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Andreas Wicke: Fifty years of Saturdays - Paul Maar's "Sams" novels. Academic internet portal for children's media and youth media. 2023.

"Now I can only hope that you enjoy the story of Sams nearly as much as my (unfortunately not entirely objective) children", writes Paul Maar in 1971, when he sends the manuscript for A Week Full of Saturdays to the publisher Friedrich Oetinger. Since then, eleven novels have been published, selling over six million copies. The stories about Mr. Taschenbier and Sams have also been adapted as audio books and radio plays, films and plays, musicals and computer games. The first volume was published in 1973, so Sams will be celebrating its 50th birthday in 2023 - and in that time it has become one of the best-known German-language children's book characters. However, the novels are not only popular with children; there are now also many different approaches to analyzing and interpreting them in German studies. In Fifty Years of Saturdays, Andreas Wicke casts twelve literary-scientific spotlights on Paul Maar's impressive children's literary success project, and excerpts from the original Sams manuscript and the correspondence between author and publisher are also published here, some for the first time.

To the individual chapters:

  1. Origin and reception
  2. On the interpretation of the main characters
  3. Dimensions of fantasy theory
  4. Social-historical and political background
  5. Illustrations
  6. Intertextual play
  7. Sams on the stage
  8. The Sams in radio play, audio book and film
  9. Language, comedy and poetry
  10. Translations
  11. Sams at school
  12. Literature and reality

    Click here for the overview page:

Mark-Oliver Casper / Giuseppe Flavio Artese (eds.): Situated Cognition Research. Methodological Foundations. (Series Studies in Brain and Mind). Cham/Switzerland: Springer 2023 (=Studies in Brain and Mind 23).

This book is devoted to a progressive part in philosophy of mind and cognitive science, the approach of so-called "situated cognition". This volume gathers proponents and critics of this situated cognition research to assess the intricacies, presuppositions, possibilities, and scope of a methodology for this branch of research. The contributions are divided into three categories. The first category includes contributions that address a methodology from the perspective of epistemology and philosophy of science. It discusses whether explanatory pluralism or monism should be supported, and discusses possible trade-offs between different positions found within situated cognition research. The second category addresses ontological issues concerning the synchronic and diachronic constitution of cognitive phenomena and the localization of cognitive processes. The third category is concerned with how the theoretical and practical commitments of situated cognition research lead to empirically supported investigations of various phenomena, such as the study of affordances or (chronic) pain. The book represents an overdue first step toward a systematic and positive response to methodological concerns in situated cognition research. Without this and further steps, the study of the situated mind may stall. With such steps, situated cognition research can method(olog)ically structure and more promisingly realize its ambitions of exerting greater influence on the research practice of cognitive science.

Andra Ioana Horcea-Milcu / Ann-Kathrin Koessler / Adrian Martin / Julian Rode / Thais Moreno Soares: Modes of mobilizing values for sustainability transformation. In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (64).

There is broad agreement on the potential role of values to incite intentional transformative change toward sustainability. However, there is no proposed heuristic on how to mobilize values for sustainability transformation, especially in the context of multilevel decision-making. We aim to fill this gap based on a literature analysis conducted as part of Chapter 5 of the IPBES Values Assessment. We outline four modes of mobilizing values for sustainability transformation: enabling, including, shifting, and reflecting. They differ in terms of the mix of agency and conversely of outside steering needed for each value mobilization mode. We then explore key tensions and insights that emerge through this classification: interdependencies between the modes of mobilizing values, tensions between shifting versus enabling and including values, tensions between which values to shift and which values to enable, and tensions between levels of values intervention (individuals, community, and society).

Nikola Roßbach / Angela Schrott (eds.): Wiederholung und Variation im Gespräch des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit (Reihe Historische Dialogforschung). Berlin: de Gruyter 2023 (=Historische Dialogforschung 6).

Repetition is a basal cultural activity that occurs in all areas of human life and action, including communication. This interdisciplinary anthology inquires into the creativity of repetitive patterns of conversation in pre-modern times. The contributions from history, linguistics, and literature analyze German, Spanish, French, and English textual evidence from the Middle Ages and early modern period and examine the tension between the apparent identity of repetition and its potential to creatively generate difference. The fundamental linguistic and cultural functional contexts of this interrelationship of repetition and variation are explored: do repetitive conversational patterns create community or do they sharpen opposites? Is repetition an orienting principle of composition or does it have a destabilizing effect on speech constellations qua variation? Does it stand for continuity and consolidation of linguistic forms of expression or for the possibility of creative renewal?
This volume explores repetition and variation under the aspects of structure and function, of transformation and subversion, of rhetoric and aesthetics, and deals with instructional dialogues, legal texts, narrative literature, and theater.

Angela Schrott / Johanna Wolf / Christine Pflüger (eds.): Textkomplexität und Textverstehen. Studies on the comprehensibility of texts. Berlin, De Gruyter 2023 (=Linguistics - Impulses - Tendencies 106).

Text comprehension is a dynamic process in which readers enter into a dialogue with the text. For disciplines concerned with text comprehension, it has proved exceedingly fruitful to define text complexity as the set of dynamic interactions that occur when the linguistic and cultural levels of a text are activated in the comprehension process. These activations contextualize the text in its linguistic, cultural, and epistemic environments and generate a mental model of the text through semantic constructions in the process of reception. If texts are available in multimodal and multicodal formats, then the demands on cognitive processing are additionally increased. This multidimensionality of text comprehension requires interdisciplinary research on text complexity and text comprehension. This volume therefore outlines a research design that combines text linguistics and text-based didactics across disciplines. The contributions propose theoretical modeling for interdisciplinary research on text complexity and text comprehension, provide text type-specific models of analysis, and offer suggestions from the practice of language and culture education.

