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Graduate Classes

All of the doctoral students in the structured doctoral model “Integrated Track” are assigned to one of the a.r.t.e.s. graduate classes. Through this program each individual project is embedded and discussed in a broader thematic and interdisciplinary framework. The themes of each class relate to each other historically, systematically, and methodologically, while connecting more broadly to the research areas and areas of excellence of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The Integrated track provides a productive environment on all levels, within individual disciplines, the graduate class and the graduate school as a whole, in which problems, whether general or specialized, can be discussed and explored.

Each graduate class is headed by two professors of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Together they form the a.r.t.e.s. commission, which supervises the application and selection process for the Integrated Track.

Class 1: “Dynamics of Knowledge and Societies in Pre-Modern Cultures”

Class mentors: Prof. Dr. Anja Bettenworth & Prof. Dr. Silviane Scharl

Research in class 1 focuses on the constitution, reception, and transformation of the cultural and social achievements – in various figurations and manifestations – which structured the cultures of Antiquity and the Middle Ages and its perception in the longue durée of the history of their reception. This research is done using historical, literary, and material sources. The class explores the development and specification of knowledge, concepts, and social relations as manifested in texts and objects, as well as the varying roles different media played in these processes.

Class 2: “Language, Discourse, and Culture”

Class mentors: Prof. Dr. Christiane M. Bongartz & Prof. Dr. Nicolas Pethes

The class focuses on theoretical concepts which are equally import for linguistic and literary studies, but emphasize different methodological perspectives and disciplinary contexts. These perspectives and contexts will serve as a transdisciplinary framework for developing and discussing different empirical, historical, and hermeneutic dimensions. Thus, the class combines structuralist, cognitive, constructivist, pragmatic, intercultural, epistemological, and aesthetic approaches to unfold the interrelation between the concepts “language”, “discourse”, and “culture”. Following the various modes of this interrelation will enable us to analyze the conditions of discourse production and reception as well as to pursue concepts, metaphors, and genres such as “Irony” or “Horror” as discursive phenomena.

Class 3: “Art and Media Cultures: Text – Image – Sound”

Class mentors: Prof. Dr. Gesine Müller & Prof. Dr. Benjamin Beil

Under the umbrella of Media Studies, class 3 combines the areas of medial cultural studies, literary studies, visual studies, and musicology. The objects of these closely related fields are examined with an inter and transdisciplinary approach, with a specific focus on their mediality. The class brings together the interests of many disciplines with a seemingly broad thematic range, yet the focus on each object’s mediality serves as their common denominator. Another systematic and topical interest pursued in this context is the description of digital and analogue media with a focus not merely on the contemporary tendencies of miniaturisation and mobilisation, but also on historical and theoretical questions thereof.

Class 4: “Cultural Histories of the Material World”

Class mentors: Prof. Dr. Gabrielle Cianciolo Cosentino & Prof. Dr. Anke Ortlepp

Research in class 4 is concerned with the historicity of artifacts, substances, and other kinds of matter, as well as with the materiality of history in the early and late modern world. It brings together graduate students interested in cultural histories of the material world – for example, the social construction of objects – but also students interested in debates about the physical, sensory, and functional possibilities and ‘capacities’ of materials and their constitutive power to act upon and define human culture. Students in the class will work on a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from food history to Science and Technology Studies to media history.

Class 5: “Institutions and Practices in Historical Perspective”

Class mentors: Prof. Dr. Ute Planert & Prof. Dr. Christian Spies

Research in class 5 looks at the changes in the relationship between inequality and governance throughout history from Antiquity to the 21st century. Europe’s various regions and the regions of former European colonies are at the forefront of the class's research interest. Although the interrelations between inequality and political rule have always been part of the constitutive and existentially determining characteristics of all historical societies, their institutional structures, practices, and forms of legitimation have been subject to profound changes through time. Of particular interest to the class are processes of transition, erosion, renewed stabilisation, and de and re-legitimation of socio-political orders and structures.

Class 6: “Nature – Culture – Agency: Mediation of different knowledge systems”

Class mentors: Prof. Dr. Sven Bernecker & Prof. Dr. Stephan Packard

From philosophical and interdisciplinary perspectives, the research of Class 6 is devoted to the interfaces of different orders of knowledge: for example, issues that arise between cultural, natural, and life sciences. Explored are questions on the interpretative power of different scientific disciplines, their communication with each other and their participation in public discourses, as well as problems concerning corresponding differences within their respective objects of study, such as the relationship between body and mind in the extended-mind debate. Class 6 also investigates culturally specific and historically changing notions of action, morality, and ethics.

