“Forschung über/für/durch Kunst | Kunst über/für/durch Forschung“ (Florian Dombois)
Artistic Research in Literary Studies recognises literary practice and academic research as two related modes of being in and with the world. While literature creates new insights and knowledge through fictional ways of world-making, the study of it becomes artistic once it follows the material processes of experience and practice typical of literary production.
At the Institute of Modern English Literature, Artistic Research in Literary Studies serves as prime method and model for cutting-edge research and teaching across the historical range of English literature from 1550 to the present.
Artistic Research in Literary Studies is grounded in (a) creative practices of writing, in (b) methods of reading writing scenes as well as in (c) concepts of literary work and labour.
|Creative Writing (Story Telling)||Reading Writing Scenes||Literary Work|
Creative writing as a cultural technique shapes our modes of thinking and our modes of being in the world. It translates corporeal experiences and practices into words and makes them sharable.
Storytelling, in particular, bears the potential to imagine alternative worlds and to generate new knowledge about what it means to be human. Literary scholars, in turn, respond to the poetic qualities of stories and to their affective capacities.
Creative writing offers ways to experience, first-hand, the practical challenges of developing character, voice, setting, and of developing a story. Experimenting with writing strategies can facilitate critical response to literary works and to theories of literature alike. Creative writing introduces an artistic stance to literary studies and includes new ways of knowing by way of literary artifacts.
This project follows fictional and non-fictional actors by exploring how authors, readers, and characters situate themselves in literary space and place; how they attune themselves to aesthetic rhythms and speeds; how they interlink signs with bodies, discourse, matter, and technology.
Reading Writing Scenes includes an ethical perspective on literary fiction, because it focusses on the responsibility for the attitude and conduct best attuned to this reader-writerly mode of existence.
This pillar of Artistic Research is closely connected to textual scholarship, genetic criticism, the history of knowledge, science studies as well as to research in the field of media theory and media history.
What kind of work or labour produces literature? What kind of work or labour is produced by literature?
This project pursues two central aims: firstly, it investigates how verse and prose writings from different historical periods imagine, model, represent, describe, or re-invent practices that can qualify as work or labour. Secondly, it examines ways in which literary activities have themselves been conceived of as work or labour.
Concentrating mainly on the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these investigations seek to contribute to an ecological anthropology of literary work. Authors that are of particular interest include William Wordsworth, John Clare, and Thomas Hardy.