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Literary and film historians propose five key concepts for reflection on global literary studies

Researchers at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) are organizing an international symposium to analyse literary and film history and the cultural processes, texts and agents involved, from a perspective that seeks to be transnational, gender-based and decentralized. The symposium, that will take place on 20 and 21 May and is organized by the Global Literary Studies Research Laboratory (GlobaLS), will feature renowned theorists from the USA, Asia and Europe.

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International experts in the sociology of literature, translation studies, film history, novel studies, digital humanities, and cultural transfer will use an interdisciplinary approach to debate the five key concepts of global literary studies: space, scale, time, connectivity and agency. It will take place as part of the Global Literary Studies: Key Concepts symposium organized by Diana Roig-Sanz and Neus Rotger Cerdà, members of the UOC's Global Literary Studies Research Laboratory (GlobaLS), with the support of the European Research Council (ERC). Decentralizing literary and cultural history and increasing the visibility of minorities Global literary studies investigate cultural phenomena at different scales and from a cross-border perspective. They have harnessed the tools of digital humanities and micro and macro historical analysis to nuance classic dichotomies such as centre-periphery, dominant-subordinate and North-South. They have also made it possible to increase the visibility of smaller literatures and to discover agents that had been forgotten or overlooked by the official histories of literature and film, such as the many women who played a key role as cultural mediators. "In addition, they have enabled us to centre our attention on minorities in the broader sense, by rescuing the literature related to experiences of diaspora, migration and race," said Diana Roig-Sanz, principal investigator of the GlobaLS research group, researcher at the Catalan Research and Advanced Studies Institution (ICREA) of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and member of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the UOC. Global literary studies: a field of growth that has yet to be institutionalized This field of study, which has grown rapidly but is still in the process of institutionalization, also reveals how a cultural product (a book or a film) is transformed during its circulation and received by its recipients in a different way to that of its place of origin. "Buñuel's films may have one meaning where they were produced but take on a different one in northern Europe. The same goes for novels, translations, musical genres, etc. Many works undergo processes of cultural transfer," said Roig-Sanz. The symposium will feature renowned experts in global studies, including Michel Espagne, cultural transfer theory researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Francesca Orsini, scholar of South Asian Literature at the University of London, Debjani Ganguly, expert in Post-Colonial Studies and World Literature at the University of Virginia, and Malte Hagener, specialist in film theory and aesthetics at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, among others. "The global shift is not limited to a single field; rather, it is a reorientation in the study of culture and society that involves a number of disciplines. In literary studies, the global perspective has been approached from very diverse critical and methodological perspectives, and applied to very different objects of study," said Neus Rotger. Decentralizing literary and cultural history with a gaze that combines both a sociological and poetic perspective, and which seeks to incorporate other disciplines, such as translation, film and computer science, is the big challenge of the research conducted by GlobaLS. UOC R&I The UOC's research and innovation (R&I) is helping overcome pressing challenges faced by global societies in the 21st century, by studying interactions between technology and human & social sciences with a specific focus on the network society, e-learning and e-health. Over 500 researchers and 51 research groups work among the University's seven faculties and two research centres: the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and the eHealth Center (eHC). The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and open knowledge serve as strategic pillars for the UOC's teaching, research and innovation.


global literary studies, literature, cinema, cultural history, genre