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The Poetics and Politics of Cosmopolitanism in English Literatures of South Asian Background

Titel Englisch The Poetics and Politics of Cosmopolitanism in English Literatures of South Asian Background
Gesuchsteller/in Rippl Gabriele
Nummer 130222
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Institut für englische Sprachen und Literaturen Universität Bern
Hochschule Universität Bern - BE
Hauptdisziplin Schwerpunkt Germanistik und Anglistik
Beginn/Ende 01.04.2010 - 31.10.2013
Bewilligter Betrag 554'248.00
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Keywords (23)

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

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lead
Lay summary
Over the last ten years, the term 'cosmopolitanism' has become highly visible in various disciplines. While originally the term referred to the traditional humanist ideal of the 'citizen of the world,' it has recently undergone extensive revisioning. In 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. It is precisely the interaction between these three levels that constitutes the focus of our research interest.In our research group, we 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. It is precisely thanks to its literary qualities that a text can simultaneously endorse and question the validity of cosmopolitan norms such as tolerance and reconciliation through the combination of the story that it tells and the certain narrative strategies that it employs. Narratological analysis therefore constitutes the central methodological approach. Secondly, we will restrict our studies to a specific cultural area, the literature of South Asia and its diaspora. South Asia is one of the historically most important contact zones encompassing a multitude of religions, local cultures, and languages as well as the world's largest democracy and one of the most rapidly expanding global economies. The region has one of the largest diasporas, with a social network connecting it not only to the former colonial power of Great Britain, but also to the USA, Canada and many other countries. South Asian intellectuals participate in a closely-meshed transnational academic network and have contributed significantly to the formation of postcolonial as well as cosmopolitan theory. Last but not least, the region brings forth a variegated literature, which frequently addresses issues related to cosmopolitanism.The bulk of the research will be carried out in three doctoral dissertations addressing the specific thematic aspects of nation, religion, and the family to contextualise and substantiate cosmopolitanism. Our aims are: to render cosmopolitan approaches fruitful for the study of literature; to provide a fresh perspective on literary texts and refocus important questions established in Postcolonial Studies; and, finally, to transfer the results of the analysis back into a general critical debate.
Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.02.2013

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende

Mitarbeitende

Publikationen

Publikation
Loquacious Silences: Vikram Seth's Two Lives and the German Language
(2013), Loquacious Silences: Vikram Seth's Two Lives and the German Language, 107-122.
Haunted Narratives: The Politics and Poetics of Identity Formation and 20-Century Life Writing Writing in the Age of Trauma
Haunted Narratives: The Politics and Poetics of Identity Formation and 20-Century Life Writing Writing in the Age of Trauma, (2013), Haunted Narratives: The Politics and Poetics of Identity Formation and 20-Century Life Writing Writing in the Age of Trauma.
Haunted Whispers From the Footnotes. Life Writing in Raj Kamal Jha’s 'Fireproof'
(2013), Haunted Whispers From the Footnotes. Life Writing in Raj Kamal Jha’s 'Fireproof', 305-315.
Introduction
(2013), Introduction, 3-18.
Meddling with Memory - Negating Grand Narratives
(2013), Meddling with Memory - Negating Grand Narratives, 203-210.
Trauma Narratives and National Identity
(2013), Trauma Narratives and National Identity, 152-158.
Monica Ali and the Suspension of Disbelief
(2012), Monica Ali and the Suspension of Disbelief, 163-186.
Settlers in the Sundarbans. The Poetry and Politics of Humans and Nature in Amitav Ghosh's 'The Hungry Tide'
(2012), Settlers in the Sundarbans. The Poetry and Politics of Humans and Nature in Amitav Ghosh's 'The Hungry Tide', 125-137.
Inszenierung von Differenz: Interreligiöse Konflikte im englischsprachigen indischen Gegenwartsroman
(2011), Inszenierung von Differenz: Interreligiöse Konflikte im englischsprachigen indischen Gegenwartsroman, 175-196.
Stumme Augenzeugen. Funktionen erzählter Fotos in englischsprachigen postkolonialen trauma novels
(2011), Stumme Augenzeugen. Funktionen erzählter Fotos in englischsprachigen postkolonialen trauma novels, 249-267.
Zoë Wicomb’s Ghosts. Uncanny Translocations in David’s Story and The One That Got Away
(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.
Loss, Belonging and the Vagaries of Migration: Cosmopolitanism in M.G. Vassanji’s 'The Assassin’s Song'
, Loss, Belonging and the Vagaries of Migration: Cosmopolitanism in M.G. Vassanji’s 'The Assassin’s Song'.