Nikola Roßbach (ed.): Gotthelf Wilhelm Christoph Starke: Gemälde und andere Texte. Hanover: Wehrhahn 2023.

Gotthelf Wilhelm Christoph Starke (1762-1830), an Anhalt-Bernburg poet and theologian, was considered a classic in his time, but is virtually unknown today. It is worth rediscovering his Gemählde aus dem häuslichen Leben and Erzählungen (1793-1804), with which he became known far beyond the borders of the small central German principality of Anhalt-Bernburg, and was even translated into French, English, Dutch, Swedish and Russian. Working first as a teacher, then as a preacher, he was a versatile writer. In addition to stories, he wrote poems and songs, school writings and treatises, sermons, speeches, and dramatic scenes.
This volume brings together 45 very different texts by Starke from the years 1785 to 1830: cheerfully humorous and psychologically profound stories, comic verse narratives and church hymns, sensitive poems in folk-song tone and antic meters, poetic and programmatic sermons, prayers, sayings, and scenes. They provide a glimpse of the diversity of his work and invite rediscovery.

Stefanie Kreuzer (ed.): Doris Dörrie. Kasseler Grimm-Poetikprofessur 2022. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2023.

Doris Dörrie, Grimm Poetics Professor 2022, is one of the best-known and internationally most successful German filmmakers:in. She also writes screenplays, fictional (narrative) texts, children's books and non-fiction. Many of her films are relationship comedies, often focusing on eccentric (single) characters and social stereotypes as well as role clichés, man-woman relationships and gender issues humorously to bitingly - including Männer (D 1985), Erleuchtung garantiert (D 1999),  Nackt (D 2002), Kirschblüten - Hanami (D 2008), Die Friseuse (D 2010) and Grüsse aus Fukushima (D 2016). The first part of the volume documents the GPP events with film samples, audience discussions as well as texts from "Die Heldin reist" (2022). An experience report on the poetics seminar is by Constanze Engelhardt and Lea Vemino. In the second part, film contributions follow - one by Stefanie Kreuzer on Frau Dörrie und die Gespenster (D 2022; director: Thomas Henke) and one by Jasmin Weber on Freibad (D 2022).

Nikola Roßbach: Gotthelf Wilhelm Christoph Starke (1762-1830). Discovery of a great unknown. Hannover: Wehrhahn 2023.

Gotthelf Wilhelm Christoph Starke (1762-1830), poet and theologian from Anhalt-Bernburg, was considered a classic in his time. His paintings from domestic life and stories made him famous far beyond the borders of his homeland. Nevertheless, as a late Enlightenment philosopher and moralist, he soon fell into the shadow of literary history - in whose cone of light other, select few stood and still stand. As a contemporary of Goethe, Schiller and Kant, Starke represents a remarkable phenomenon of forgotten greatness. It is worthwhile to rediscover him.
The Bernburg scholar, who experienced the French Revolution from afar and the Napoleonic foreign rule from close up, was a passionate classical philologist and translator, an ambitious and courageous teacher. As an Enlightenment theologian, he preached tolerance and advocated Protestant union of Lutherans and Reformed. With his paintings, he created a body of narrative work translated into French, English, Dutch, Swedish, and Russian that is unmistakable: as a configuration of concise characters and vivid narrative spaces, of fixed values and subtle yearnings, of superficial morality and enigmatic humor. He wrote not only stories, however, but also poems and songs, sermons and speeches, school pamphlets and treatises, and dramatic scenes.
This book makes an attempt to wrest Starke's life and work from canon-fixated oblivion and restore him to his place in literary history.

Jörg Requate: Europe on the Threshold of High Modernity (1870-1890).Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter Oldenbourg 2023 (=Grundriss der Geschichte 52).

Between 1870 and 1890, Europe changed significantly: nation-states consolidated in parallel with growing global interdependencies. Scientific innovations fascinated and frightened at the same time. Economic dynamism led to new forms of social inequality. The political mass market brought participation, but also exclusion and oppression. The ambivalences of high modernity took on unmistakable contours. The volume introduces the research debates and includes an extensive bibliography.

Patrick Eser / Jan-Henrik Witthaus (eds.): Renaissances of Realism? Romance Studies Contributions to the Representation of Social Inequality in Literature and Film. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter 2023 (=Mimesis 105).

Representations of social inequalities in literature and film raise the question of who represents what andhow-a problematic that arises for narratives, fictions, and figurations as well as for the analytical consideration of media representations and public discourses. Even traditional literature, which can always be understood as an archive of social experience, is subject to stylistic, thematic, and genre-typical ties that have been subverted or counteracted in epochs. However, the conditions of access to education as well as to canonical literary production and reception reveal social inequalities even in modernity as well as in the recent present.

In this context, relevant examples of recent literary and film production prove to be highly reflective. Not only are questions of canonization or popular culture addressed, but new modes of expression are tried out and genre boundaries tested. Moreover, such examples go beyond the mere portrayal or denunciation of poverty; they address the perception and awareness of inequalities on a higher level or reconstruct, even stage, worlds of affect that are linked to social experiences.

Sarah Glim, Anita Körner, Holden Härtl, Ralf Rummer (2023): Early ERP Indices of Gender-Biased Processing Elicited by Generic Masculine Role Nouns and the Feminine-Masculine Pair Form. Brain and Language 242.

In most gender-marked languages, the masculine form is used to refer to male people specifically as well as to people of any gender generically. This dual functionality was shown in behavioral studies to lead to male-biased mental representations. Here, using EEG, we targeted the neurophysiological basis of this bias by investigating whether and how the generic masculine influences the early perceptual and cognitive processing of anaphoric references to men and women. We found that ERP amplitudes in the P200 range were larger for references to women than to men after generic masculine role nouns, while amplitudes in the P300 range were larger for references to men than to women after the feminine-masculine pair form. These findings suggest that the generic masculine primes the perceptual system toward processing men and that neither this form nor the feminine-masculine pair form elicits gender-balanced computations during early processing in the human brain.

