|General research topic : “Time, Space and Cultural Representations”
Lerma sets out to articulate both literary and civilisational studies (for example in general history, the history of ideas and culture, aesthetics) from and around the notion of cultural space, while, at the same time, transcending any dogmatically ordained frontier between “literature” and “civilisation”.
Literary texts (poetry, theatre, the novel, the short story, the essay, travel writing) are studied with their necessary recontextualisation in mind. In as much as literary texts bear witness to the past of a language and a civilisation, they engage an act of memory. Simultaneously, however, the reception of a literay text introduces temporal, linguisitic, cultural dissonance. This makes it both a sign of identity and an experience of otherness.
Symmetrically, anglophone civilsation is approached via signs that invite analysis in terms of linguistics, rhetorics, esthetics, and idéology, etc.
Spatiality in English-speaking literatures and cultures is looked at variously with reference to
- the relationship between space and imagination in productions such as cartography, imaginary geographies, travel literature and the invention of utopias, or notions such as the “spirit of place”, or spacing in discourse
- the relevance of ethnological and sociological writings, but also of cultural linguistics, stylistics, and aesthethics (ethnic and cultural minorities, post-colonial studies, the discourses of war and conflict, the representation and poetics of the city)
- the relationship between spatiality and temporality seen as diachronic, with attendant theoretical problems such as litterature and historicity, space and memory, language and memory.