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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Cartography of the Political Novel in Europe (CAPONEU)

CAPONEU Team, Berlin

We are pleased to share that a research team from the Cambridge MMLL Faculty, together with academic colleagues and NGOs from Zagreb, Nicosia, Brighton, London, Poznan and Berlin, has begun work on the Horizon Europe/UKRI Innovate Horizon Europe Guarantee – funded project Cartography of the Political Novel in Europe (CAPONEU). 

The Cambridge team includes Professor Sarah Colvin and Dr Charlotte Woodford as academic co-leads, Dr Tara Talwar Windsor as Postdoctoral Research Associate, and Chalo’a Waya as doctoral researcher. Dr Melina Mandelbaum (Schröder Research Associate in German) and incoming Schröder PhD student Alrik Daldrup are also participating, as well as Dr Edward Wilson-Lee (Faculty of English).   

Cartography of the Political Novel in Europe aims to assess the political novel as an important element of European political, social and cultural heritage. It sets out to examine how people in different national and cultural contexts engage with contemporary political issues and thereby have their share in shaping European societies and politics.

The researchers seek not only to unpack the rich literary heritage of the 20th century but also to make the political novel relevant to our present. It allows us to understand how perceptions formed by different beliefs, values, traditions, economy, history, culture, age and gender are reflected in the political novel as a specific literary genre, and how and why this genre re-emerges as a social factor today. Thus, not only the representation of beliefs and traditions in the political novel will be analysed, but also the role of the political novel itself in shaping and changing perspectives on the individual, the state, the economy, and especially on Europe’s historical and cultural past. Aware that the European project has been destabilised in recent decades by crises, the question now is how the European heritage of the political novel can become active in strengthening the resilience of European societies to crises.