Can the intertext be transnational in a postcolonial context ? Revisiting two Kamel Daoud novels Relational Epistemology : Negotiating Differences in a Transnational Context. A Boundary-Crossing Seminar on Literary and Cultural Studies

Intervenant : Catherine Brun

Fudan University, Shanghaï

The seminar to be held at Fudan University, Shanghai, in late 2018, aims to explore issues in literature and other cultural texts that are related to gender, class, race and sexuality across national and cultural boundaries. The title “Relational Epistemology : Negotiating Differences in a Transnational Context” registers our acknowledgement that diversity of views is present and constructive, and that increasingly fluid, performative, understandings of identity and subjectivity call for equally fluid epistemological frameworks which accommodate multiple lenses.
The growing field of transnational studies seeks to evolve new methodologies for the study of literary and cultural productions which signify both locally and globally. As Arjun Appadurai argues, in a globalized world ‘the imagination has become an organized field of social practices, a form of work (in the sense of both labor and culturally organized practice), and a form of negotiation between sites of agency (individuals) and globally defined fields of possibility.’ The emergence of this new ‘social imaginary’ generates new ways of producing and reading bodies, identities and subjectivities, and of constructing and processing ‘difference’. As national borders and territorial, as well as generic, boundaries become subject to growing redefinition, what defines cultural particularity becomes ever more elusive and problematic. What impact does this elusiveness have on how we perceive people of other cultures, and on how we produce and process our own internal others ? Conversely, how do alternative models of gender, class, race and sexuality circulating across boundaries challenge the premises of our own cultural identities ? Or how, reviewed historically, do today’s global and transnational imaginaries intersect with the internationalist or cosmopolitan models of the early twentieth century ? These questions, and related issues, will be addressed at the inaugural seminar on literary and cultural studies between Fudan University, China, and Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 University, France.