TRANSECT is a research project aiming to explore how the cultural and religious pluralism of the Maghreb is represented in the contemporary Maghrebi novel in Arabic and disseminated globally by means of the International Prize of Arabic Fiction (IPAF). The definition of Maghreb adopted by TRANSECT is a restricted one, only including Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, the three States which were encompassed by the French colonial project.
TRANSECT aims to explore the ways in which the national and regional identity of the Maghrebi countries has been re-constructed into multi-faceted paradigms, codes and modes of literary production. The scope of the research has been narrowed to a coherent and homogeneous corpus of selected novels drawn from the longlists of the IPAF from 2009 to 2020. The common thread of interest among these novels is both geographic and thematic, since they are all centred around the themes of inter- and intra-religious dialogue, peaceful coexistence and pluralism in the Maghreb. TRANSECT addresses two clusters of questions:
1) Which idea of the Maghreb is shaped by the novels longlisted at IPAF and sold by Abu Dhabi? How is this “Maghreb pluriel” appropriated and marketed by the Emirati cultural policymakers? Which purposes of cultural diplomacy does it serve?
2) To what extent and how do these novels address national issues before aspiring to become pieces of World literature? How do they contribute to reposition the image of the Maghreb within the Arab region? How does this literature dialogue with national reconciliation processes, contributing to cultural peacebuilding through the construction of a non-exclusionary national identity?
Call for proposal
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