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University of Kassel
Faculty 02 Humanities and Cultural Studies

Head of Department
Dr. Hans Grote
Kurt-Wolters-Straße 5
34125 Kassel

F. Schleiermacher, Kurze Darstellung des theologischen Studiums, 2nd ed. 1830, § 132.

The perfect understanding of a speech or writing is an artistic achievement, and requires an artistic doctrine or technique, which we designate by the expression hermeneutics.

F. Schleiermacher, Kurze Darstellung des theologischen Studiums, 2nd ed. 1830, § 132.

Research Profile of the Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies

The very differentiated humanities subject culture of the department has led to a diverse research landscape. In this breadth of topics and methods, which is by no means reducible to a few key concepts, we see a profile feature of our research culture.
Agile research design formats are characteristic of this. In contrast to tightly planned and therefore seemingly externally determined large-scale projects or highly complex and thus sluggish collaborative research apparatuses, they are based on individually manageable, almost non-hierarchical and therefore quickly responsive structures. Such contemporary lean architectures for the advanced 21st century ensure that the research capacities of the FB 02 are not blocked by extensive application, coordination or reporting tasks, but benefit scientific and social progress almost undiminished. Modern principles such as careful use of the given research resources, strictly problem-oriented interdisciplinarity or internal structural economy are guiding principles for the targeted and therefore effective research culture of the Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies. 


Nevertheless, the department is also involved in two university-wide research foci in which several of its departments collaborate across departments and disciplines: in Cultural and Gender Studies and in Empirical Educational Research. Further focal points arise under the headings of "Textual Studies and Textual Competence," "Multilingualism Research," as well as in research on the work and impact of the Brothers Grimm.

Research focus at FB 02

Research focus "Environmental Humanities | Sustainability in the Humanities and Cultural Studies".

Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner
Prof. Dr. Liliana Gómez
Prof. Dr. Holden Härtl
Prof. Dr. Philip Hogh
Prof. Dr. Dr. Kristian Köchy
Dr. Francesca Michelini
Prof. Dr. Claudia Schlaak
Prof. Dr. Angela Schrott
Prof. Dr. Jan-Henrik Witthaus

Research focus "Environmental Humanities | Sustainability in the Humanities and Cultural Studies".: Read More

Research focus "System and Text

Prof. Dr. Vilmos Ágel
Prof. Dr. Karin Aguado
Prof. Dr. Olaf Gätje
Prof. Dr. Holden Härtl

Research focus "System and Text: Read More

Research focus "Text - Discourse - Society

Prof. Dr. Holger Ehrhardt
Prof. Dr. Andreas Gardt
Prof. Dr. Liliana Gómez
Prof. Dr. Stefan Greif
Prof. Dr. Michael Mecklenburg
Prof. Dr. David Römer
Prof. Dr. Nikola Roßbach
Prof. Dr. Claudia Schlaak
Prof. Dr. Angela Schrott

Research focus "Text - Discourse - Society: Read More

Research focus "Narrative and Knowledge

Prof. Dr. Susanne Bach
Prof. Dr. Daniel Göske
Prof. Dr. Liliana Gómez
Prof. Dr. Dr. Kristian Köchy
Prof. Dr. Stefanie Kreuzer
Prof. Dr. Mirja Kutzer
Prof. Dr. Ilse Müllner
Prof. Dr. Nikola Roßbach
Prof. Dr. Jan-Henrik Witthaus

Research focus "Narrative and Knowledge: Read More

Research focus "Education - Learning - Media

Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner
Prof. Dr. Olaf Gätje
Prof. Dr. Jennifer Pavlik
Prof. Dr. Annegret Reese-Schnitker
Prof. Dr. Claudia Schlaak
Prof. Dr. Dirk Stederoth

Research focus "Education - Learning - Media: Read More

Research Focus "Interpretation and Unavailability".

Prof. Dr. Petra Freudenberger-Lötz
Prof. Dr. Andreas Gardt
Prof. Dr. Daniel Göske
Prof. Dr. Tom Kleffmann
Prof. Dr. Paul-Gerhard Klumbies

Research Focus "Interpretation and Unavailability".: Read More

Teaching and research focus "Climate Thinking

Tamara Bodden
Dr. Felix Böhm
Dr. Martin Böhnert
Mateo Chacón Pino
Dr. Julia Drube
Nicole Kasper
Silvie Lang
Christina Liemann
Dr. Paul Reszke
Christine Riess
Annika Rink (Speaker)
Valentina Roether
Dr. Murat Sezi
Jan Sinning
Vanessa-Nadine Sternath (Speaker)
Johannes Thüne
Maria Weber

Teaching and research focus "Climate Thinking: Read More

Publications of the department

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 Sam's nearly as much as my (unfortunately not entirely objective) children", writes Paul Maar in 1971, when he sends the manuscript for A weekfull 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 Fünfzig Jahre voller Samstage , Andreas Wicke casts twelve literary-scientific spotlights on Paul Maar's impressive children's literature success project, and excerpts from the Ur-Sams manuscript and the correspondence between the 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:

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 towards 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).

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).

The book is dedicated to a progressive part of the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, the so-called "situated cognition" approach. This volume brings together proponents and critics of situated cognition research to assess the subtleties, presuppositions, possibilities, and scope of a methodology for this branch of research. The contributions are divided into three categories. The first category comprises contributions that deal with a methodology from the perspective of epistemology and philosophy of science. It discusses whether explanatory pluralism or monism is to be supported and discusses possible trade-offs between different positions found within situated cognition research. The second category deals with ontological questions concerning the synchronic and diachronic constitution of cognitive phenomena and the localization of cognitive processes. The third category deals 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 towards a systematic and positive response to methodological concerns in situated cognition research. Without this and further steps, research into the situated mind could falter. With such steps, situated cognition research can method(olog)ically structure and more promisingly realize its ambitions of having a greater impact on the research practice of cognitive science.

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.

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