Prof. Dr. Gesine Müller
Romance Studies Department
Phone: +49 221 470 2834
Professor (W2) of Romance Philology (Spanish Languages and Literatures, Latin American Studies, and French), University of Cologne
2012 - 2013
Visiting Professorship Romance Literature and Cultural Studies, Dresden Technical University
Habilitation at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Potsdam. Habilitation Treatise on “The colonial Caribbean between bipolarity and multirelationalism. Transfer processes in French- and Spanish-Language literatures”
2008 - 2016
Director of Emmy Noether Junior Research Group (DFG) “Transcolonial Caribbean”, University of Postdam
2005 - 2008
Senior research fellow at the Department of Romance Cultural Studies, University of Halle-Wittenberg
2005 - 2006
Post-doc fellow DAAD: EHESS Paris
PhD in Romance Languages at the University of Münster. Dissertation on “The Boom authors today: A farewell to the major identity-creating concepts”
- World Literature Debate and Latin America
- Literatures of the Spanish and French Caribbean
- Literatures of Romanticism
Mecila: Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America
Project Duration: Initiation Phase from April 2017 until March 2020
Support: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
The Centre will study past and present forms of social, political, religious and cultural conviviality, above all in Latin America and the Caribbean while also considering comparisons and interdependencies between this region and other parts of the world. Conviviality, for the purpose of the Centre, is an analytical concept to circumscribe ways of living together in concrete contexts. Therefore, conviviality admits gradations – from more horizontal forms to highly asymmetrical convivial models. By linking studies about interclass, interethnic, intercultural, interreligious and gender relations in Latin America and the Caribbean with international studies about conviviality, the proposed Centre strives to establish an innovative exchange with evident benefits for both European and Latin American research. The focus on convivial contexts in Latin America and the Caribbean broadens the horizon of present conviviality research, which is often limited to the contemporary European context. Latin America, on the other hand, offers a rich and longstanding tradition of research on conviviality and conflicts related this. By establishing a link to research on conviviality, studies related to Latin America gain visibility, influence and impact given the political and analytical urgency that accompanies discussions about coexistence with differences in European and North American societies, which are currently confronted with increasing socio-economic and power inequalities and intercultural and interreligious conflicts.
The Department of Iberian and Latin American History (IHILA) at the University of Cologne will be responsible for the historical dimension of the research program. Its main task will be the development of a data management system. As the Centre is a publicly funded institution, its research data will be available to the public, unless the right of privacy is applicable. To this end, a two-stage research data archival storage infrastructure will be established for the Centre.
Reading Global: Constructions of World Literature and Latin America
Project Period: 1.9.2015–1.9.2020
Project Funding: European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant
In observing the highly productive and heterogeneous fields of research into World Literature over the past 15 years, one element stands out, which is that almost all relevant contributions to current theorizing have built their respective approaches around two fundamental problems of global literary phenomena. On the one hand World Literature is no longer viewed as a static canon, a series of distinguished and authoritative works, but as a complex and dynamic process involving historically varying mechanisms of global reception (see for example the work of Damrosch 2003, Ette 2012 or the studies edited in Küpper 2013). On the other hand, most of current research work shares an awareness of an irresolvable problem with which every current investigation is ultimately confronted, that of the sheer volume of material and attendant difficulties in operationalizing the object of study; as Moretti puts it: “[W]e are talking of hundreds of languages and literatures here. Reading ‘more’ seems hardly to be the solution” (2000, 55).
The answers that current theory formation has so far attempted to provide for these two core problems in the debate on World Literature must be viewed both as critical and as insufficient inasmuch as they are incapable of implementing, on the specific level of analysis, the knowledge that they have themselves formulated with regard to the significance of circulation in global literary fields and the sheer quantity of material. The principal problem of these studies lies in their disciplinary limitations of an analysis informed solely by literary studies, which are incapable of engaging the material and economic factors involved in the global circulation of literatures—factors that these studies themselves identify as being fundamental for the “functioning” of World Literature.