The Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis (CTCA) is an interdisciplinary research centre formed in 2005 in the spirit of collaboration, collegiality, and friendship to bring together scholars and students working with transnational, transcultural, and global approaches to the humanities.

After arriving at Carleton in 2003, the three founding directors, Sarah Casteel (Department of English), Ming Tiampo (Department of Art History), and Catherine Khordoc (Department of French), shared both important overlaps in their research interests, and held similar concerns about their own disciplines. From these early conversations and friendship, Casteel, Tiampo, and Khordoc founded CTCA.

Since 2005, CTCA has flourished, organizing numerous conferences, workshops, keynote talks, and other collaborative events with research centres and academic departments both at Carleton and abroad. It has also sought to develop far-reaching research networks that enable communication and collaboration across disciplinary and regional zones. Notable past collaborations include

Over the years, the Centre evolved from a small “organized research unit” housed within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to an official Carleton University Research Centre. Its network of research associates has grown as well, as has its national and international exposure. In 2017, Birgit Hopfener (Department of Art History) joined CTCA as a co-director when arriving at Carleton. Prior to her arrival at Carleton, Hopfener co-founded the Research Network for Transcultural Practices in the Arts and Humanities (RNTP).

In 2018, CTCA co-founded an international and intergenerational network of researchers working in transnational and transcultural studies named TrACE (Transnational and Transcultural Arts and Culture Exchange) with colleagues at Concordia University, Heidelberg University, and University of the Arts London. In 2019, TrACE launched Worlding Public Cultures, a series of symposia and gatherings across Canada, UK, and Europe, alongside a chapbook series in partnership with ICI Berlin Press, funded through a T-AP social innovation grant.

In 2020, CTCA slowed down alongside much of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the years that followed in 2020-2023, the main priority of the CTCA was to focus on Worlding Public Cultures. The Centre’s activities shifted online and in collaboration with our partners in the TrACE network, including four hybrid and in-person gatherings in Amsterdam, London, Dresden, and Montreal, online talks, and an extensive chapbook series published in partnership with ici Berlin Press.

CTCA continues to focus attention on the ways in which transnationalism and globalization are not just economic or political phenomena or related to questions of policy, but also involve culture in very fundamental ways. The Centre highlights how in a globalized, transnational context, people construct their identities through a variety of forms of cultural expression, including literature, music, art, and religion.