From Literature to Cultural Literacy

Naomi Segal
2015 Humanities  
In recent years, the academic field of literary studies has changed radically. Literary scholars are now working on objects other than poems, dramas or fiction. This essay presents an ongoing strategic project, Cultural Literacy in Contemporary Europe, which was founded in 2007 and run in 2009-11 as an European Science Foundation & Cooperation in Science and Technology (ESF-COST) synergy. Its aim is to investigate and celebrate the range of research currently being conducted in the field we
more » ... in the field we have renamed "literary-and-cultural studies", or LCS. This research aims to enhance cultural literacy. Cultural literacy is an attitude to the social and cultural phenomena that shape our existence-bodies of knowledge, fields of social action, individuals or groups, and of course cultural artefacts, including texts-which views them as being essentially readable: it is a way of looking at social and cultural issues, especially issues of change and mobility, through the lens of literary thinking. The project focuses on four academic fields-cultural memory, migration and translation, electronic textuality, and biopolitics and the body-and four concepts: textuality, fictionality, rhetoricity and historicity. It stresses multilingualism and is part of the movement of interdisciplinarity within the humanities and between the humanities and other disciplines, but remains a distinctive activity within that larger movement.
doi:10.3390/h4010068 fatcat:f67crkpw4nf3zjje6nemgm47ey