Class 7: “Decentering Europe: Comparative Perspectives from the Global South”

Class mentors: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Lindner & Prof. Dr. Michaela Pelican

Class 7 develops comparative perspectives from the Global South with regard to questions of social relations, cultural exchanges, group identities, and the ecological implications of socio-cultural networks and mobilities. Global issues such as migration, labour relations, the flow of commodities, and changes in the communicative repertoire are central for understanding dynamics of integration and exclusion across all levels. They are also key fields for reconceptualizing social theory and for critically assessing Eurocentric biases in our disciplines. By including all regions of the world and a diversity of disciplines, we seek to foster a methodologically diverse approach towards a better understanding of the global flow of material goods, ideas, and people. Class 7 is associated with the Global South Studies Center and is taught in English.

Class 8: “Prominence in Language”

Class mentors: Prof. Dr. Marco García García & Apl. Prof. Dr. Doris Mücke

Research in class 8 is concerned with linguistic prominence, a central organisational principle in linguistics and cognitive science that guides language production and perception. The notion of prominence is investigated in different areas of linguistics: prosody, the interface of morphosyntax and semantics, and in discourse pragmatics. The class seeks to advance the theoretical characterisation of prominence as well as to assess prominence through empirical investigation. Of further interest is the comparison of prominence with other structural principles in language, cognition, and culture. Class 8 is associated with the Collaborative Research Center 1252 “Prominence in Language”.

Class 9: “Dynamics of Conventionality (400 - 1550)”

Class mentors: Prof. Dr. Monika Schausten & Prof. Dr. Karl Ubl

Class 9 uses the key concept of conventionality to engage in a reorientation of interdisciplinary research regarding the Middle Ages. Conventionality refers to the collective claim to the validity of speech, thought, action, and representation, through which societies, communities, or groups orient themselves in time and space through agreement or habitualization. In all fields of communication, conventionality represents a medium to long-term attitude through which contingency is mastered and relative stability guarunteed. Dynamics of conventionality are set apart from the modern paradigm of progress and the artistic pathos of originality, insofar as preservation and change are understood as closely intertwined. The significance of conventionality is negotiated through numerous fields and through numerous time periods: from Antiquity, through the Middle Ages, and into the Modern period. The class thus assumes a discursive character which functions on several different levels. Class 9 is associated with the Research Training Group 2212 “Dynamics of Conventionality” at the Zentrum für Mittelalterstudien.

Class 10: “Didactics of the Humanities”

Class mentors: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Roman Bartosch & Jun.-Prof. Dr. Wiebke Dannecker

Class 10 focusses on processes of subject-oriented teaching and learning and their reflexions at the intersection of the humanities and educational sciences, including theoretical, conceptual, and empirical approaches to research. Potential research questions touch upon historical, systematic, and applied perspectives, as well as normative aspects of (extracurricular) learning and address topics such as heterogeneity, digitisation, multilingualism, sustainability, and cultural learning in disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts. The class is a joint endeavour of the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School and the Graduate School of Teacher Education (Graduiertenschule für LehrerInnenbildung) of the UoC and collaborates closely with the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Education in the Humanities (Interdisziplinäres Forschungszentrum für Didaktiken der Geisteswissenschaften, IFDG).

Class 11: “Anschließen – Ausschließen”

Class Mentors: Prof. Dr. Sandra Kurfürst and Prof. Dr. Stefan Kramer

Class 11 focuses on practices of inclusion and exclusion. It is interested in the 'other side' of connection operations in the networks of media, society, economy, politics, law, science, art, and culture. It addresses the exclusions that accompany the established practices of connection in globalized networks. The focus of the research is on practices of local particularization that can be traced beyond the ideal of global standardization and interconnectedness and thus emerge beyond common national-cultural boundary markers and a priori defined historical periods that inform different concepts of modernity. These are the deviating structures that can be demonstrated with regard to the practices of local particularization beyond the ideal of global standardization and networking, which is decisive for different concepts of modernity. Thus, the references of the research profile stretch beyond national and cultural borders and predefined historical periods. In order to do this, a new transdisciplinary methodology that focuses on processual action and dialogue will be developed to examine the interplay between participation and dissidence. In comparison of historical processes of change and different global, regional and local spaces, this leads to questions of power, participation, self-determination, and heteronomy, as well as the fragmented perception and symbolic narrativization of the world.