Forskergruppen Migrantnarrativer

Travelling Narratives and Images in Times of Migration


Migrant narratives and aesthetic practices influenced by experiences of migration constitute a growing field in contemporary art and literature. Current patterns of migration and issues related to the protection of refugees and asylum seekers contribute to the strong societal impact of migrant aesthetics and narratives, but also serve to explain the need for them as such, as well as the need to reexamine them. More than ever, we need to understand the experiences of exiles, migrants and refugees. The objective of this interdisciplinary seminar is to examine textual, material and visual expressions that represent, discuss and problematize migration.

Historically, the Mediterranean has been a site of encounters between different cultures, giving rise to a rich cultural heritage of text, music and film, that describe experiences of migration, exile and cultural encounters. Current trends in migration and globalisation lead to an increase in travelling narratives, images and objects, producing aestethic practices that both work in and through tradition. But they may also represent and destabilise categories such as gender, class, ethnicity, family and sexuality and challenge exisisting understandings of multilingualism, multilingual literature and aesthetic practices, thus inviting a reexamination of the possible contribution of literary studies, art history and linguistics to their analysis.

What are the relations between social and cultural categories and different aesthetic forms? Which power relations are described and redefined through, and in aesthetic representation? What are the characteristics of the different intertextual spaces that are created when linguistic practices, images, material objects and narratives travel between genres, cultures and aesthetic expressions?