Zusammenarbeit

Gruppe / Person Land
Formen der Zusammenarbeit
Neue Englischsprachige Literaturen und Kulturen, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt a.M. Deutschland (Europa)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten
Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies, Bern Schweiz (Europa)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten
Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, University of Leeds Grossbritannien und Nordirland (Europa)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten
Ohio State University Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika (Nordamerika)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten
Center for Cultural Studies, Bern Schweiz (Europa)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten
Manchester University Grossbritannien und Nordirland (Europa)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten
Manchester Metropolitan University Grossbritannien und Nordirland (Europa)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten
Institut für Religionswissenschaft, Bern Schweiz (Europa)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten

Wissenschaftliche Veranstaltungen

Aktiver Beitrag

Titel Art des Beitrags Titel des Artikels oder Beitrages Datum Ort Beteiligte Personen
11th ESSE Conference. Redefining Britishness in Contemporary Black British Writing: British Identities and the Identity of Britain Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 06.09.2012 Istanbul, Türkei Mettler Melanie;
ASNEL Conference Post-Empire Imaginaries Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 19.05.2012 Bern, Schweiz Cottier Annie;
Reframing Gender, Reframing Critique Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 15.09.2011 Basel, Schweiz Mettler Melanie;
Cosmopolitanism, Media and Global Crisis Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 04.06.2011 Kingston, UK, Grossbritannien und Nordirland Cottier Annie;
Symposium Cosmopolitanism as Critical and Creative Practice Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 11.05.2011 Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, Grossbritannien und Nordirland Cottier Annie; Mettler Melanie;
Judith Butler Reading Weekend with Prof. Dr. Paula-Irene Villa Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 25.03.2011 Bern, Schweiz Mettler Melanie;
Community and Ethnos. Workshop with Robert Young, Exeter College, Oxford. Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 18.09.2010 Universität Bern, Schweiz Escherle Nora; Cottier Annie; Mettler Melanie;
10th ESSE Conference Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 24.08.2010 Turin, Italien, Italien Cottier Annie;
10th ESSE Conference Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 24.08.2010 Turin, Italien Escherle Nora;
Genre Fusion in Recent Narrative Fiction. Workshop with Prof. Dr. Paula Moya and Prof. Dr. Ramón Saldívar of Stanford University, USA. Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 15.06.2010 Universität Bern, Schweiz Escherle Nora;
Genre Fusion in Recent Narrative Fiction. Workshop with Prof. Dr. Paula Moya and Prof. Dr. Ramón Saldívar of Stanford University, USA. Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung 15.06.2010 Bern, Schweiz Mettler Melanie; Cottier Annie;


Selber organisiert

Titel Datum Ort
BA seminar 'What mischief made you become a bloody Muslim?' Religion and Violence in Anglophone Indian Novels. Nora Anna Escherle. 20.02.2012 Bern, Schweiz
Masterclass The Poetics and Politics of Cosmopolitanism in Literature with Prof. Dr. Frank Schulze-Engler and Prof. Dr. Karenina Kollmar-Paulenz 14.02.2012 Bern, Schweiz
Workshop Cosmopolitanism with Prof. Dr. Pranav Jani, Ohio State University, USA 23.09.2011 Bern, Schweiz
Public lecture Reading Past Midnight’s Children: Multiple Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Indian English Fiction” Prof. Dr. Pranav Jani, Ohio State University, USA 22.09.2011 Bern, Schweiz
MA seminar. Gender, crime and punishment in India: The Raj and its legacy. Prof. Dr. Virginia Richter (with Prof. Dr. Julia Eckert, social anthropology) 19.09.2011 Bern, Schweiz
Lecture After Empire: Approaches to Postcolonial Studies. Prof. Dr. Virginia Richter (with Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau, Postcolonial Studies) 19.09.2011 Bern, Schweiz
Homi Bhabha Reading Workshop with Prof.Dr. Barbara Buchenau 18.05.2011 Bern, Schweiz
BA seminar Cosmopolitan London in Literature and Film. Annie Cottier. 14.02.2011 Bern, Schweiz
ProDoc colloquium Postkolonialität und Einführung in die literarische Textanalyse. Melanie Mettler. 04.02.2011 Bern, Schweiz
BA seminar Coconuts, Desis and Cappuccinos: The South Asian Family in the British Novel. Melanie Mettler. 01.04.2010 Universität Bern, Schweiz
BA seminar Postcolonialism and Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Indian English Fiction. Annie Cottier. 01.04.2010 Universität Bern, Schweiz
MA seminar Postcolonialism and Beyond. Prof. Dr. Gabriele Rippl (with Prof. Dr. Heinzpeter Znoj, social anthropology) 01.04.2010 Bern, Schweiz
Kolloquium Cosmopolitanism. Prof. Dr. Gabriele Rippl and Prof. Dr. Virginia Richter 01.04.2010 Bern, Schweiz

Kommunikation mit der Öffentlichkeit

Kommunikation Titel Medien Ort Jahr
Referate/Veranstaltungen/Ausstellungen Literary reading of the Indian author Kiran Nagarkar with discussion Deutschschweiz Westschweiz International 2011

Verbundene Projekte

Nummer Titel Start Förderungsinstrument
138549 Liminal Communities in Contemporary Postcolonial Novels 01.02.2012 Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)

Abstract

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.
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