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prof. dr. O.M. (Odile) Heynders

Full Professor Comparative Literature

Tilburg School of Humanities
Department of Culture Studies


Description of the project EUROPEAN VOICES

The project addresses the hybridity of literature, the blurring of text genres (autobiography, essay, novel) and discourses (literature, history, journalism, politics) in current globalised EU societies. The assumption is that imagination is a tool in getting grip on the social and political circumstances in a globlised reality (Appadurai 1996). Both writers and politicians make use of imagination, however, they do this in different ways: the politician by myth making (making reality more attractive) and the author by the explicit feigning of truth (the resistance of reality). In this project the various strategies of everyday storytelling, the creation of myths and the resistant writing of literary narratives are examined in order to get a comprehension of Europe as an idea (G. Delanty 1995), a historical construction and an experience.


Main focus is on questions such as:

- What role do European writers take as public intellectuals in political debates?

- What is the power of fiction/imagination in relation to political discussion?

- What is the position of the self-reflecting narrator as authentic voice on historical events?

- How do politicians write/mystify their autobiographies?



Most recent publications

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Last amended: 22 August 2014