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FEATHER - The Feather and the literary work: French-speaking female authors of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as literary precursors (1900-2020)

  • Research team: Associate Professor Hélène Barthelmebs-Raguin, postdoctoral researcher (tba), doctoral researcher (tba)
  • Duration: 1.9.2021-31.8.2024
  • Funding : Fonds National de la Recherche
  • External partners: Bibliothèque Nationale du Luxembourg (BNL), Centre National de Littérature (CNL), Institut français du Luxembourg (IFL)


FEATHER deals with Luxembourg's specific social questions and research issues. This project poses concretely the question of the country's literary identity, from a Francophone and a gendered perspective. This aspect is little studied by critics today and FEATHER proposes to analyze how and in what way women authors come to integrate (and thus build) the Luxembourg literary scene. Thus, the project helps to think of the literary field as a factor of sustainable social cohesion and generator of a multilingual and diverse national identity.

In fact, this project is part of a desire to participate in developing national history, in particular by enhancing and digitally disseminating its literary heritage.


  • Starting points

Literature has always played a major role in the construction of national identity. As such, literary production in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg reflects a rich, multilingual and complex reality. Often little studied outside its borders, Luxembourgish French-language literature is nevertheless part of the “Francophonies du Nord” and places itself at the heart of literary Europe. Luxembourgish female authors have their works quantitatively hailed more often by critics than their male counterparts, even if they sometimes remain less known on the literary scene.

  • Objectives

The aim of the FEATHER research project is to establish an inventory of the presence of authors on the Luxembourgish French-language literary scene. It will be a research on the historical and literary awareness of the canonical feminine works of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. FEATHER will make it possible to account for an important heritage of literature and thus to participate in the development and enhancement of the writings of female authors from 1900 to the present day.

  • Impacts of the project

Based on Dictionnaire des auteurs luxembourgeois and work on the archival holdings of the Bibliothèque Nationale du Luxembourg and the Centre National de la Littérature, the project will identify and examine with precision the corpus of women’s works since the dawn of the 20th century. Today this corpus is made up of 180 authors, and many of whose works remain to be discovered. Based on the analysis of the literary journeys and works of the award-winning authors, the project aims to shed light on the processes of canonization and entry into the literary scene. These results will be put into perspective in a critical approach to the Luxembourg literary scene. This will lead to reconsider the dynamism and importance of the literary production of French-speaking authors of the 20th and 21st centuries in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

At the end of the project, an online platform will disseminate the results and outcomes of FEATHER: a real tool for promoting Luxembourg's literary female heritage, which will allow the general public and specialists to (re)discover the works of female writers, but also a research and analysis tool for academics, teachers and students, who will therefore be able to use these corpora as research and / or teaching objects.