Teaching programs and research at the Department of German and General Literary Studies cover German literature from the Middle Ages to the present day. The department consists of three sections:
Older German Literature
The section of Older German Literature focuses on the German literature of the Middle Ages, from 9th to 15th centuries, and the main features of the history of the German language. In the teaching and research area of German Studies/Medieval Studies, represented by Professor Thomas Bein, in addition to traditional literary history, the emphasis is on the editing and indexing of medieval texts as well as the history of media, culture, science and mentality.
Modern German Literature
The section of Modern German Literature is dedicated to German literature from the Baroque period to the present, with particular attention to its European, intermedial and epistemic contexts. The teaching and research field of Modern German Literary History, represented by Professor Monika Fick, examines interrelations between aesthetic forms of expression and the construction of scientific knowledge, for example in connection with neurophysiology and brain research, which have been rapidly expanding since 1900, but also with regard to Lessing's work in the context of the European Enlightenment. The Chair of German and General Literary Studies with a focus on forms of knowledge, represented by Professor Caroline Torra-Mattenklott, focuses on poetics, aesthetics, and literary theory from a European perspective, as well as on relations between literature and the other arts. Under the heading of literature and forms of knowledge, literature is viewed in relation to the historical constellations, principles of representation and cultural practices in which knowledge is formed. The teaching and research field European Jewish Literature and Cultural History, represented by Professor Stephan Braese, is dedicated to the cultural history of German-speaking Jews in Europe from the middle of the 18th century to the present. In addition to literary production, special attention is paid to the work of Jewish scholars whose work has had a major influence on the world we live in today.
The section of Didactics German prepares students for their teaching activities. The Teaching and Research area Didactics German, represented by Professor Hans-Joachim Jürgens, places special emphasis on forms of literary and aesthetic learning, on the didactics of children's and youth literature and on media didactics. In addition, this section supervises Migrant School Students in the filed of German.