Christine Pflüger / Angela Schrott / Johanna Wolf (eds.): Textkomplexität und Textverstehen. Studies on the comprehensibility of texts. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter 2023 (= Linguistics - Impulses & Tendencies 106).

Text comprehension is a dynamic process in which readers enter into a dialogue with the text. For disciplines concerned with text comprehension, it has proved exceedingly fruitful to define text complexity as the set of dynamic interactions that occur when the linguistic and cultural levels of a text are activated in the comprehension process. These activations contextualize the text in its linguistic, cultural, and epistemic environments and generate a mental model of the text through semantic constructions in the process of reception. If texts are available in multimodal and multicodal formats, then the demands on cognitive processing are additionally increased. This multidimensionality of text comprehension requires interdisciplinary research on text complexity and text comprehension. This volume therefore outlines a research design that combines text linguistics and text-based didactics across disciplines. The contributions propose theoretical modeling for interdisciplinary research on text complexity and text comprehension, provide text type-specific models of analysis, and offer suggestions from the practice of language and culture education.

Anna-Carina Meywirth: Anarchitext. Andreas Neumeister's Poetics and His Narrative Construction in Könnte Köln sein. Berlin: Neofelis 2023.

Creating space without building it

Although author and artist Andreas Neumeister (*1959) is one of Germany's best-known pop literati*, this volume is the first comprehensive scholarly examination of his collage-like texts. Under the 'guise' of the novel, Neumeister's publications fuse numerous media set pieces into a dense image of the social present and expose the political dimension of everyday and/or urban settings.

His texts work with pop-aesthetic methods such as montage, repetition, or lists, which Anna-Carina Meywirth first classifies and then makes fruitful as a scheme of analysis for Neumeister's textual products. She also takes into account the overtaxing of the reader by Neumeister's dense, 'anarchic' novel form and develops a concept of reception that counters the unconventional text form.

Using Neumeister's last text Könnte Köln sein (2008) as an example, the author examines how he uses his pop-aesthetic poetics to represent cities and architectures. The narrator's profound but fragmentarily staged engagement with the buildings he visits during his travels in cities such as Munich, Berlin, Moscow, New York, and Los Angeles closely intertwines literary and architectural expertise. Anarchitext shows how Neumeister creates space on a literary level without building it-following Gordon Matta-Clark's notion of "anarchitecture," which denotes a connection between anarchy and architecture.

Individual analyses of the metropolises vividly show how each city acquires its own face through the lens of the traveling narrator and through his view behind the facades of contemporary architectures, which differs from a tourist perception. In the foreground of the city perception narrated in this way, (past) power structures come to the fore that remain all too invisible in everyday (tourist) urban life.

Liliana Gómez: Archive Matter. A Camera in the Laboratory of the Modern. Zurich: diaphanes/Think Art 2023.

Questioning the United Fruit Company archive

The establishment of the United Fruit Company as a global political agent with its banana plantations met with considerable resistance. The Company's resurgent photographic archive is at the center of this book's considerations on the historical and political agency of photography as a field. By exploring a set of practices, institutions, and relationships, as well as the aesthetic and epistemic contexts of the images in botany, archaeology and tropical medicine, this book argues that the overlooked but important photographic archive made the expansion of corporate capitalism into the Caribbean possible. "Since photographic archives tend to suspend meaning and use; within the archive meaning exists in a state that is both residual and potential,"Allan Sekula maintains.

Reading the photographic archive against the grain, this book examines the images from within their "optical unconscious" and via the archive's silences and omissions; as residues they attest to the (in)visibility and cultural implications of the violence of the radical man-made environmental alterations. The archive's powerful imaginaries, envisaged as a chronotope of the eternal transition towards modernity, a promise of modernization itself, have effectively brought the Caribbean into modernity. Yet, the aftermath of the photographs helps scrutinize this modernity and recognize the violence embodied as the foundational act of the archive.

Philip Hogh / Maxi Berger (eds.): Der Vorrang des Objekts. Negative Dialectics Today. Berlin: J.B. Metzler 2023.

The primacy of the object is a philosophical leitmotif in Theodor W. Adorno's work, which he varies from the beginning and throughout all fields. Adorno thus indicates a changed attitude of the subject to the objects of his reflection compared to traditional metaphysics, which wants to be nothing less than a reflection on the state of philosophy of his time. The contributions in this volume are devoted not only to epistemological considerations, but also to the aesthetic, sociological, or anthropological aspects of the primacy of the object and undertake the attempt to think this figure further in and for the post-metaphysical age. The authors share the view that it is a genuinely critical figure of thought whose power lies in precisely developing the aporias of human world relations without giving in to the temptation of disposing of them by false caesurae or simplifications of their points.

Kleffmann, Tom: Paul's Letter to the Romans. An interpretation with systematic-theological intent. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2022.

This work differs from the plethora of exegetical commentaries in that it attempts a systematically oriented interpretation. That is, it focuses on discussing the fundamental problems of understanding the Christian faith that the Letter to the Romans unfolds. These include the questions: what is sin and to what extent is it general? What do law, judgment and justice of God mean? What does the justification of the sinner by grace
and in faith in Christ mean? How does the new life of the justified in the community of Christ look like and what does it mean for the community's life together? A continuous theme is also the understanding of the history of salvation and the significance of Israel in it.

Mirja Kutzer / Peter Walter (2022): Mary in History and the Present. Liberating Perspectives on the Mother of Jesus. Freiburg i.Br.: Herder 2022.

