Transnational Literary Projects

Anouk Zuurmond | University of Amsterdam | Transnational Literary Projects | Supervisor: Thomas Vaessens | 2015-2019

As financial and political crises make issues of a shared European identity more pressing, the question of what binds us together is currently discussed with an increased sense of urgency. To facilitate such reflections on a shared identity, different transnational projects have been instigated by cultural organizations, promoted by and mostly with generous financial support from EU-programs and institutes. Five of these cross-border initiatives, deployed since 2000, will serve as case-studies to ask what the strategies and effects have been of these projects. The main question at the heart of the proposed research is: What are the strategies and effects of these transnational literary projects? All of these transnational projects are based on a shared strategy to produce a similar effect, namely to engage intellectuals in the debate on a European identity from a literary perspective. These initiatives thus offer an opportunity to research this strategy by analyzing the intentions held by the organizers of these projects and asking why literature is deemed a valuable contribution to this debate. The effects will be assessed by looking at the outcome of these projects: both the cultural artefacts resulting from these projects and the role of these projects in light of the public debate on a European identity.