First funding period: Mixed Feelings – Shared Feelings. Narratives of Belonging in Contemporary Transcultural German-language Literature
In July 2019, the network started its second funding phase granted by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and thus initiated a new orientation of the network's research focus and the individual sub-projects.
The discussion about belonging and non-belonging caused by flight and migration as well as increased mobility, forms the basis of the project’s first period. Ambivalences and disruption of belonging and its literary articulation were the focus of our work during this period. Language is constitutive for feelings of belonging; in transcultural texts it often is an subject itself. We paid particular attention to the relationship between belonging and multilingualism. We understand language as a vivid commucative process shaped by social dynamics, and thus tie on to concepts of dialogicity (especially Bachtin). The following questions guided our research: How can literature be understood as the realization and reflection of feelings of belonging? How can we conceptualize the affectivity of language? How do narrative techniques and structures articulate and shape affective processes? How are affectivity, multilingualism, and belonging related? And how do existing narrative forms, genre patterns and notions of authorship change thereby? The aim of the first funding phase was to contour and scrutinize the specific contribution of transcultural literature to affective societies.