Regional identity is a hot topic. Renewed interest in the region can partly be seen as a response to immigration and globalisation, and is often fanned by populism. Scholarship on regionalism in the nineteenth and early twentieth century has interpreted the popularity of representations of the regions, such as local colour writing, as an expression of emergent nationalisms.
Yet what such interpretations overlook is that regionalism is also fundamentally a transnational phenomenon. Typical local colour themes, imagery, and narratives circulated around and beyond Europe. Moreover, through reprints in periodicals, foreign editions, and translations, local colour writers and their publishers catered to international audiences, while they sometimes also engaged with issues of migration and cosmopolitanism in positive ways.
Redefining the Region examines the transnational dimensions of local colour in the long nineteenth century. Across five subprojects comprising a range of unique case studies, the researchers analyse media representations of regions and local colour fiction in European and transatlantic frameworks. Charting the circulation of texts and images as well as the international proliferation of genre conventions, the project will redefine our understanding of the region and its intersections with multiculturalism and globalisation.
The project shows how local colour influenced identity and community formation on several scales, from the local to the transnational. As such, it will enhance our understanding of cultural transfer and of the role of diasporic communities in cultural production and identity formation. These results will be shared in various forms, including a database of local colour material, educational resources, and a virtual exhibition.
Want to know more?
Want to know more about the theoretical framework we are using in this project? What our objectives are? Or how we make societal impact with our work and the results that flow from it? We'd love to tell you about it! Send an email to marguerite.corporaal [at] ru.nl and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.