Faculty of Humanities

Thematic network

funded by: BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)

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Recent years have seen challenging new formulations of the flows of influence in transnational cultural configurations and developments. In the wake of the end of the cold-war and the demise of the tripartite conceptual division of the First, Second and Third Worlds, the latter concept has been superseded by the notion of the “Global South”. This notion is a flexible one referring to the developing nations of the once-colonized sections of the globe. The concept does not merely register shifts in geopolitics and in the respective affiliations of nations and the economic transformations that have occurred. It also registers an emergent perception of a new set of relationships between nations of the Global South as their respective connections to nations of the north (either USA/USSR or the old colonial powers) diminish in significance. New social and cultural connections have become evident. This project aims to explore the literary manifestations (in their often intermedial, networked forms) of those south-south cultural connections together with academic leaders from those societies and cultures concerned.

Literary cultures (“Schriftkulturen”) are a particularly pregnant site of south-south cultural analysis as they represent the intersection of traditional and modern cultural forms, of south-south (and north-south) cultural exchange, particularly via modes of translation and interlingual hybridization, and refract various discourses of knowledge in a highly self-reflexive and critical fashion, thereby demanding and enabling an interdisciplinary dialogue with literary studies at its core. Hallowed connections between literary production and the postcolonial nation notwithstanding, transnational south-south literary connections have always characterized the (anti-)colonial, postcolonial and indeed contemporary digital epochs. Thus literary cultures form one of the central historical and contemporary networked sites of intercultural self-articulation in the Global South.

It is the task of this project to explore those “lateral” south-south cultural connections by mobilizing a network of prominent Global-South universities (UFF, Brazil; UNAM, Mexico; Wits, South Africa; UCAD, Senegal; JNU, India) with other universities in the southern hemisphere (UWA, Australia; SNU, Korea).

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Participants and Partners

Tübingen Team

Project Leaders

Prof. Dr. Dr. Russell West-Pavlov

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Thies

Literary Studies

Prof. Dr. Astrid Franke

Prof. Dr. Ingrid Hotz-Davies

Prof. Dr. Dorothee Kimmich

Prof. Dr. Christoph Reinfandt

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wertheimer

Other Disciplines

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Alex (Ethnology)

Prof. Dr. Ewald Frie (History, SFB Bedrohte Ordnungen)

Prof. Dr. You Jae Lee (Koreanistik)

Project Coordinator

Andrée Gerland (email)

Office: room 250

Phone: 07071 29 72975 (international: 0049 7071 29 72975)

Mail address: Wilhelmstr. 50, 72074 Tübingen, Germany

Partner Universities


University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Dakar, Senegal

Latin America

Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, México


Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

University Research Institutions

The Global South Cultural Dialogue Project, Cornell University

Global African Diaspora Studies Platform, University of Vienna

Non-University Research Institutions

dfi Deutsch-Französisches Institut, Ludwigsburg

ICI Kulturlabor/Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin

Goethe-Institut New Delhi

Goethe-Institut Johannesburg