The primary aim of Professor Cave’s project is to explore the value of Literature as an object of knowledge. The project will encourage specialized individual research programmes that illuminate the place of literary study in the interdisciplinary spectrum. It will also organise workshop and discussion groups.
The Balzan Interdisciplinary Seminar: Literature as an Object of Knowledge
Terence Cave will use the second half of his Balzan Prize to explore the value of literature as an object of knowledge, and more specifically, the cognitive value of literature in relation to other kinds of discourse. The word "seminar" is used in the title to indicate the heuristic nature of the project: the core of the work will lie in discussions designed to foster a sharper awareness of the issues that are at stake and to explore new directions in the understanding of literature.
The research project will be run at the Research Centre of St John’s College, Oxford. The programme will establish a core team of individuals who are committed to the long term. These will in turn seek to involve others working in relevant interdisciplinary fields in attending workshops, discussion groups and a major methodological colloquium, under the general guidance of Terence Cave, who will act as Director. The project will comprise a Senior Advisory Panel, two post-doctoral Balzan Research Fellowships, four short-term Balzan Research Lectureships, and a number of discussion groups. There will also be a programme of individual visits and exchanges of researchers.
There will be two principal sub-themes: (i) Historical Approaches to Literature as an Object, Vehicle and Instrument of Knowledge (with particular reference to the early modern period); (ii) Cognitive Approaches to Literature.
Individual research programmes will be respected, but will also be used as test-cases or illustrations of the broader interdisciplinary issues raised by the project.