A liberated view of Mary 

Faithful conceptions of Mary are often burdened with legends and ideals, with expectations of miracles and practices of piety. The ambivalences of her stylization as a virginal and humble role model have long been evident, especially for women. Peter Walter and Mirja Kutzer present a critical, contemporary Mariology. They subject the manifold ideas attached to the figure of the mother of Jesus to a fundamental revision and thus open up a liberated and liberating view of Mary. Inspiring impulses for a contemporary Mariology and an important contribution to the discussion about the role of women in the Church.

Nils Lehnert / Ina Schenker / Andreas Wicke (eds.): Gehörte Geschichten. Phenomena of the Auditory. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter 2022.

Also contributing to the volume from Kassel are Stefan Greif, Jan Sinning, and Martin Maurach, as well as a former Kassel resident, Florian Rietz.


"Auditory texts are booming: radio plays, readings, podcasts, audio guides, and electroacoustic experiments demonstrate the diversity of heard stories. The contributions systematize the different objects with regard to the question of genre or model theoretical-methodical approaches, which are exemplified in concrete analyses specific to the media. Semiotic approaches stand alongside cultural studies and didactic perspectives."

Christine Ansari / Caroline Frank (eds.): Narratives of Flight. Media Studies and Didactic Perspectives. Berlin: Peter Lang 2022.

"The volume is organized under the headings of escape and theater, escape and novels/narratives, escape and feature films/documentaries, and escape and comics/graphic novels. It brings together research contributions that can be located at the interface between literature/media studies and literature/media didactics. The focus of the contributions is on the scholarly examination of current narratives on the topic of flight and displacement, which have appeared in the last 20 years or so and deal in particular with flight movements to European countries. However, diachronic perspectives are also provided in order to situate contemporary refugee movements within a broader historical framework. While some contributions make explicit suggestions for application in the (school) classroom, others provide implicit suggestions for didacticization through their scientific approaches."

Unai Pascual/ Patricia Balvanera/ Christian B. Anderson et al: Diverse values of nature for sustainability. In: Nature (620), 813-823.

Twenty-five years since foundational publications on valuing ecosystem services for humanwell-being1,2, addressing the global biodiversity crisis3 still implies confronting barriers to incorporating nature's diverse values into decision-making. These barriers include powerful interests supported by current norms and legal rules such as property rights, which determine whose values and which values of nature are acted on. A better understanding of how and why nature is (under)valued is more urgent than ever.4. Notwithstanding agreements to incorporate nature's values into actions, including the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)5 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals6, predominant environmental and development policies still prioritize a subset of values, particularly those linked to markets, and ignore other ways people relate to and benefit from nature.7. Arguably, a 'values crisis' underpins the intertwined crises of biodiversity loss and climate change8, pandemic emergence9 and socio-environmental injustices10. On the basis of more than 50,000 scientific publications, policy documents and indigenous and local knowledge sources, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) assessed knowledge on nature's diverse values and valuation methods to gain insights into their role in policymaking and fuller integration intodecisions7,11. Applying this evidence, combinations of values-centred approaches are proposed to improve valuation and address barriers to uptake, ultimately leveraging transformative changes towards more just (that is, fair treatment of people and nature, including inter- and intragenerational equity) and sustainable futures.

Briefwechsel der Brüder Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm mit Johann Martin Lappenberg, Friedrich Lisch und Georg Waitz. Edited by Berthold Friemel, Vinzenz Hoppe, Philip Kraut, Holger Ehrhardt, and Roman A. Barton. Stuttgart: Hirzel 2022.

"This volume documents Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's cooperation with three of the most important historians of their time: Johann Martin Lappenberg, Friedrich Lisch, and Georg Waitz. Lappenberg, Hamburg city archivist, was considered one of the best specialists on the history of the Hanseatic League and the early history of England. Like Waitz, he made great and significant contributions to the collection and publication of medieval European historical sources. Lisch, an archivist in Schwerin and a Mecklenburg antiquarian, corresponded with the Grimm brothers primarily on prehistory, archaeology, and medieval manuscripts. Later disciplinary differentiation has caused us to forget the extent to which the Brothers Grimm were also recognized by the historians of the time and integrated into their circle, which also applies in political terms. Jacob Grimm's correspondence with Waitz documents a significant change in his political views after the experiences of 1848 (both were members of the National Assembly). The previously virtually unpublished correspondence is made accessible through detailed factual commentary."

Klumbies, Paul-Gerhard: Neutestamentliche Debatten von 1900 bis zur Gegenwart. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2022.

"The New Testament debates of the past 125 years cover three main topics: They discuss the relation between the ancient worldview and the enlightened worldview of the present; they deal with the relation between Jesus as a historical personality and the Christology related to him; and they wrestle with the relation between Judaism and Christianity.

In view of the diversity of detailed exegetical research, Paul-Gerhard Klumbies traces the overarching threads of conversation in New Testament scholarship since 1900. His retrospective shows how movements of thought have been further developed under changed circumstances of contemporary history and how old themes have been continued in new formulations. The selection of voices is based on the extent to which the contributions have significance for New Testament scholarship from a theological point of view."

Hendrick Heimböckel / Jennifer Pavlik (eds.): Ästhetisches Verstehen und Nichtverstehen. Current approaches in literature and media didactics. Bielefeld: transcript 2022 (=Didactics of Literature and Literary Education 2).

"Understanding and non-understanding are guiding concepts in cultural studies and the history of ideas. Depending on theoretical orientation and epistemological interest, they are mutually exclusive, complementary, or build on each other. While approaches to understanding are part of the tools of literary didactics, and research on nonunderstanding is more situated in literary and cultural studies, the many-voiced perspectives in this volume explore whether and to what extent the mediation of understanding and nonunderstanding is possible in literary and media didactic issues."

Köchy, Kristian: Beseelte Tiere. Environments and networks in animal psychology (=Cultural Animal Studies 13). Berlin: J.B. Metzler 2022.

