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DFG Network "Inclusive Philology"

DFG Network "Inclusive Philology"

On 1 January 2023, the academic network funded by the German Research Foundation "Inclusive Philology. Literary Disability Studies in German-speaking Countries" (DFG project number 509035805), funded by the German Research Foundation, began its work. Over a period of 36 months, the interdisciplinary network will endeavour to further establish the perspective of Literary Disability Studies in German-speaking countries.

Literary Disability Studies

As a fact of life, which according to statistics currently affects around 15 per cent of the world's population in the course of their lives, the representation and cultural negotiation of disability has always found its way into literature. Although the term 'disability' itself is more recent, world literature has known literary representations of embodied difference since the beginning. Within the social and cultural self-understanding of the phenomena of disability, literature occupies a prominent place that has not yet been sufficiently analysed by the Germanic studies. Neighbouring philologies in the German-speaking university landscape, such as Romance studies, English studies or American studies, have also paid too little attention to the topic in international comparison. The aim of the academic network is to profile and apply theoretically sound research approaches in disability studies, which view disability as a cultural and social category of difference, in literary studies. In line with established approaches to the theory of difference, such as gender studies and postcolonial studies, literary disability studies should make an innovative contribution to the theoretical and historical development of literary studies in German-speaking countries.

Project goals

The network pursues three main, interrelated goals. Firstly, it brings those interested in questions of Literary Disability Studies in German, English/American and Romance Studies into regular contact with each other and establishes a structured working context. Secondly, it develops an elaborate theoretical toolkit for the literary and cultural-scientific exploration of figurations of disability in literary texts and other media configurations. Thirdly, literary-historical case studies will be undertaken, in particular on German-language literature of the eighteenth century, classical modernism and contemporary literature, which will demonstrate the multifaceted representation and discursivisation of disability. In this way, the network contributes to the theoretical profiling of Literary Disability Studies on the one hand and to the revision of the literary canon from a disability perspective on the other.

Principal Investigator(s) at the University Prof. Dr. Susanne Hartwig (Lehrstuhl für Romanische Literaturen und Kulturen)
Project period 01.01.2023 - 31.01.2026
Source of funding
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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