Lecture Series


Poster of 2019's lecture series
© GSPoL

Winter Term 2019/20

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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Poster of 2018 lecture series
© B. Fritsch

Winter Term 2018/19

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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Poster of lecture series "literary concepts post 2000"
© Fritsch

Winter Term 2017/18

Literary Concepts Post 2000

This year's lecture series aims to shed light on new concepts and methods of contemporary literature as well as to compare and systematize them with regard to past influential literary positions and how they fit in contemporary popular culture. In addition, current popular theories and perspectives will be critically assessed and examined for their analytical potential.

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Links and programmes (pdf documents) to past lecture series

Europe. Literary Figurations. (Lecture series of Europa-Kolleg, Summer term 2014)

LiteraturMachtGesellschaft (in cooperation with the Promotionskolleg "Literaturtheorie als Theorie der Gesellschaft" of Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Winter term 2013/14)

The following programmes are available in German only:

Praktiken der Literaturwissenschaft. Kompetenzen - Institutionen - Anwendungsfelder
(Winter term 2010/11)

Begründungen der Literaturwissenschaft. Positionen - Geschichte - Theorie (Summer term 2010)

In(ter)ventionen. Literatur - Gesellschaft - Politik
(Winter term 2009/10)

Praktiken der Literatur/Wissenschaft. Kompetenzen - Institutionen - Anwendungsfelder (Summer term 2009)

Begründungen der Literaturwissenschaft. Positionen - Geschichte - Theorie (Winter term 2008/09)

In(ter)ventionen. Literatur - Gesellschaft - Politik (Summer term 2008)