New international collaboration at the University of Nova Gorica
Last week, the new European COST Action “Women Writers in History” was launched in Brussels. The first meeting of the Management Committee, with members representing the fifteen European countries involved as yet in this collaborative network, was held at the COST office in Brussels.
This collaborative Action will last four years and will be financed by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). The Slovenian representative in the Management Committee is Assist. Prof. Katja Mihurko Poniž, PhD from the University of Nova Gorica.
The initiative was originally taken by the NEWW network (“New approaches to European Women’s Writing”), which seeks to renew literary historiography from a gender and a transnational perspective. This COST Action will allow the extension of the existing network and the preparation of a large scale research project in which European scholars will further collaborate – in the real and virtual world.
The aim of this COST Action is to lay the groundwork for a new history of European women’s participation in the literary field of the centuries before 1900. What was these women’s influence? Which active roles did they play as authors and readers in the broadest sense of the word, i.e. including their roles as transcribers, translators, mediators and educators? What happened to them when they fell into the hands of 19th-century canonizers? How is their disappearance from literary history to be explained? Technological progress now allows addressing these questions by means of large scale empirical research: the COST Action will make use of an innovative database allowing researchers to stock and manipulate data concerning the contemporary reception of women’s works and interventions. Particular attention will be paid to women’s participation in transnational cultural dynamics and to the overlooked role of “smaller”, less internationally known literatures within the larger European context.
This interdisciplinary research will lead to a new way of looking at Europe’s literary past – male and female –, which also implies a different perspective on Europe’s present. The national representatives will organize meetings about the women writers from their countries. That means that the Slovenian women writers will be a frequent theme in the researches and meetings at the University of Nova Gorica.
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