Revision as of 19:42, 24 May 2013 by SvDijk (Talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

Monica Bolufer, Annette Keilhauer, Hendrik Schlieper, Lieselotte Steinbrügge, Rotraud von Kulessa

Eight theses for a renewal of literary historiography
Women authors travelling in Europe - Ida Hahn-Hahn and others.


The contribution aims to reflect on the perspective of a future transnational literary history that gives feminine written production its place in a larger frame of general research questions. In our view, this history has to be a gendered literary history that brings back together feminine and masculine production into a common frame of research. In this respect, our reflections necessarily draw on our own research, but also on the work which has been taking place for decades in the field – and notably to the collective effort carried out in our COST Action these last four years. At the same time, the reflexions indicate that we need to move further in order to make a more decisive impact on the academic disciplines of literary history, and history tout court.

The central ideas are formulated via eight theses that aim to sketch essential aspects and questionings of such a gendered literary history - or gendered history of literary culture. To illustrate these assumptions, the presentation focuses on examples from France and Spain of the 18th and 19th century. However, these examples – some of which still require further research – are chosen not so much because they explain specific points about a given, “national” history at a certain time. They are rather taken as illustrations of more global theoretical and methodological concerns which might be shared by many of us working on different periods, territories and genres, and therefore will benefit from extensive discussion.

Our basic assumption is the need felt by each of us to link again more tightly the by now rediscovered and valorised female production to the general literary field and to integrate different dimensions of gendering that openly or tacitly influence literary history. The quantitative and qualitative valorisation of women’s production in literary history can only be one first step to reintegrate not only women artists, but gender as a key category in cultural history.

Dimensions to be addressed by this new orientation of a gendered literary history are particularly the usually dialogical nature of gender relations between authors and texts, the gendered nature of poetological debates and genre discussions, and the often political implications of valorisation and de-valorisation of women’s production in the context of national canonization. Furthermore a gendered literary history does have to question profoundly the national borders as limits of historical account and therefore focus on transnational phenomena and particularly translation as a means of reception and channelling (of) women’s literary production.

Thus, our contribution is meant to stimulate a discussion on future and more ambitious developments in order to achieve, as a long term objective, a truly mainstream gendered literary and cultural history.

SvD, 24 May 2013

Personal tools