At the beginning of the 20th century, animal psychology is a prominent research direction between biology, psychology, and philosophy. It inquires into psychic capacities of animals. In essay-like studies of notable protagonists, the book presents research contexts of animal psychology. The selected positions understand human perception as gestalt as the research subjects, the animals in their environments. The book explores relationships of philosophy and science, but also outlines a philosophy of animal research that recognizes the interaction of human and animal subjects.

Kreuzer, Stefanie (ed.): Terézia Mora. Grimm Poetics Professorship 2021. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2022.


This is the third volume in the Grimm-Poetikprofessur publication seriesat Königshausen & Neumann, edited by Stefanie Kreuzer.

In addition to her, Caroline Frank and Karin Terborg contributed essays to the volume from Kassel. In addition, students from Kassel have contributed short literary texts in the form of so-called "minute novellas": Christoph Diehl, Sarah Engelhard, Nelli Fust, Vanessa Möller, Flora Saß, Svenja Schmidt, Antonin Steinke, Lea Vemino and Julia Wienczkewicz.


"Terézia Mora, Grimm Poetics Professor 2021, is a contemporary author, translator and Büchner Prize winner who is highly honored not only in the German-speaking world. Experimenting linguistically with a variety of voices, narrative and perceptual perspectives, she breaks with established narrative traditions. To date, she has two collections of stories Strange Matter (1999) and Love Among Aliens (2016), as well as the novel All Days (2004) and the trilogy of novels about IT specialist Darius Kopp - The Only Man on the Continent (2009), The Monster (2013) and On the Rope (2019). The documentation of the GPP digital events also includes film script and making-of for the accompanying film SIE SAGEN IMMER TERÉZIA MORA (D 2021; dir.: Thomas Henke). In addition to research contributions by Caroline Frank and Karin Terborg, an exchange of letters between Terézia Mora and the writer Andreas Jungwirth at the time of the Corona pandemic, edited as a radio play, is also integrated."

Stederoth, Dirk: Real Avatars. Zur Versponnenheit des Menschen in der Netzkultur. Berlin: J.B. Metzler 2022.


"The rapid technological developments of recent decades give the impression that humanity is about to enter a radically new, a digital age. This book shows that much of this is not as new as it first appears. Rather, digitization is the realization of a dream of universal quantification and metrization that was already germinating in the early modern era - and this in all areas of society: in the economy, administration, the public sphere, education, and even politics.

The book poses the question of the extent to which these universal quantifications and metrizations inscribe themselves in people's self-understanding, thereby progressively turning them into images of digital structures (real avatars), just as it presents factors that resist such digital incorporation of the human being."

Sezi, Murat: China Miéville, Terry Pratchett, Kazuo Ishiguro and the Ambivalence of Knowing: An Analytical Model for the Representation of Knowledge in Fantasy Literature. Trier: WVT 2022.


The guiding question of this study is how the theme of knowledge is realized in the genre of fantasy. Drawing from the research fields of literature and knowledge, theory of fantasy, narratology, and memory/orality studies, China Miéville, Terry Pratchett, Kazuo Ishiguro and the Ambivalence of Knowing: An Analytical Model for the Representation of Knowledge in Fantasy Literature furthermore investigates how societal struggles over knowledge are negotiated in contemporary fantasy literature, with specific foci on the depiction of technology and risk in China Miéville's The Scar, culture and identity in Terry Pratchett's Nation, and memory and repression in Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant.

The study finds that while the worldviews the novels espouse with regard to their attitude to knowledge differ considerably, they all contain the general notion that knowledge can be dangerous, in that the discovery or revelation of hitherto secret knowledge threatens the stability of the society itself or the personhood of individuals. Knowledge conflicts are staged by means of contrasting worldviews, which are realized through the novels' character systems. This particularly pertains to the questions of whether it is better to remember or to forget, and whether the old or the new society is to be preferred.

Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim.  Ed. Daniel Göske, transl. Michael Walter. Munich: Hanser, 2022.


Joseph Conrad's most famous novel, Lord Jim: a rousing adventure tale, a classic. Prepared in 640 pages, 100 of them apparatus.

Raoul Schrott discussed the book in the SRF Literature Club:

Stefanie Jakobi/JulianOsthues/JenniferPavlik (eds.): Adolescence and Alterity. Current perspectives in intercultural literary studies and didactics of literature. Bielefeld: transcript 2022.

The examination of literarily staged adolescence has developed into a productive field of work in literary studies, especially since the turn of the millennium. Especially research on children's and young adult literature as well as didactics of literature have profited from this. But how are adolescence and alterity connected? The contributors use exemplary literary and media studies analyses to develop links between adolescence and intercultural and postcolonial issues and address current topics such as flight, migration, racism, and (post-)colonial experiences. In the process, didactic considerations in the sense of racism-sensitive, intercultural teaching are also brought into focus.

Platini, Vincent: Démons du crime. Les pouvoirs du truand dans l'entre-deux-guerres. Paris: Classiques Garnier 2022.

Durant l'entre-deux-guerres apparaissent dans la littérature des figures de truands ambiguës. Cet ouvrage examine les discours à l'œuvre dans la construction de personnages qui transgressent une norme de vie. Le public se réapproprie ces figures et en fait les vecteurs de nouvelles pratiques culturelles.

Holden Härtl, "Syntax of English." In: Linguistics in Language Comparison. German Studies - Romance Studies - English Studies. Edited by Ralf Klabunde, Wiltrud Mihatsch & Stefanie Dipper. Berlin: Springer 2022, pp. 155-187.

"This textbook introduces linguistic description and analysis of German, English, French, Italian, and Spanish from a comparative perspective. The characteristic sound features, inflectional features, and word formation processes, as well as the sentence structure peculiar to these languages, are presented. Separate chapters are devoted to the historical developments of these languages as well as the socially and geographically determined varieties, resulting in a comprehensive account of these five languages, their structures, usage, and historical development. Two chapters on semantics and pragmatics, explaining universal aspects of meaning analysis and principles of language use, respectively, complete the picture. - In a two-color layout with definitions, consolidation, and practice exercises."

