No 7 (2018)

Against Homogeneity. Transcultural and Trans-Lingual Strategies in Cultural Production


Cover Page

Conception and academic editing of this issue [Koncepcja i redakcja naukowa tomu]: Maciej Falski, Tomasz Rawski, Jolanta Sujecka, with the collaboration of Ewa Niedziałek

Language and stylistic editor [Redaktor językowa]: Joanna Dutkiewicz

Complete list of reviewers for the issue 7 [Lista recenzentów numeru 7]

Co-publisher of the issue [Współwydawca]: The Slavic Foundation [Fundacja Slawistyczna]

Project (“Colloquia Humanistica – creating English versions of publications”) – financed under contract no. 681/P-DUN/2018 from funds of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland, allocated to science dissemination activities. [Zadanie („Colloquia Humanistica – stworzenie anglojęzycznych wersji wydawanych publikacji”) – finansowane w ramach umowy 681/P-DUN/2018 ze środków Ministra Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego przeznaczonych na działalność upowszechniającą naukę.]
 

 

The key idea of the present volume of Colloquia Humanistica is the struggle against homogeneity. All the papers deal with the problem of homogenous narratives and homogenous practices, which most often falsify the complex reality of the human world. No matter if we look for examples in literature, cinema, or if we take a closer look at cultural institutions; our authors question the apparent uniformity which seems to lie behind the familiar categories we use to describe our everyday experience. The languages we speak, books we read, exhibitions we visit – they are supposed to use clearly defined categories with sharp boundaries and unified content. This unwritten agreement makes our life easier and helps us move through the labyrinth of social relations and cultural patterns. But what if we suddenly find out that one of those well-known categories does not suit the reality? Or, what if we feel uneasy with groups in which we are supposed to participate but our intuition tells us we do not fit in?

We do not enter into a psychological debate on personality as a dimension of the self. The aim is to open a discussion about the ways we participate in social life, forcing us to accept every categorization as it is. Indeed, the authors represented in this volume try to break through the rigidity of homogenic cultural forms. They all exploit possible modes of escaping such cultural constraints. That is why we decided to stress this pursuit of liberation in the volume’s title. The old dream of the avant-garde, to find a completely new language for completely new forms of social life, lost its attractiveness years ago. The intellectual freshness of the poststructuralist negation of any subjectivity has vanished. Our approach is thus not a negation but an investigation into how we can transcend existing limitations. That is why we propose to talk about phenomena which are “beyond” language and culture, which are “trans”, i.e. transcultural or trans-lingual. The present volume offers a few cases chosen within the vast space of cultural production which show us how the notion of strategy may be useful for our purpose. Again, writing about strategies indicates clearly that the issue of that quest for “the beyond” can be found between already worn-out behaviours.