logo irtg
 Version française  |  Search  |  Imprint  |  Contact   |

Ute Heidmann: "Difference, Differentiation, Dialogue and 'Diversality'. Concepts for Comparative Analysis and 'Translating/Mediating Diversity'" (Spring Lecture Series V)

Guest lecture: May 15, 2017, 4 PM
Saarland University, E1.7, Room 002
When and Where:
Monday, May 15, 4–6PM, Universität des Saarlandes, E1.7, Raum 002
(10AM–12PM, Université de Montréal, Carrefour des arts et des sciences, C-2059)

This conference presents a particular comparative approach and method I have conceptualized as “differential comparison” and applied to various discursive, literary and more generally cultural practices, among them translating, poetical, autobiographical and travel writing, (re)writing and (re)configuring Greek myths, tales and other discursive and literary genres. Comparative differential analysis does not lead to the discovery of irreducible differences, but makes us discover that many or maybe most cultural practices result from a continuous and constitutive dialogue between different languages, genres and cultures and are in fact genuinely intercultural. Moreover differential comparison reveals the creative power of both differentiation and inter-lingual and intercultural dialogue. Authors create new meaning (or newly relevant meaning) by differentiating themselves from what has been said before and by engaging meaningful dialogues with other languages, texts and cultures thereby inventing new genres, art forms and practices. Differential comparison thus proves the relevance of the idea of “diversality” brought forth by the Caribbean writers who put into question the very concept of “universality”. Comparative differential and dialogical analysis can therefore assume the task of mediating and translating diversity in intercultural and transcultural spaces opposing nationalistic and mono-identical pretentions. The conceptual and epistemological aspects of differential comparison will be illustrated with case studies drawn from the research fields mentioned above, with special focus on translation and reconfiguration of genres.

Cette conférence sera principalement tenue en français, avec des passages explicatifs intermédiaires en anglais et en allemand, destinés à illustrer les différences survenant dans le recours à des langues de cultures scientifiques différentes.

Ute Heidmann holds the Chair of Comparative Literatures at University of Lausanne in Switzerland, she has been Visiting Professor at Universities of Geneva, Pavia (IUSS), Fondazione San Carlo at Modena, Roma 3, Rio do Norte (Bresil), EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) in Paris and University of Paris IV- Sorbonne.