Main research areas


The projects of the Faculty of Humanities 02 under the guiding theme of environmental humanities bring together humanities and cultural studies research approaches to sustainability in its ecological, political, historical, linguistic and cultural dimensions. In a transversal and integrating perspective, postcolonial and indigenous approaches are taken up and cultural-analytical, environmental-anthropological and artistic approaches are combined.

From a philosophical perspective, the blind spots of application-oriented sustainability research, which is limited to concrete technical solutions, are made visible through basic theoretical reflections on the relationship between humans and nature. The research and teaching projects draw on the wealth of natural and biophilosophical approaches, take up impulses from critical theory and philosophical anthropology and intervene in current debates on climate, environmental and animal ethics.

In addition, the focus region of Latin America, which is researched in close cooperation with the Centro Maria Sibylla Merian de Estudios Latinoamericanas Avanzados(CALAS) and the Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos(CELA), is central to the Kassel research focus on sustainability. Rhetorics and patterns of crisis (management) are just as much a topic as social inequalities and their manifestations in literature, discourses and education.

Another focus is on education for sustainable development. The didactics of languages research sustainable development in teacher training and open up perspectives for transformations in teaching practice. This is being driven forward under the heading of "Ensuring inclusive and equitable education" on the one hand, and with regard to digital transformation(s) in (foreign) language teaching on the other.


Projects of the focus area

Virtual reality and multilingualism: a didactic arrangement in university teaching for the professionalization of future foreign language teachers

Liquid Ecologies/ecologies of the fluid


Neuropsychological representation of gender

Linguistic coding of beliefs and attitudes

Interdisciplinary materialism

Speculative natures. On the status of natural philosophy in the current environmental discourse

Philosophy of animal research

Enactivism as biophilosophy?

Afrontar las crisis: Perspectivas transdisciplinarias desde América Latina

Confrontando las desigualdades en América Latina: Perspectivas sobre riqueza y poder

Natural History and Extractivism in the Colonial Era: Focus on Latin America



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

The cross-philological linguistic research focus "System and Text" examines the interplay between language system and language use, paying particular attention to the interaction between routine and creativity. Texts - understood as oral or written linguistic acts - are analyzed in their historical and communicative situatedness. The basis for linguistic actions is formed by individual language, variety-related knowledge, which is modeled as a complex system of interacting subsystems. The combinatorial potentials of these subsystems are analyzed in order to explain the structural features of semantic-syntactic basic structures and their interpretation from both a monolingual and a comparative perspective. Corresponding interface topics are researched in their implications for the systemic understanding of language as well as for issues of multilingualism, foreign language acquisition and language learning at school.

Projects in the focus area
- Syntactic basic structures of Modern High German. On the grammatical foundation of a reference corpus of Modern High German (GiesKaNe)
- The representation of motion events: An empirical investigation of grammatical and cognitive factors determining the conceptualization of motion components
- Reference to names: Quotation and the lexicon-pragmatics interface
- Lernersprachliche Konstruktionen in kooperativen Unterrichtssettings: Status, Merkmale, Funktionen

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

This research focus stands for interdisciplinary, culturally oriented text studies. Texts are understood as oral or written linguistic formations that constitute discourses which help to shape a medially diverse society. The triad of text - discourse - society is researched from the perspective of linguistics and literary studies.

From a linguistic perspective, linguistic phenomena are researched against the background of social, political, economic, philosophical, religious, academic, artistic and everyday contexts. Language is examined as a medium with which people shape the 'world'. Taking multimodal factors into account, patterns and traditions can be recognized in texts and discourses. A particular focus is placed on the relationship between language and cognition and the linguistic generation of knowledge and opinions in the public sphere.

From a literary studies perspective, texts are examined at the micro level (structures, style, narratives) as well as at the macro level (in their relation to socio-cultural contexts). Both fictional and factual sign complexes are taken into account. These are formed into (critical, affirmative, theoretical, practical) discourses in which a society reflects on itself. Particular attention is paid to configurations of order and disorder, norm and subversion, tradition and rupture.

