This volume defines versions of the transnational in their historical and cultural specificity. By "locating," the contributors contextualize historical and contemporary understandings of the fluid term "transnational," which vary in relation to the disciplines involved. This kind of historical and geographical "locating" implicitly turns against forms of contemporary transnational euphoria which, inspired by poststructural models of all-encompassing semiospheres, on the one hand, and by visions of the utopian communicative potential of new media like the internet, on the other, see national and ethnic paradigms as easily superseded by transnational agendas. By differentiating between various forms of transnational ideals and ideas in historical and geographical perspective since the Renaissance, the contributors aim to rediscover distinctions -- for instance between transnationalisms and cosmopolitanisms -- which neo-liberal transnational euphoria has tended to erase.
Walter Goebel is Professor of Literature at the University of Stuttgart. Saska Schabio is Professor of Literature at the University of Stuttgart.