Travelling Traditions: Comparative Perspectives on Near Eastern Literatures

Directors: Friederike Pannewick (Centrum für Nah- und Mitteloststudien/Arabistik, Philipps-Universität Marburg), Samah Selim (Rutgers University, New Jersey)

Travelling Traditions is associated with Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.

Travelling Traditions attempts to lift the literatures of the Near and Middle East out of the circumscribed disciplinary frameworks of both Area Studies and national philology, and insert them into a comparative critical framework that sees texts and traditions as dynamic, worldly products circulating across geographical, historical and cultural borders. As such, the project will examine questions of translation, canonicity and the formation of national traditions, as well as the varieties of textual practices shared by what are often reified as discrete and stable civilizational zones (West/East; European/Islamic).

The aim is to move away from teleological constructions of modernity that invariably position a unified 'Europe' at the center of a vaguely defined field of World Literature, and focus instead on the shifting social and historical pressures that shape the reading and writing of literary texts and traditions in a dialogic process of influence and exchange.

Please find a complete description of the research field here.