Projects of the focus
- The Stasi and the GDR subculture: operational attempts at decomposition
- Digital lexicography/word history(Wortgeschichte digital - WGd)
-Art communication (Center for Exhibition Studies/Documenta Institute)
- Aesthetic Dimensions of the Normative in Literature and Art
- Pop as Discursivization of Knowledge Culture
- Animal-Human Narratives (sub-project in the LOEWE focus "Animal - Human - Society")
- medieval gender discourses
- social norming discourses/censorship (Kassel List)
- Text competence and text complexity(sub-project in PRONET and PRONET2, quality offensive teacher training)
- Discourses on crises and crisis management in Latin America (focus: social inequality, ecological transformation, regional identities, CALAS)
- Language in conspiracy theories (DFG project)

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

This interdisciplinary research focus is dedicated to various constellations of narrative and knowledge from a linguistic, literary, philosophical and theological perspective. Against the background of a complex research tradition (knowledge poetology, discourse analysis, epistemology, literature-and-science-studies etc.), the aim is to explore the interweaving and negotiation of epistemic and narrative textual phenomena as well as transmedial narratives in more detail.

The textual encounters of narrative as a cultural activity and textual coherence-generating mode of representation on the one hand and knowledge as a historically dynamic and power-structured formation of analytically describable knowledge on the other take place in various ways, e.g. as correlation, reception, production, interdiscourse, medial passage, transformation or subversion. Research into the encounter between narrative and knowledge is concerned with the question of what happens when epistemically founded fields of statements are formed as sequences of events against the background of culturally available patterns of action or, conversely, when narrative models structure scientific discourses or narratives generate world knowledge. Common dichotomies (factual/fictional; historical/literary; conceptual/narrative etc.) must be questioned.

Central to the research focus are epistemic-narrative interface phenomena at the level of text content (e.g. dream knowledge, travel descriptions of foreign countries, scientific narration, religious experience), text structure (perspective as a mediating function of narratively conveyed knowledge; use of tense), but also at the level of text production and reception (historiography, prophecy, canon).

A common research objective is authentication strategies: patterns with which narrative texts of different genres, historical locations and thematic orientations claim to represent "reality" and with which concepts such as truth (claims), authenticity and testimony are associated.

Projects in the focus area
- Books and libraries as repositories of knowledge
- Travel narratives
- Contested Amnesia and Dissonant Narratives in the Global South: Post-conflict in Art, Literature, and Emergent Archives
- Poetizing Knowledge in Life Science and Philosophy
- Dream-Knowledge in Literature and Film
- Time, Film, and Narrative
- Mystical Experience and the Theological-Poetological Place of Narrative
-political narratology of biblical historical works
- narration/knowledge/gender in the early modern period
- tense, aspect, narration in the Romance languages
- personal representation in the Latin American dictator novel

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


Education, learning and media are epistemic, categorical and methodological guidelines of the teaching and research practice of the participating disciplines of philosophy, German didactics, English/American studies of foreign language teaching and learning and religious didactics.

Under the guiding principle of education in the sense of practices for the personal acquisition of rational self-determination, linguistic, discursive and textual appropriation processes in formal and informal institutions are focused on. A particular interest is directed towards the standardization and economization of education forced by digitalization and its social consequences.

Under the guideline of learning as a central moment of life practice, the focus is on digital literacy in schools and on theoretically conceptualizing the tension between the inertia of institution-bound school-literary learning conditions and the extracurricular digital-technical multimediaization of everyday culture and operationalizing it for empirical teaching research.

Under the guiding principle of media , the focus is on media-supported teaching and learning arrangements and the question of which learning opportunities are opened up by digital formats and which are restricted. In particular, teaching and learning processes on the Internet in the school and university environment, the mediality and literacy of software-supported student presentations, the relevance of digital media for religious learning as well as cooperative problem-solving processes and co-constructive knowledge in digital learning environments are being investigated.

