On April, 28th, the Transcultural Humanities project will be presented during yet another PhD seminar existing at the Faculty "Artes Liberales", the one coordinated by prof. Alina Nowicka-Jeżowa. Together with Rafał Zawisza and Ewa Niedziałek, we will present the general concept of transculture in its many assertions and we will try to explain how our own ideas, and thus the project "Towards Transcultural Humanities", differs from other scholarly endeavors currently conduced in Europe and worldwide.
What has been sent to the participants as an introductory material is the article by Arianna Dagnino, Transcultural Literature and Contemporary World Literature(s) - a good traversal presentation of what is currently understood under the term of "transcultural", mainly in literary studies. I want to treat this text as a starting point to show how my own assertion of this term is peculiar and - hopefully - innovative in relation to the state of the art in this research field. First of all, my transculture is much broader and so to say "metaphysical" term, plunging deep into history of human attempts of breaking through the cultured condition. That's something else than the "down-to-earth" understanding of transcultural literature as a post-migrant or neo-nomadian kind of writing, produced by people immersed in the globalized conditions, such as - just to come back to the often cited example - Hanif Kuraishi.
As I wrote in one of the previous posts, I was about to stick to this shallow chronological perspective, cutting down much of the historical research I'd been planning. Yet the project took a new lease of life after my conversation with Rafał Zawisza, who suggested, against my incredulity, we might drag Agata Bielik-Robson into the adventure. It is certainly a great honor and enormous stimulation for me that prof. Bielik-Robson agreed to participate, or at least to talk about this project. It means not only that we would get the complete perspective upon the tripartite monotheistic tradition (my idea is to speak about transcultural religion / spirituality as much or more than about transcultural literature), but also it pushes the whole project deeper into the time, as we might get a lot of original research concerning the heterodox thought forming a non-obvious traditio that needs to be considered rather in terms of a search for isomorphisms and coincidence of ideas rather than the usual paradigms of influence and historical continuity.
Shortly speaking, this is an approach towards the transcultural writing that starts from Llull and Luria rather than from Hanif Kuraishi. And if I can form any clear idea on what does it mean to go beyond the state of the art and to give an original contribution to research, well, that's the originality and that's the innovation.