The Construction of Identity in Multilingual Literature: A Comparison of Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands

The language situations in the member states of the European Union vary – from monolingual nation-states like Germany and controversial multilingual ensembles like Belgium to a well-functioning multilingual Luxembourg. Conflicting ideas about languages cause many difficulties in inner- and intercultural communication processes. A more fundamental question raised by the different European concepts of language is the connection between language and the construction of identities. In the differentiated societies of our day literature represents a space of complex meanings and esthetic meta-languages. Contemporary literary texts which use multilinguality as an esthetic principle – such as the literature of multilingual nation states like Luxembourg or texts written by authors with a migrant background or with intercultural interests – create advanced insights into new forms of identity. Therefore, it is important as well as worthwhile to analyze the relationship between identity and multilinguality in literary texts. In order to do so, one should understand literature as an interdiscourse, and use a comparative approach to analyze different neighboring cultures: Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. To manage this comparative approach and the complexity of these topics, it is indispensable that the research project use a plurality of cultural and literary theories and methods and that it remain open to conducting interdisciplinary research. Also, it must understand itself as a part of an international network, with partners from the above mentioned nations. The analysis of the literary-esthetic discourses will help us to understand how different concepts of language(s) shape social life and identities in Luxembourg and, more generally, Europe in the present and – taking literary texts seriously as a medium of advanced reflections – how things could develop in the future.

Namen der Beteiligten

Universität Duisburg-Essen:
a) Prof. Dr. Rolf Parr; b) Dr. Thomas Ernst
Funktion: International Co-funding Partner
b) Umfang der Beteiligung: Ausrichtung einer der großen Konferenzen des Forschungsverbundes 2013 in Essen

Universität Luxemburg:
a) Prof. Dr. Georg Mein; b) Dr. Till Dembeck
Funktion: Principal Investigator and Coordinating Institution

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven/Belgien:
a) Prof. Dr. Anke Gilleir; b) Dr. Sarah De Mul
Funktion: International Co-funding Partner

Leiden University/Niederlande:
a) Dr. Liesbeth Minnaard
Funktion: International Co-funding Partner
Centre National de Littérature Mersch / Luxemburg

a) Germaine Goetzunger; b) Dr. Claude D. Conter
Funktion: Non-contracting Partner


Oktober 2011 - Herbst 2017


Fonds Nationale de la Recherche, Luxembourg

Geplanter Output

Gemeinsam mit allen Projektpartnern: Konzeption und Herausgabe eines Handbuchs mehrsprachige Literatur und Literaturwissenschaft (Arbeitstitel) im Narr-Verlag Tübingen.