What we do

eurolit is a research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) that adopts a decidedly European perspective to address this knowledge gap. We contribute to a better understanding of (a) the dynamics of literary fields at the national, European, and global level and (b) the cultural integration of European societies. To be precise, eurolit will tackle to following research questions:

  • What is the magnitude of translations to, from, and within Europe? Are national markets opening towards Europe? Is the European field closing itself off towards the global?
  • What are the patterns of translation flows within Europe? Do we observe a differentiation along language lines or a hierarchy of central and peripheral languages?
  • Are there European mediators and gate-keepers who channel translation flows between countries and languages? What are the interests, rules, and discourses that underlie their activities?
  • What is the internal rationale of the European literary field? Is the field governed by one integrated network and discourse? Or is the field fragmented along the lines of national markets, linguistic areas, and cultural legacies?
  • Which external forces shape exchanges in the European literary field? What is the role of economic, political, cultural, and social characteristics of national fields?

To answer these questions, we employ a mixed-method design that features qualitative interviews with stakeholders, document analysis, and quantitative analysis of book market and translation statistics. With the help of the national libraries of countries across Europe, we collect data on book translation flows that will be subjected to social network analysis.