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Blackness Imagery in the Construction of European Identity/ies: The Case of the Czech Lands in a Transnational Perspective


This project conceives (self-)Africanisation as a rhetorical strategy of symbolic exclusion of the “other”, despite being European, from Europe by either the voluntary assumption or the imposed ascription of a surrogate identity. Starting from the hypothesis that the cultural, artistic and scientific output of a “non-colonial” nation can also be considered as a form of colonial discourse, this project seeks to examine Blackness imagery in Czech-German and Czech-French cultural relations and transfers. Focusing on the “long” nineteenth century (extended until the early 1930s), the research spans five interconnected axes: (1) the “scientific” constructions of Black and “mixed-race” alterity in the Czech lands; (2) translating literature with “colonial” topics for the Czech lands; (3) Black and “mixed-race” representations in Czech literature; (4) Black are the “others” – the ascription of surrogate identity in German and French literature; and (5) the instrumentalization of Blackness imagery in cultural‑political struggles. Drawing on the methodology of literary history, comparative literature and translation studies, the project will analyse translations of French literature and academic, literary and mediatic discourses in the Czech lands and mutual representations of Czechs and Germans as “black”. The interdisciplinary approach, which includes postcolonial studies, discourse analysis, comparative historical linguistics and insights of anthropology, will shed light on the mixophobic framework of racial naming, notably in its gendered and intersectional dimensions. The transnational scope of this topical project, the commitment to open science practices as well as the hosting arrangements aimed at developing a diversified research profile, including transferable skills in communication, management and digital humanities, will significantly promote the career prospects of the researcher as well as strengthen the profile of the host institution.


Net EU contribution
€ 173 847,36
Unter Den Linden 6
10117 Berlin

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Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart Stuttgart, Stadtkreis
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
No data