GENERAL RESEARCH AREA: the twentieth-century and contemporary English-language novel, and its various spatial instantiations (English, American, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Australian, South-African etc.).

Formerly known as the Centre for the Study of the Contemporary British Novel, our research unit now functions under a new name, meant to capture both the current geopolitical realities, and the diversity of the team’s academic interests, which have always included the American and Irish novel and their ongoing dialogue with the British tradition. Our new designation is all the more justified given our attention to the scholarly context of “world literature” (cf. Pascale Casanova, David Damrosch, Franco Moretti), a timely reminder of the fact that cultures cannot be studied in isolation. Moreover, carrying forward the CSCBN’s constant concerns, the term “modern” covers our attempt to investigate the novel as representative for the multiplicity of historical modernity and its role as a mediator among cultures, identities and forms of subjectivity. We examine novel writing and reading as privileged modes of negotiating views on reality, providing increasingly crucial interpretive skills against the background of fast information flow and of the “fake news” age.

Our research is firmly rooted in current theoretical approaches of the multi- and interdisciplinary kind which, we believe, cast light on the novel’s anchorage within the tensions of the present’s experience of the world. We attempt not only to align our work to recent European and international research programmes, but also to suggest innovative directions, ideas and methods, based on our expertise of the interchange among cultures, histories, and geographies.

The team’s main objectives have to do with defining the rapports among:

  1. narrative and culture, narrative and history, narrative and (auto)biography, narrative and politics, narrative and society;
  2. representations of individual and collective identities
  3. discourses, media, arts, and technologies (intermediality, transmediality) in the age of digitalization and electronic communication
  4. (inter)subjectivity and ecological consciousness in the Anthropocene

Current research topics:

  • modernity-modernism(s): terminological revisions in the 21st century;
  • reader-response theories: complementary and converging systems of interpreting the literary text;
  • theories of authenticity and authorship;
  • ecocriticism, geocriticism, gender studies, posthumanism;
  • memory studies; postcolonialism; diasporic literature;
  • the theory and practice of translating novels.

The Centre within the Department

The Centre for the Study of the Modern Anglophone Novel is hosted by the Department of English Language of Literature of Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Sharing the Department’s research and teaching objectives, the team is constantly concerned with advancing academic collaboration among members and with transferring knowledge to our graduate and undergraduate students. To this purpose, we organize periodical meetings and workshops attended by the team’s members, our students, and invited speakers. We are particularly interested in involving young scholars in our projects and with making our research available through the classes we teach.