German and General Literary Studies with a focus on forms of knowledge


The Chair of German and General Literary Studies with a focus on forms of knowledge is located in the section of Modern German Literature. Main areas of study are literature, poetics and aesthetics from the 18th to the early 20th century. We understand "General Literary Studies" in the sense of General and Comparative Literature, we deal with German literature in a European context within a theoretical framework and consider literature in interaction with the other arts, especially fine arts and music. One focus is on French literature and theory.


Literature and forms of knowledge

Under the heading of literature and forms of knowledge, literature is examined in relation to the historical constellations, principles of representation and cultural practices in which knowledge is formed. This includes the reflection of literature and sensory perception in poetics and aesthetics, the relationship between literature and scientific knowledge, as well as the interplay of literature with discourses and practices which today cannot claim the status of sciences, for example physiognomy. The chair holder’s research in this field so far has focused on the relationship between aesthetic theory, anthropology and mechanics in the 18th century, concepts of the figure between rhetoric, poetics and geometry, and concepts of abstraction, materiality and tact.
In teaching, the focus on literature and forms of knowledge is anchored in the interdisciplinary perspective „Knowledge" of the Literature and Linguistics program. Courses within this perspective have topics such as "Forms of Knowledge in the 18th-Century European Novel", "The Poet as Engineer: Poiesis and techne from Aristotle to Oulipo", "Sexuality, Literature, Knowledge around 1900", "The Knowledge of Things" or "Knowledge and Vision".



Prof. Dr. Caroline Torra-Mattenklott



Dr. Christiane Frey

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Egyptien

Dr. Yashar Mohagheghi

Dr. Sergej Rickenbacher



Wiltrud Kirfel