Oxford University literary scholar Stefano Evangelista explores the links between English literature and other languages, classical antiquity, visual culture and the history of sexuality with a focus on the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth. He is committed to comparative approaches and particularly interested in cultural and literary exchanges between Britain and Italy, France, Germany and the Scandinavian countries.
In Berlin, he will conduct research on notions of the cosmopolis between 1870 and 1930. With a working group that will be based at Humboldt-Universität's Center for Great Britain, Berlin and London will be studied comparatively for this period. The project will pay particular attention to how the idea of the cosmopolitan city and cosmopolitanism were constructed as geographical and metaphorical spaces in literature, and how these influenced each other in German and English publications. The research will also address the contradictions inherent in these constructs, such as the notion of an open urban society, which, however, was only constituted through the exclusion of marginalized groups. Through the project, Stefano Evangelista and the applicant Gesa Stedman intend to deepen their existing collaboration and jointly host the Harvard Institute for World Literature Summer School in Berlin in 2026.