Crisis, Otherness and Representation



ALTER is a research group hosted at the Department of Arts and Humanities in Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Barcelona.

Since 2009, the group has kept growing to include junior and senior researchers working at the intersections of comparative literature, philosophy, art history, history, and political science. The group began working primarily with a regional focus on East Asia and now includes projects related to Latin America and Africa.

Our projects explore issues of otherness and representation in a comparative perspective. We are interested in the strategies of cross-cultural, transnational representation that are produced in different historical contexts. We are currently working on four avenues of research: 

  • Cross-cultural interactions between East Asia and the West
  • Epistemic diversity and remediation policies from art and curating
  • Non-Western theories in International Relations
  • Decolonization of knowledge

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A few words by scholars who have participated in ALTER’s research seminars:


“Scholars at ALTER are such a friendly and welcoming intellectual community. It was a pure pleasure to speak about my research project with them, and their feedback is so helpful. It was a great honor to be here, and I hope that we can continue our conversations in the future!”

Xin Fan, Cambridge University

“Thanks to ALTER’s kind invitation, I enjoyed our scholarly exchanges and resources sharing during and after my presentation. I am particularly interested to know their current project about Sino-Spanish relations. The hosts are great and I would highly recommend scholars to pay a visit.”

Yan He, Cambridge University Library

“It was an honor that I was invited to exchange ideas with a community of vibrant and engaging scholars at ALTER. All of us should be so lucky to pursue our scholarship in such a truly collaborative and exciting community.”

Qin Shao, The College of New Jersey


Should you ever be fortunate enough to receive an invitation from the research group ALTER, SAY YES. A stellar, rigorous, dynamic, and inspiring experience. Thank you.
Tom Mullaney, Stanford University


It was very inspiring to learn about the research that ALTER is doing, and to see what a fantastic collaborative dynamic you have developed in the group. It’s really unusual to see a research group in the humanities that genuinely works together like this.”
Margaret Hillenbrand, University of Oxford 


I found much that was inspiring in ALTER’s work. It was a most enjoyable seminar.” 
Robert Bickers, University of Bristol

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