Annegret Reese-Schnitker/Daniel Bertram/Dominic Fröhle (eds.): Gespräche im Religionsunterricht. Insight - Insights - Potentials. Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer 2022.

"Conversations are trusted with a lot in religious education. In order to use their potential, they must be evoked; further, it is necessary to respond to student questions, to bring students into exchange with each other, and to go through a learning process that is enriching for all. First, conceptual questions about conversations are addressed: Their importance for classroom dramaturgy and for religious language education, communicative methods, etc. Then, results of an in-depth video study will be presented: What types of conversations are found in the classroom? What contribution to (religious) learning do they actually make? What conclusions can be drawn for better practice?"

Tobias Jammerthal, David Burkhart Janssen, Jonathan Reinert, Susanne Schuster: Methodik der Kirchengeschichte. A textbook. Tübingen 2022.

"Historical work is an essential part of the study of theology. This field-tested textbook introduces the methodology of church historical work at the latest scientific level. It offers a basic orientation and, in conjunction with an associated website, accompanies study and teaching from proseminar to exam."

Finkbeiner, Claudia (ed.) in collaboration with Hesse, Yvonne: Erzählen und Zuhören: Generation Tandems (A Documentation). Berlin: Edition 7 2021.

"Biographical events and life stories are the focus of this volume, which are recalled, told from a new perspective, and reconstructed through conversations between students at the University of Kassel and senior citizens in generational tandems. With their accounts from a wide variety of geographical, socio-cultural and contemporary historical perspectives, contemporary witnesses give weight to their voices and contribute to the collective memory. In the process, a multi-perspective picture of a wartime and post-war generation emerges, which stimulates reflection on one's own identity and touches the soul.

This university project finds its structural framework in the internationally tested and researched approach of the ABCs of Cultural Understanding and Communication. This approach has been implemented in various adaptations in university research and teaching as well as in civil society for several years and enables the unfolding of learning potentials for the stimulation and further development of cultural understanding processes."


The project was funded within the framework of PRONET (Professionalization through Networking) of the University of Kassel from 2015 to 2018 with the project P 5 "Interlocking of Study Workshops" and the project P 9 "Multilingualism Potentials in Bilingual Subject Teaching" and within the framework of PRONET2 from 2019 to 2023 with the project P9 "Multilingualism-Related Teacher Action in Bilingual Subject Teaching: Professionalization of prospective and active teachers", which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the funding code 01JA1805 as part of the joint "Quality Offensive Teacher Education" by the federal and state governments( Some students conducted their interviews with seniors abroad and were supported with travel grants within the framework of Shosta. In addition, there is a direct link to project P 5, which will be continued from  2019 to 2023 in PRONET2 with the topic "Interlocking and further development of the study workshops into teaching-learning laboratories".

Susanne Bach/Klaus Isele (eds.): Im ewigen Eis der Arktis. Old expedition reports and photos. Eggingen 2021.

From the preface:
The intention of this illustrated anthology is to show the bizarre beauty, but also the dangers of the Arctic in old expedition reports of polar explorers. The historically most significant reports were written in a period of almost 150 years, from about 1830-1970; before that, the sources are meager, after that, the reports get out of hand without offering any significant gain in knowledge. In the aforementioned century and a half, discoveries were made in the Arctic and historical achievements were achieved for which mankind had long been waiting: After many hundreds of years of futile search, the Northwest and Northeast Passages were discovered and traversed. And the North Pole, around which many bizarre myths had grown up, was finally reached by man. Who exactly discovered it is the subject of just as many myths: Was it the Inuit who lived there? Was it Robert Edwin Peary or Frederick Cook, as they themselves claimed but could not prove? Was it Frederick Cook or Richard Evelyn Byrd, who claims to have flown over it in his Fokker monoplane?
What is documented, however, are the means with which these bold men approached the northernmost point of the earth. Contrary to expectations, it was first technical aids such as airships, icebreakers or submarines that made the North Pole accessible at all; only then, surprisingly, the dog sled. It was not until 1968 that the American Ralph Plaisted could lay claim to being the first man to reach the North Pole by crossing the ice, an extreme goal in every respect.
The all-dominant element in the Arctic is ice in its many forms. Ships froze in place in adverse conditions, slowly crushed and sank. Quite a few of the accounts gathered here tell of the horrors of ice and darkness. The long, bitterly cold, pitch-black winters, during which the crew had little occupation or exercise, wore immensely on nerves and health. Traditionally, expedition reports from the Arctic have come mainly from Norwegian, English, Swedish and Danish sources. As an editor, one could easily have compiled five or ten times the amount of texts. Perhaps one would even have had to compile them in order to do justice to the complexity of the topic. However, since this was not possible for reasons of space, representative expedition reports were selected - with regard to the German-speaking reading public, mainly descriptions by German, Austrian and Swiss polar explorers.
"Only silence is there, and peace, and freedom."
-Roald Amundsen

Karin Aguado/Kathrin Siebold (eds.): Unterrichtsinteraktion - Begriffe, Kontexte, Entwicklungen. ZIAF vol. 1 no. 1 (2021). Marburg.

The Journal for Interaction Research in DaFZ (ZIAF) is aimed at researchers, teachers, and students in the field of German as a foreign and second language and provides an international platform for scholarly exchange on the topic of interaction in foreign and second language acquisition.

ZIAF is an open access publication, which is operated with the support of the Marburg University Library via the Open Journal System (OJS) program. Publication and retrieval of the articles are free of charge. The editors' aim is to provide all those interested in the topic of "Interaction in the DaFZ Context" with direct and rapid access to the latest developments in DaFZ-related interaction research, thus enabling them to participate directly in international scientific exchange.

