We chose 1900 as a deliberately arbitrary date to represent the age of transition comprising the periods that, within literary studies, are generally referred to as fin de siècle and early modernism. The period around 1900 is an era when an increase in cross-national literary traffic coincides with redefinitions of concepts of nationhood and political and economic power, both within Europe and on a global scale. Writing 1900 was set up to investigate the shifting forms of literary culture in this age of transition from a cross-disciplinary and transnational perspective. We are interested in debating what happens to specific authors, works and literary currents when they migrate across national borders. Our working language is English but we work against the idea of a 'national' literature by putting renewed pressure on productive angles for the cross-border study of literature, including internationalism, modernism, exile, pacifism, cosmopolitanism, transatlantic and post-colonial studies. Can literature exist at the cross-roads of different national cultures? How are the meaning and value of literature affected by patterns of cultural migration and exchange? What roles do institutions (universities, museums, academies, publishers, congresses) play in the process of literary cultural exchange? How do we account for the work of figures (critics, translators, travellers) who straddle multiple literatures and languages, and who have often been excluded from nationally-defined histories? These questions are particularly timely in our own age of globalised culture, when traditional models of comparative literary studies no longer offer scholars adequate cognitive and methodological tools and a new wave of critical approaches must be worked out. back