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dr. J.M.L. den Toonder

Senior Lecturer / Director Centre for Canadian Studies
dr. J.M.L. den Toonder

Alfa Meerwaarde Shared Literature

In the project Shared Literature: cultural transfer in reading groups that was rewarded an NWO Added Value Grant (Sept. 2014-Sept. 2015), I have collaborated with Dr. Sandra van Voorst (Contemporary Dutch Literature), Dr. Petra Broomans (Contemporary Swedish Literature) and Drs. Saskia Visser (Science Shop Language, Culture & Communication) in order to focus on the role of the reader in reading groups. In collaboration with three partner organisations, Stichting Senia and the Public Libraries of Groningen and Eemland, we have been able to reach large numbers of readers. Students participating in our Interdisciplinary Master course (2014-2015) have conducted research on a variety of topics, resulting in academic papers published on the website of the Science Shop Language, Culture and Communication. 

Research output:

Huizinga Institute, Research Institute and Graduate School of Cultural History, Research Master Course "Cultures of Reading": "A Case of Valorisation: Cultuuroverdracht door Leesgroepen", University of Amsterdam, June 10, 2016.

Symposium Shared Literature, "Cultuuroverdracht in leesgroepen: hoe werkt dat?", in collaboration with Saskia Visser (Science Shop Language, Culture & Communication) and Dr. S. van Voorst (Contemporary Dutch Literature), Amersfoort, October 9, 2015.

Ravenstein Seminar, "Added Value Grant Shared Literature. Cultural Transfer in Reading Groups", in collaboration with Dr. S. van Voorst (Contemporary Dutch Literature), University of Amsterdam, January 21, 2015.

den Toonder, J., van Voorst S., Visser S. (2017). "Cultural Transfer in Reading Groups. From Theory to Practice and Back. Research for All 1(1). 52-63. DOI: 10.18546/RFA01.1.05

van Voorst, S. (2016). "Gedeelde literatuur. Lezen in leesgroepen anno 2015". Jaarboek voor Nederlandse Boekgeschiedenis 23. 137-156.

van Voorst, S & Visser, S. (ed.) (2015). Gedeelde Literatuur: Cultuuroverdracht in leesgroepen. Groningen: Barkhuis Publishing.

Beyond Horizons in Cultural Transfer Studies (Part of ICOG Research Group Arts in Society)

Europe forms a mosaic of cultures and is a multicultural society. Simultaneously there is a renationalisation of cultures and there are clearly defined majority and minority cultures. Every state in Europe has minority communities within the national borders. This situation repeatedly results in conflict and polarisation. This project examines which cultural, institutional and political instruments enable successful survival strategies and a dynamic and respectful dialogue, while at the same time doing justice to existing differences between the different groups? The aim is to analyse the function and meaning of cultural transfer against the backdrop of recent political and economic changes such as the formation of the European Union and the phenomenon of globalisation. Special attention will be paid to minorities (indigenous, migrants and nations in Diaspora). The main research question is: How do minorities (of various kinds) maintain or develop identity/identities and cultural identification within and across nation state borders? This question will be considered by focusing on processes of cultural transfer within but also across minority groups. The aim is to establish a deeper understanding of the complexity of minority groups, and their transcultural interaction with dominant groups and other minorities.

As a member of this research group, I am currently working on a project concerning Migrant Literature in France / Ecriture Migrante en France, focusing on the trauma of migration, linguistic interference and migratory feminism in contemporary novels published by female authors from Iranian descent: Marjane Satrapi, Chahdortt Djavann, Nahal Tajadod, Négar Djavadi, Abnousse Shalmani, and Maryam Madjidi. 

First Nations literature in Canada

Indigenous Studies have increasingly gained interest in Canadian university programs, and research focusing on First Nations literature has evolved since the early 1990s with seminal studies such as Penny Petrone's Native Literature in Canada. From the Oral Tradition to the Present (1990) and Diane Boudreau's Histoire de la littérature amérindienne au Québec (1993). This emerging literature offers an important ‘counter-voice’ with regard to the traditional dichotomy separating Anglophone and Francophone Canada. Young First Nations authors manifest themselves by publishing in a variety of genres, including the novel, the number one genre read and studied in the literary field. This literature seems therefore to be also responsible for a new dynamics in the Canadian literary field. My current research focuses on the double exiguity of Innu literature, examining in particular Naomi Fontaine's Kuessipan (2011).

Last modified:16 September 2019 8.26 p.m.

Contact information

Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26
9712 EK Groningen
The Netherlands

Department of European Languages and Cultures

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Centre for Canadian Studies

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