Relationel komparatisme

Komparatismens udfordringer og agens i en globaliseret verden


  • Anne Ring Petersen Københavns Universitet
  • Karen-Margrethe Simonsen Aarhus Universitet



komparatisme; kolonialisme; globalisering; transkulturel; cirkulation; slaveristudier; postkolonial kritik; relationalitet; litteratur; billedkunst;


This article addresses a question crucial to contemporary cultural analysis: the question of how to compare and what to compare in a globalized world. Modern comparativism has effectively undermined the very foundation of historical comparativism, i.e. the idea of confined and segregated (national) cultures and Eurocentric perspectives and perceptions of what is historically significant, and what is not. The article opens with a discussion of some important critical revisions of comparative methodologies in the fields of comparative literature and art history, and then moves on to call for a relational comparativism that is attentive to three aspects: context, dynamics/agency and circulation. To indicate what the implications of a relational comparativism might be, we conclude with two case studies of the autobiography The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789) and the commemorative sculpture I Am Queen Mary (2018) by artists Jeannette Ehlers and La Vaughn Belle. Both works are related to the history of slavery; a history that in significant ways points to the need for rethinking comparativism.


Anne Ring Petersen, Københavns Universitet

Anne Ring Petersen, dr.phil., professor ved Institut for Kunst- og Kulturvidenskab, Københavns Universitet. Har senest udgivet bl.a. Migration into art: Transcultural identities and art-making in a globalised world (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017) og “Tværkulturel analyse og den globaliserede kunsts metodiske udfordringer”, i Terræn – Veje ind i samtidskunsten, red. R. Kjærboe, C. Juel Jepsen, S. Krogh og M. Søberg (Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2019).

Karen-Margrethe Simonsen, Aarhus Universitet

Karen-Margrethe Simonsen, dr. phil., lektor ved Litteraturhistorie, Aarhus Universitet. Har senest udgivet bl.a. “Heterogeneic Time: An Anachronistic and Transcultural Rethinking of Europchronology” Arcadia, 53, 2 (2018): 258-277. DOI:, (Co-ed.): Discursive Framings of Human Rights. Victimhood and Agency (Birkbeck Law Press, 2016), (co-ed.): Sugar and Modernity in Latin America. Interdisciplinary Perspectives, (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2014).


Antoinette, Michelle. Reworlding Art History: Contemporary Southeast Asian Art after 1990. Amsterdam: Brill, 2015.
Apter, Emily. The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.
Arnold, James A., Julio Rodríguez Luis, og J. Michael Dash. A History of Literature in the Caribbean. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1994.
Balibar, Étienne. We, The People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship. Princeton og Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2004.
Beck, Ulrich. The Cosmopolitan Vision. Oversat af Ciaran Cronin. Oxford: Polity Press, 2006.
Brown, Matthew D. ”Olaudah Equiano and the Sailor’s Telegraph: The Interesting Narrative and the Source of Black Abolitionism.” Callaloo 36 1 (Winter 2013): 191-201.
Bugg, John. ”Equiano’s Trifles” ELH 80 (Winter 2013): 1045-1066. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/elh.2013.0042
Bystrom, Kerry og Joseph R. Slaughter. The Global South Atlantic. New York: Fordham University Press, 2018.
Chiu, Melissa og Benjamin Genocchio, red. Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader. Cambridge, Mass. og London: The MIT Press, 2011.
Chow, Rey. Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture. Durham: Duke UP, 2012.
Danbolt, Mathias og Michael K. Wilson. ”A Monumental Challenge to Danish History”. Kunstkritikk 26. April 2018. Besøgt 2. juli 2018,
Davidson, Cathy N. ”Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself”. NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 40 1/2 (Fall 2006/Spring 2007): 18-51.
Detienne, Marcel. Comparing the Incomparable. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.
Drachmann, Emil Paaske. ”Toldbodens nye dronning – den danske kolonialismes im/materielle aftryk”. Slagmark. Tidsskrift for idéhistorie 75 (2017): 45-58.
Equiano, Olaudah. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. London: Penguin, 1995.
Felski, Rita og Susan Stanford Friedman. ”Introduction”. Comparison. Theories, Approaches, Uses. Red. Rita Felski og Susan Stanford Friedman. Baltimore: John Hopkins University, 2013. 1-12.
Field, Emily Donaldson. ”’Excepting Himself’: Olaudah Equiano, Native Americans and the Civilizing Mission.” MELUS 34 4 (Winter 2009): 15-38.
Friedman, Susan Stanford. “Why Not Compare?”. Comparison. Theories, Approaches, Uses. Red. Rita Felski og Susan Stanford Friedman. Baltimore: John Hopkins University, 2013. 34-45.
Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. London: Verso, 1993.
Godzich, Wlad. The Culture of Literacy. Cambridge, Mass. og London: Harvard University Press, 1994.
Gruzinski, Serge. ”Art History and Iberian Worldwide Diffusion: Westernization/Globalization/Americanization”. Circulation in the Global History of Art. Red. Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta, Catherine Dossin og Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015. 47-58.
Hoyos, Héctor. Beyond Bolaño: the Global Latin American Novel. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.
Huyssen, Andreas. Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003.
Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta, Catherine Dossin og Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, red. Circulation in the Global History of Art. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015.
Kelleter, Frank. ”Ethnic Self-Dramatization and Technologies of Travel in ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written by Himself’ 1789”. Early American Literature 39 1 (2004): 67-84.
Lovejoy, Paul. ”Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa – What’s in a Name?” Atlantic Studies 9 2 (June 2012): 165-184.
Mercer, Kobena, red. Cosmopolitan Modernisms. Cambridge, Mass. og London: inIVA og The MIT Press, 2005.
Mercer, Kobena, red. Discrepant Abstraction. Cambridge, Mass. og London: inIVA og The MIT Press, 2006.