In addition to conventional essays, innovative publication formats such as texts with digital footnotes (get to additional text/audio/video data, e.g. include text analyzed videographed teaching sequences) or video contributions are welcome.

Pfannkuche, Walter: The Legitimacy of Coercion. Versuch über den Zusammenhang von Recht und Moral. Paderborn: Brill mentis 2021.

The pronounced moral pluralism in modern societies makes it increasingly difficult to prove the applicable law legitimate vis-à-vis all those subject to it. 
This book examines the forms of argumentation that adherents of different morals can use to convince each other of the acceptability of a particular legal framework. This includes agreement on a constitution that guarantees elementary protection and establishes procedures for resolving normative conflicts. Moreover, it becomes clear that a modern law can only be legitimate if it mitigates the danger of tyranny of the majority by providing opportunities for regionalization of law as well as secession.
With the concluding analysis of tolerance as a virtue adapted to the concept of legitimacy, a central requirement for the citizens of modern states is specified.

Angela Oster/Jan-Henrik Witthaus (eds.): Pandemic and Literature. Vienna: Mandelbaum 2021.

The whole world is talking about Corona. Literature has always written about pandemics. Boccaccio's and Manzoni's descriptions of plague in the Decameron and The Betrothed are part of Europe's collective memory, and so they have been recommended as lockdown reading. In a collection of essays, these and other texts are re-read in light of the current Covid 19 crisis. It turns out that these narrative texts are astonishingly topical, as one currently recognizes, thanks to Manzoni, Heine, and co. a ghostly return of long-familiar patterns of reaction. However, it also becomes apparent that texts such as Camus' The Plague invite a deeper philosophical contemplation that subverts the current European crisis discourse. As an indispensable time-lapse of crises, narrative literature shows us what is truly necessary for survival: creativity. And the current Corona debates in Italy or France - for which further essays - testify to reflections of a social or ideological nature that hint at a horizon beyond mere hypnosis by news and incidences.

Iris Meinen / Nils Lehnert (eds.): Öffnung - Schließung - Übertritte. Body images in German-language contemporary literature. Bielefeld: transcript 2021.

Texts in German-language contemporary literature confront recipients with images of the body that are drawn along diverse forms of exclusion, inclusion, and transgression. In this context, authors such as Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, Sibylle Berg, Clemens J. Setz, Charlotte Roche, Jonas Lüscher, and Daniel Kehlmann should be mentioned. The contributors to the volume show how they design bodies that contrast with the ideal-beautiful body image of the consumer and commodity world of our present and renegotiate the question of body boundaries by means of the operations of 'opening', 'closing', and 'crossing'.

Kreuzer, Stefanie (ed.): FilmZeit - Zeitdimensionen des Films . Marburg: Schüren 2021.

The phenomenon of time is reflected in film as well as in film history in very different and diverse manifestations. Basically, however, a heuristic differentiation can be made between time aspects of the histoire, on the plot level, and time aspects of the discours, on the representation level - or to put it differently: the constellation of film and time refers both to time in the film and to time of the film, i.e. film time. The titular composite of the present volume on FilmZeit is to be understood as a neologism that encompasses both time dimensions of film. In this way, FilmZeit describes on the one hand all temporality phenomena in film, and on the other hand FilmZeit is to be related specifically to cinematographic Eigenzeit(lichkeit)en.

Contributions by Andreas Becker, Matthias Brütsch, Susanne Kaul, Julia Eckel, Henry Keazor, Thomas Köhler, Lucia Krämer, Stefanie Kreuzer, Markus Kuhn, Susanne Marschall, Jörg Schweinitz, Stefan Tetzlaff, Birk Weiberg, Hans Jürgen Wulff and Sabine Zubarik.

Óscar Loureda/Angela Schrott (eds.): Manual de lingüística del hablar [= Manuals of Romance Linguistics 28. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2021.

"The Manual presents the state of the art of the research about discourse and communication within the Romance languages. It offers introductory articles which explain in a simple and clear way the current research topics of a broad variety of disciplines like Linguistics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, Communication Theory, Text Linguistics and Philology.

The authors of the Manual collectively explain complex theoretical problems concerning communication and discourse, and texts as its products. The contrastive descriptions contain examples in different Romance languages which show the outreach of the theoretical approaches and address a public with interests in a variety of disciplines and languages. Furthermore, it shows possibilities of application and transfer of the research about communication in different professional contexts."

Tom Kleffmann: Small Sum of Theology. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2021.

"In this study, Tom Kleffmann unfolds the basic intellectual context of Christian faith as a theology of communication. He justifies the relevance of speaking of God and discusses the question of what a revelation of God can mean. In addition, he determines the meaning of faith, the reason of faith and the task of theology. He begins the material execution with the Christian conception of untrue life and finds the center in the thought of the revelation of God as man, which establishes the community of God. This is followed by the Christian understanding of the world as an expression of God, which must also reflect the relationship between faith in creation and natural science, as well as the idea of true life and its eternity emanating from the spirit of that community. In the final part the author tries to give the answer to the question "who is God" and summarizes it in the thought of the triune life of God."

Fohr, Tanja: "Experiencing Art with the Application Actionbound: Chances and Limits of a Digital Learning Arrangement for DaFZ Learners in the Museum of Art." In: Language, Cultures, Identities: Upheavals through Digitization. [= BFF 16] Edited by Maria Eisenmann and Jeanin Steinbock. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren 2021.

This article is about art and the language-sensitive and digital support of reception processes at the extracurricular learning site "Neue Galerie" in Kassel. In her investigation, the author explores the question of whether and to what extent the smartphone can be used during a museum visit to support the approach to works of art and provide the necessary linguistic means for independent and creative engagement. Based on the presentation and analysis of selected results, the learning possibilities, but also the limits of a digital learning arrangement with the application Actionbound can be shown.

