Temporal Communities

Clusters of Excellence

Doing Literature in a Global Perspective

The Cluster of Excellence 2020 "Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective" aims to create a new theoretical and methodological take on literature in a global perspective that moves beyond the categories of nation and period and conceives of literature instead as a transcultural and transtemporal phenomenon in deep time.

Based on the insight that literature is a fundamentally performative and intermedial phenomenon, a form of social action taking place in complex networks of human and non-human actors, the Cluster studies how literature becomes global through its temporal entanglements. Introducing the notion of ‘temporal communities’, the Cluster investigates the ways in which literature reaches out through space and time and establishes extensive transtemporal networks in which the notion of literature itself is constantly re-constituted as it interacts with other arts and media. “Temporal Communities” thus are the sites where the multifarious entanglements that literary phenomena enter into resonate in and through time, sometimes even spanning millennia.

Taking advantage of Berlin’s unique intellectual and cultural landscape and situated within a vibrant network of both international academic partners and local collaborators, including universities and libraries as well as museums and literary and artistic institutions, the Cluster combines an international fellowship programme with a dynamic and flexible platform for small and medium-sized projects involving early career researchers, established scholars and international fellows from all career stages. Supported in its research by a powerful digital humanities hub, the Cluster plans to involve a wider audience in its activities, reaching out beyond the confines of academia as it actively participates in Berlin’s vibrant, multi-cultural and multi-lingual literary and cultural scene.

Involved Institutions:

  • Humboldt Universität Berlin
  • Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung

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