The Project


Our project studies a small constellation of important literary and cultural magazines from three countries (Britain, France, Germany) in order to consider how they explore and construct notions of European identity in the period following from the end of the Second World War to the mid-1960s. Drawing on diverse theorisations of Europe and European public space, we ask: how does periodical culture in Britain, France, and Germany attempt to articulate a reconfigured notion of European identity after the catastrophe of World War Two?


At the heart of the project will be a focus upon the practice of translation: what is the significance of the translation of works of poetry, fiction, criticism, and non-fiction in our corpus of periodicals in this period? How do translated texts operate as vehicles for the forging of new European identities? Does the crossing of linguistic boundaries produce alliances across national borders? Conversely, in the practice of non-translation do we see a new assertion of national languages and identities? Do bilingual magazines in this period work to bring diverse national literatures together, or mark their continued divergence?


In the aftermath of the Second World War, rapid shifts towards decolonisation, the Americanisation of European culture, the rise of anti-militarism and the strategic and ideological conflicts
instigated by the Cold War all stimulated an ongoing reassessment of what the European idea stood for and how it might be achieved. How did these journals provide a platform for intellectuals to promote their visions of Europe, forging transnational networks and being actively internationalist in their cultural commitments?

Our project focuses upon eight major journals in each language area:

Der Monat EncounterLes Temps Modernes
Neue Auslese The Gate/Das Tor Présence Africaine
Welt und WortAdam International
MerkurThe London MagazineLa Table Ronde
Das Goldene TorNineCritique
Karussell Arena Two Cities
Die Umschau Mandrake La NEF
Die Wandlung Nimbus Lettres Nouvelles


As part of this project, we will be hosting a series of major events:

Workshop: Materiality in European Journals, hosted at Nottingham Trent University, 2021.

Exhibition: Europa in Kulturzeitschriften der Nachkriegszeit/Europe in Post-War Cultural Journals, hosted at Weißenburger Tor in Germersheim

Conference: Spaces of Translation, three-day international conference, hosted at Johannes Gutenberg-
Universität Mainz