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Comparative Perspectives

By approaching literature as a cultural practice, we believe that it is possible to create new comparative perspectives, enabling us to explore parallels between different cultural practices. In our network we are looking to bring together researchers working on cultural practices as different as literature and music, graffiti and performance. The overarching goal is to elaborate a methodological and theoretic framework that enables diverse cultural practices to be compared on the basis that they are equally valuable expressions of human existence.

By reaching out across the boundaries imposed by those academic disciplines hitherto involved with the study of Arab cultural practices, we wish to query the hierarchizing of cultural practices that singles out those forms corresponding to Western ‘high’ culture (literature and the visual arts). Broadening the focus to cultural practice is one way of going beyond representation in the narrow sense of the term, by including practices where the emphasis lies on the performative.