Laboratory for Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies
Laboratory for Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies (LCLCS) was established at the Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, in 2011.
Comparative studies, also known as comparative literature or, more recently, cross-cultural studies, in their romantic origins stemmed from an interest in linguistic and cultural differences. Their beginning was accompanied by a conviction about a high value of what is created away from the main centres of civilization, outside European culture or on its previously underestimated peripheries. In the course of the 19th century, however, this field of studies took a shape of examining influences and dependences between literatures of different European nations. It often led to mechanical and predictable (as far as outcomes are concerned) identifying of the influences – usually in one direction – of great writers on the lesser ones, of some literatures (“great ones”) on the others. In the 20th century this limiting understanding of comparative studies started to subside. Their interests encompassed texts written in different languages as well as more and more numerous fields of their relationships with different spheres of culture. In 1961 Henry Remak, an American Germanist, wrote:
“Comparative Literature is the study of Literature beyond the confines of one particular country, and the study of the relationships between literature on the one hand and other areas of knowledge and belief, such as the arts […], philosophy, history, the social sciences (e.g. politics, economics, sociology), the sciences, religion, etc., on the other.”
Such a broad understanding of comparative studies motivated the creators of the Laboratory for Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University. The Laboratory was established at the Faculty of Languages in 2011. It gathers scholars who deal with issues crossing the borders of literatures of individual nations, ethnic groups or languages. It helps to integrate scholars beyond the existing divisions of disciplines, creating space for discussion, exchange of ideas and confrontation of different methodological approaches as well as scholarly experiences. The Laboratory embraces specialists in Polish, English, German, Slavonic , Romance and Classical studies.
The establishment of LCLCS at the NCU Faculty of Languages serves to create a multi-disciplinary centre for research on the issues of widely understood relations between literatures and cultures, a centre for research on the relation of literature to other fields of culture, as well as on differentiations between cultures, on intercultural exchanges and their reflection in literary output.
Special issues of academic journals coordinated by the LCLCS:
Archiwum Emigracji 2014 , Vol. 1/2 (20/21): Modern and Postmodern Literature of Jewish Language Diaspora, edited by Marcin Wołk (in Polish or English with English abstracts).
Books published by the LCLCS members are listed here.
Marcin Wołk, PhD – Head of the LCLCS firstname.lastname@example.org
Paulina Abriszewska, PhD email@example.com
Adam Kola, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org
Piotr Sadkowski, PhD Piotr.Sadkowski@umk.pl
Rafał Toczko, PhD email@example.com
Monika Tokarzewska, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org