Relationel komparatisme

Komparatismens udfordringer og agens i en globaliseret verden

  • Anne Ring Petersen Københavns Universitet
  • Karen-Margrethe Simonsen Aarhus Universitet
Nøgleord: 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).


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