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CORDIS

Modernizing Empires: Enlightenment, Nationalist Vanguards and Non-Western Literary Modernities

Project description

Comparing vocabulary and narrative models in non-western empires

Cultural reforms, linguistic renewal and literary renaissance in the empires of Russia, Turkey and Japan created a shared historical experience that resulted in common intellectual vocabulary and narrative models. To prove this, the EU-funded NONWESTLIT project will develop a comparative model, designing a polycentric and plural map of literary modernity to investigate structural similarities between the three traditions. The project will apply multi-method research combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. Moreover, it will perform historical and literary comparisons between the emerging national literary systems, mapping transnational networks of narrative strategies, conceptual systems and translation practices. The findings will benefit digital humanities in non-western and multilingual comparative research and make unknown literary texts available and accessible.

Objective

This project is a comparative study of cultural reforms, linguistic renewal and literary renaissance movements in three imperial traditions, caught between the East-West divide: Russia, Turkey and Japan. It looks at the negotiated cultural models in modernization and westernization processes and argues that their shared historical experience resulted in a common intellectual vocabulary and narrative models shared by otherwise extremely diverse cultures. Despite these unmistakable parallels, literary studies have failed to address this shared history. This project aims to bridge this gap by developing a comparative model, drawing a polycentric and plural map of literary modernity. In three subprojects, this project investigates structural similarities in 1.Questions and concepts in literary criticism; 2.Translational practices and translated works from Europe, and 3.Narrative logic and typologies in fiction. It is the first comparative multilingual study of the non-Western literary modernities to bring these specific traditions together. It contests Eurocentric models of literary history which interprets these cases as failures or late emulations. It challenges an overemphasis on single national traditions or on postcolonial approaches, and limited body of studied texts and analysis techniques in the study of the non-West. The project follows a multi-method research strategy to conduct historical and literary comparisons between the emerging national literary systems, combining qualitative and quantitative methods in order to map transnational networks of narrative strategies, conceptual systems and translation practices. It brings new directions in Digital Humanities, expanding it to non-Western and multilingual comparative research. Finally, it makes a much-needed contribution to the current literary corpus by making unknown and untranslated texts available and accessible.

Host institution

ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA
Net EU contribution
€ 1 365 785,00
Address
VIA ZAMBONI 33
40126 Bologna
Italy

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Region
Nord-Est Emilia-Romagna Bologna
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 1 365 785,00

Beneficiaries (3)