisely, while a text can endorse cosmopolitan norms such as tolerance and reconciliation, narrative strategies such as multiple focalisation or the choice of an open ending over narrative closure can serve to highlight the inconsistencies and conflicts inherent in a propitiatory narrative rooted in normative cosmopolitanism. Narratological analysis therefore constitutes a central methodological approach. Secondly, we will restrict our studies to a specific cultural area, the literature of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. South Asia is of particular relevance for the conceptualisation of cosmopolitanism. Not only is the region one of the historically most important contact zones encompassing a multitude of religions, local cultures, and languages - with English as its lingua franca - as well as the world’s largest democracy and one of the most rapidly expanding global economies. South Asia also has one of the largest diasporas, with a social network connecting the region not only to the former colonial power of Great Britain, but also to the United States, Canada, and many other countries. Even more pertinently, South Asian intellectuals, who participate in a closely-meshed transnational academic network, have contributed significantly to the formation of postcolonial as well as cosmopolitan theory. Last but not least, the region brings forth a variegated literature, in which issues related to cosmopolitanism are frequently addressed. The best-known proponent of South Asian literature in English, Salman Rushdie, is a founding figure within the fields of Postcolonial Studies and cosmopolitanism, as well as a symbol for the occasional irreconcilability of cultural norms.The bulk of the research will be carried out in three doctoral dissertations addressing specific thematic aspects through which cosmopolitanism, often a fuzzy and contradictory concept in theory, will be contextualised and substantiated: the nation (A. Cottier), religion (N. A. Escherle), and the family (M. Mettler). These individual projects will be embedded in the conceptual framework set out below, and framed by a series of workshops designed to establish interdisciplinary exchange. The aims of the research group are: to render cosmopolitan approaches fruitful for the study of literature; to provide a fresh perspective on literary texts and, in consequence, to refocus important questions established in Postcolonial Studies; and finally, to transfer the results of the analysis back into a general critical debate.