Fohr, Tanja: Integrierte Sprachbildung im Fach Kunst. A study on secondary level I, grade 5 [= DaZ-Forschung 21]. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton 2021.

In this study on "Integrated Language Education in the Subject of Art. A Study on Secondary Level I, Grade 5." the author explores, in relation to the current discussion on language education and language-sensitive subject teaching, the question of what contribution the subject of art can and should make to building students' picture literacy and related language competencies.
It discusses how selected current language education approaches can be reconciled with existing art pedagogical guidelines. The basis for the qualitative classroom research on integrated language education in the arts classroom is a two-school-year pilot and main study focusing on fifth graders ages 10 to 12 with language development needs.

Jan Knobloch/Antonio Lucci (eds.): Against Life, Against the World, Against Myself. Figures of Negativity. Heidelberg: Winter 2021.

The volume, which goes back to a conference at the IFK Vienna, gathers contributions from philosophy, literature, religious studies, and cultural studies in order to pursue the question of negativity systematically as well as in terms of conceptual and factual history. What is new here is the approach of purposefully pluralizing the concept of negativity: on the one hand, by detaching it from its attachment to (post-)Hegelian readings, and on the other hand, by concretizing it. This means placing negativity in its discursive, medial, and cultural contexts, illustrating it with examples, and relating theoretical positions to cultural artifacts. The focus is not only on texts, but also on figures, narratives, images, and practices in which negativity manifests itself.

Stefan Greif/Turgay Kurultay/Nikola Roßbach (eds.): No End to Rumor. Anti-Semitism in 20th and 21st Century Culture and Literature   [= Intervalle 15]. Kassel: university press 2020.

As the recent attacks on Jewish institutions and individuals show, the unspeakable 'rumor about the Jews', who supposedly want to conjure up the downfall of the Occident and usurp world domination, is still rampant and even intensified in Germany. Such hate messages are spread, among other things, by means of right-wing conspiracy theories that fuel a dull rage against supposedly dark machinations of democratic states, but at the same time reactivate a communication of fear that calls for authoritarian leadership. Starting from the thesis that current Jew-hatred not only perpetuates age-old prejudices but aggressively seeks to refute enlightened responses to anti-Semitic stereotypes, the essays assembled here from literary studies, philosophy, and history address the question of how the defamation of the 'Jewish' could develop historically, how anti-Semitic persecution was witnessed literarily, and with what arguments the new debates on sayability are conducted in the context of anti-Semitism. The spectrum of material studied ranges from the infamous Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion to the literary shaping of contemporary testimony in the face of the Shoah to anti-Semitism and criticism of anti-Semitism in contemporary culture, media, and music.

"Literature from Kassel for Kassel" is a home project. We give away reading time - without technical studio conditions. For browsing, we also recommend the Kleine Kasseler Literatur-Lexikon. Authors (Wehrhahn Verlag Hannover, 2018) with its over 450 articles.

The project "Literature from Kassel for Kassel: Online Readings" is a collaboration between the University of Kassel (Prof. Dr. Nikola Roßbach) and Kassel City Library.

Reading for you are: Jessica Bauer, Friedrich Block, Thomas Bündgen, Raphael Döhn, Holger Ehrhardt, Andreas Gebhardt, Stefan Greif, Hans Grote, Matthias Henke, Michael Kelbling, Maria Knissel, Sabine Köttelwesch, Dietfrid Krause-Vilmar, Stefanie Kreuzer, Urania Milevski, Hartmut Müller, Ilse Müllner, Sophia Nordheim, Thorwald Proll, Nikola Roßbach, Eva Schulz-Jander, Andreas Wicke, Marlis Wilde-Stockmeyer and Kerstin Wolff.

We would like to thank all readers for their commitment. Very special thanks go to Andreas Wicke not only for reading but also for technical support. And finally, some things would not have been possible without the help of our colleague and IT expert Oliver Schuster.

For the digital readings of contemporary literature, the authors granted permission and allowed publication on the city of Kassel's website.

For the current texts by Maria Knissel, Thorwald Proll and Friedrich Block, the exact sources are given - with an invitation to read on.

Martin Böhnert: Methodological Signatures. A Philosophical Attempt to Systematize the Empirical Investigation of the Mind of Animals. Paderborn: mentis 2020.

How do we know whether animals can think? Extending the previous debate on human-animal relations, this volume analyzes the conditions and contexts of the scientific acquisition of our knowledge of animals.
Current debates within animal philosophy revolve around the three central questions of whether we can ascribe a mind to animals, what the difference between humans and animals is, and how humans should behave toward animals. Our knowledge of animals is mostly taken from empirical research. The methods, theories, and contexts of empirical research have not yet been made the subject of this volume. This volume aims to fill this gap with the central concept of methodological signatures, which allows for the systematic comparison of research approaches based on their fundamental methodological, ontological, and epistemological presuppositions.

Dagobert Höllein/Nils Lehnert/Felix Woitkowski (eds.): Rap - Text - Analyse. German-language rap since 2000. 20 individual text analyses. Bielefeld: transcript 2020.

Rap has recently been in the headlines, especially negatively. Anti-Semitism, sexism, and homophobia dominate media coverage not without reason, as the present research results show. But this is not the end of the story for German-language rap. The music genre has long since ceased to be a niche phenomenon; instead, the rap scene is characterized by diverse forms, styles and attitudes. This anthology is dedicated to German-language rap since 2000 and for the first time focuses on individual textual analyses that approach this musical genre and its artists from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

The edited anthology by Dagobert Höllein, Nils Lehnert and Felix Woitkowski was presented on Deutschlandfunk Kultur on 27.02.2020.