Current and future research of the Institute of Comparative Literature at Ilia State University is directed towards meeting existing needs in Georgian literary criticism. Research projects cover fields which were impossible to develop during the period of soviet ideology and subsequent post soviet era of social and economic crisis. The projects pursue the goal of filling gaps in the realm of cultural and reflective processes and seeks to create production corresponding to modern scientific standards. Analytical study of theories of literary criticism and their adaptation in the Georgian research environment along with the study of literary and cultural processes from the times of modernism to postmodernism will make it possible to include in the research reflective and creative cultures which were less than supported during the past decades. This will make it possible to get integrated in the cultural and intellectual processes taking place in the modern world. Application of postcolonial theoretical approach during rethinking of cultural and civil processes and literary production of Georgia during the two past centuries will ensure meeting of objectives of deideologization and support understanding of new Georgian state, cultural reality and growing importance of creative and reflective processes.
The Institute of Comparative Literature carries out several long-term projects. Each project is united around one group of scientific goals: vision, approach and methodology, and foresees individual as well as team-work, individual and team publications (monographs, articles, PhD and MA works), organization of thematic conferences and workshops.
Current projects of the Institute are:
1. Colonial and postcolonial Georgian Literature (cultural paradigms, artistic models, text implementations): through postcolonial theory and the theory of national identity scholars will study and rethink Georgian literary and cultural reality and changes of cultural paradigms in colonial and postcolonial periods (from the beginning of the 19th century and until now);
2. Modern Literary Criticism - Theories and Methodologies: in the frames of the project researchers will conduct a critical study of the most important and widely spread popular Western theories of literary criticism, areas of their influence and research practice of study of literary production;
3. From Modernism to Postmodernism – From Europe to Georgia: scholars intend to study cultural processes of the 20th century, literary directions and major tendencies along with the ways of their development, creative production, world perception and aesthetic principles starting from the period of modernism. At the same time research will investigate the influence of Western cultural processes on Georgian literature and relation of Georgian culture to euro-Atlantic cultural space;
4. Image of a Stranger in the Modern Western Literature: research will concentrate on the development of a concept of a stranger in the modern Western literature.