FILLM Studies in Languages and Literatures
During the twentieth century, linguistic and literary studies became steadily more professional and specialized. This significantly raised the standard of research, but also tended to divide scholars into many separate and often smallish groupings, between which communication has been rather sporadic. Over the years this has become a serious handicap, not only in terms of new ideas and findings which never get cross-fertilized, but also in terms of the hard economic facts of disciplinary survival. Scholars who concentrate all their attention on just some single area of expertise are unlikely to convince the holders of purse-strings that education and research in languages and literatures should be a top priority.
In the world’s current phase of hyper-rapid globalization, the lack of contact between scholars in different subject-areas is a more glaring anomaly than ever. By setting up this new series, the FILLM is hoping to foster a world-wide community of scholars within which a rich diversity of interests will be upheld by a common sense of human relevance. Books published in the series will be about languages and literatures anywhere in the world, and will be written in an English that is immediately understandable and attractive to any likely reader. Every book will present original findings – including new theoretical and methodological developments – which will be of prime interest to those who are experts in its particular field of discussion, but will do so in a way that will also engage readers who are not experts.
This dual address will be the series’ chief hallmark. The overall aim is, at one and the same time, to spread detailed insights on particular phenomena from many different countries and regions, and to guard against scholarly provincialism and overspecialization. In the longer term, the FILLM is seeking to foster a universal dialogue about linguistic and literary studies which, by clarifying their human raison d'être, will consolidate their professional legitimation, and therefore improve their claim on available funding.
The Advisory Board will consist of representatives of all of the FILLM’s Member Associations who will be appointed shortly.