Project directors:
Mateusz Chmurski, Sorbonne Université (
Clément Dessy, Université libre de Bruxelles (

From the emergence of Gay and Lesbian studies to the impetus brought by the queer studies – both deeply rooted in U.S. departments of English literature – attitudes towards the study of LGBTQ+ literatures vary considerably from a country to another according to political, ideological, and cultural contexts; France or Italy have been long more reluctant to these approaches than Germany, Spain, or Scandinavia. Central Europe developed relatively fast Western-modeled interpretations of the LGBTQ+ corpuses, yet progressive questioning of local literary and critical traditions in the field also emerged. Eastern Europe remains still, and to a big extent, subject to violent state homophobia. Since the 19th century literary works have nevertheless contributed to give legitimacy to LGBTQ+ issues and put the focus on them across all European countries and languages.

The aim of the volume is to embrace the complexity of these realities from a transnational perspective: it will explain how LGBTQ+ works have emerged and been studied across literatures in European languages. Considering the variety and the specific context of each country and/or linguistic area, it will examine how LGBTQ+ identities interact with literature at three levels: (1) the role played by LGBTQ+ authors in the emergence of the field, (2) the reception and the interpretation of literary works from a LGBTQ+ point of view, and (3) the question of LGBTQ+ cultural transfers at a global scale.