Introduction

The term ‘interference’ indicates the encounter of phenomena that interact in order to modify, fortify or contradict themselves. In this modus of interference the discourses and practices of a society interact to form what we call 'culture'. Indeed, if cultural productions are defined by themselves and determine their own laws, they are also the product of representations coming from other domains of social life. In this sense, if literature has become independent as an institution by the recognition of the status and specific functions of its productions, its autonomy is necessarily relative.

Interférences littéraires - literaire interferenties (Literary Interferences) aims to take into account the interferences through which, in the course of its history, literature has constituted itself in the interaction with other discourses, cultural forms and social practices. More specifically, it intends to study, on the one hand, the models that literary texts have borrowed from other discursive, pragmatic and imaginary domains and, on the other hand, the representations and usages of literature as they appear in other forms of discourse and sectors of socio-cultural activity.

Interférences littéraires - literaire interferenties  publishes two issues per year, in six different languages (German, English, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish). It comprises thematic issues as well as single articles, all dealing with the multiple 'interferences' which have shaped and transformed literary discourse . The historical era covered by the journal is modernity in the broad sense of  the term, from the 16th century to the present. The 18th century saw the emergence of the concept of literature as we know it today, yet a full understanding of this development requires a broader historical framework, which will of course be further specified or limited according to the topics addressed.

In this perspective, the study of literature requires necessarily decentered approaches that can reflect the complexity of its modus vivendi. The transdisciplinary make-up of the journal springs in fact from the way in which literature itself constitutes, proves and transforms itself. Such an approach presupposes that no a priori privilege will be bestowed on any method, but that the topics themselves determine what tools are most suited to account for them.

Since the fifth issue (November 2010), each issue contains a section of ‘Varia’. Some of its  articles aim at further developing aspects that were introduced in preceding thematic issues, others constitute the basis of future special issues. Since the sixth issue (May 2011), the journal also presents an interview with one or more researchers on a concept or problem that is topical in contemporary literary research.