The DFG Research Training Group sets out to examine the function of the literary in processes of globalization from a broad historical perspective, ranging from antiquity to the present day. Literature constitutes an archive for the analysis of processes of globalization that is still largely unexplored; Literary Studies is thus especially qualified to contribute to the examination of these processes in ways which have not been sufficiently taken into account so far.
Our research interests focus on the interaction between literature and globalizing dynamics: on the one hand, the transformation of the functions of literature by historically variable media relations (e.g. the changing status of books in societies in which communication is globalized by means of the internet); on the other hand, the ways in which literature not only represents and reflects, but also criticizes and intervenes in globalization processes.
In this context, “the nation” constitutes only one reference point, one that has been overemphasized by the traditional division of academic literary studies into various national philologies. Focusing on the cosmopolitan dimensions of the literary, the research training group addresses not only literature in a narrow sense, but also the narrative and figural dimensions of other genres (travel writing, essays, etc.).