Mercer, Kobena, red. Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures. Cambridge, Mass. og London: inIVA og The MIT Press, 2007.
Mercer, Kobena, red. Exiles, Diasporas & Strangers. Cambridge, Mass. og London: inIVA og The MIT Press, 2008.
Mercer, Kobena. ”Art History and the Dialogics of Diaspora”. Small Axe 16 2 (2012): 213-27.
Mitchell, W. J. T. Seeing through Race. Boston, Mass.: Harward University Press, 2012.
Nelson, Charmaine A. Slavery, Geography and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Marine Landscapes of Montreal and Jamaica. London og New York: Routledge, 2016.
Olney, James. ”’I was Born’: Slave Narratives, Their Status as Autobiography and as Literature”. Callaloo 20 (Winter 1984): 46-73.
Papastergiadis, Nikos. Cosmopolitanism and Culture. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012.
Petersen, Anne Ring. Migration into Art: Transcultural Identities and Art-Making in a Globalised World. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017.
Petersen, Anne Ring. ”The Place of the Black Body in White History: Jeannette Ehlers’s Decolonial Interrogation of ’the Darker Side of Western Modernity’”. Perspective december (2018): upagineret.
Petersen, Anne Ring. ”Tværkulturel analyse og den globaliserede kunsts metodiske udfordringer”. Terræn – Veje ind i samtidskunsten. Red. Kjærboe, Rasmus, et al. Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2019. 246-259 + 284-286 (noter).
Potkay, Adam. ”Olaudah Equiano and the Art of the Spiritual Autobiography.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 27 4 (Summer 1994): 677-692.
Quayson, Ato. ”Postcolonialism and the Diasporic Imaginary”. A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism. Red. Quayson, Ato og Girish Daswani. Chichester: Blackwell, 2013. 139-59.
Samson, Philip. ”Fireburn-dronningerne – Danmarks glemte dronninger”., 8. marts 2017. Besøgt 15. November 2018,
Shin, Shu-mei. ”Comparison as Relation”. Comparison. Theories, Approaches, Uses. Red. Rita Felski og Susan Stanford Friedman. Baltimore: John Hopkins University, 2013. 79-98.
Siskind, Mariano. Cosmopolitan Desires: Global Modernity and World Literature in Latin America. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2014.
Wamberg, Jacob. ”Dronning af koloniale sår”. Weekendavisen, Kultur, 13. April 2018: 23.





Petersen, A. R., & Simonsen, K.-M. (2019). Relationel komparatisme: Komparatismens udfordringer og agens i en globaliseret verden. K&K - Kultur Og Klasse, 47(127), 29–50.