Lecture Series


© GSPoL

Travelling Concepts - Literary Theory beyond the Scope of Literary Studies


The study of literature as part of the humanities is often considered to be a hardly ‘useful’ area of research. As researchers in literary studies, we tend to be pressured to justify our work, which became clear in last winter semester’s lecture series, “Why Literary Studies Matter Now: Academic Practices in an Anti-Intellectual Climate.” A few years ago, at a conference in Heidelberg that focussed on the supposed end of literary theory, the renowned literary scholar Jochen Hörisch claimed – with a bit of self-mockery – that literary studies was the most important type of research of all. We would like to take his words seriously and scrutinize various ways and methods of incorporating literary studies into other disciplines. In the lecture series “Travelling Concepts,” we will discuss how literary theory may potentially contribute to and essentially influence other fields, such as philosophy and epistomology, political science, sociology, law, and cultural studies.

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© B. Fritsch

Why Literary Studies Matter Now: Academic Practices in an Anti-Intellectual Climate

This year's lecture series, titled Why Literary Studies Matter Now: Academic Practices in an Anti-Intellectual Climate, opens up an interdisciplinary and international dialogue on the cultural and political role of literature in today's world, addressing issues such as "Realitie(s) in Literary Studies," "Factual Fictions," and "Political Correctness in Academic Discourse." 

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© Fritsch