Projects of the focus area
- Speaking, multimodality and digitality
- digital online cooperation: Internationalization of Teacher Education
- didactic-empirical writing research (dieS)
- media education
- ethical and aesthetic education
- writing and digitality
-Relevance of media in classroom discussions
- Relevance of interactive platforms in foreign language teaching
- Virtual, multilingual learning and learning spaces
- Critical educational theory and digital 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

This research focus aims to investigate the relationship between interpretation and the interpreted object. From the perspectives of theology, linguistics and literary studies, the phenomenon of accessibility and the simultaneous unavailability of an object to be interpreted is explored.

Interpretation - which represents a fundamental method of our disciplines as a guided understanding - serves to grasp something given, e.g. a text. At the same time, it generates something new by partially realizing the potentially inexhaustible meaning potential of the text as an attribution of meaning.

A central theoretical point of reference for the research focus is the current realism-constructivism debate. Against its background, the relationship between the constructivist approach and the realist point of reference of an interpretation is explored. In this context, interpretation can only produce an object in the mode of appropriation, not in a pure form independent of cognition.

From a linguistic perspective, the truth value of interpretations and the multimodal formation of meaning are explored; from a literary perspective, the postulated but unavailable core of meaning; from a theological perspective, the relationship between exegesis and interpretation, the unavailability of the verbalized encounter with God and the conditions of appropriative understanding of religious speech and texts in the context of understanding, reason and faith.

Projects of the focus
- Definition of a phenomenological linguistics
- Literary translation of the New Testament
- Untranslatability
- Theology of the Synoptic Gospels
- Elaboration of a theological hermeneutics and encyclopaedia within the framework of a systematic theology
- History of New Testament scholarship from the 18th to the 21st century

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

Project description

Climate Thinking was initiated in 2019 as a project from the ranks of the doctoral college GeKKo and was founded in 2020 as a research and teaching focus at FB02 and formed as an IAG in 2022.

Climate Thinking understands and analyzes phenomena such as "climate" and "environment" in their linguistic nature and cultural conditionality - complementary to research traditions shaped by the natural sciences. The research is not aligned with the research logics and methods of individual disciplines, but looks at discourses on the climate crisis and concepts of sustainability using three interwoven approaches: Starting from the assumption that the phenomena under discussion are conditioned by complex - as social, cultural, ecological, economic, political, technical, scientific - contexts, we focus on those interrelationships in which they are talked about, talked about and thought about.

In our research, we develop critical approaches to the problem complexes of the climate crisis and sustainability, anchor our questions and methodologies in academic teaching and discuss our processes together with the public in order to reflect on and expand them. We see the constant expansion and complementation of our inventory of methods as a necessary process in order to make those interrelationships of thought and lifestyle habits accessible that constitute the problem complexes in their overall social embedding.

Projects of the focus area

- Department-wide teaching focus with over 60 events (as of summer semester 2022)

- Interdisciplinary specialist publications

- Creation of a digital publication and documentation platform "Living Handbook", 2020, awarded the E-Learning Prize of the University of Kassel

- International, interdisciplinary lecture series "Climate Thinking", summer semester 2021

- International, interdisciplinary lecture series "Apocalypse and Apathy", winter semester 2022/23

- Exhibition participation in "Wunderkammer modern. 50 years - 50 objects" (2021/22) and "Knowledge repository - 100 ideas for the world of tomorrow" (2022)

- Participation in various knowledge transfer formats, e.g. in cooperation with the City of Kassel, Staatstheater Kassel, Stadtmuseum Kassel


IAG Climate Thinking

Tamara Bodden

Dr. Felix Böhm

Dr. Martin Böhnert

Mateo Chacón Pino

Dr. Dagobert Höllein

Nicole Kasper

Silvie Lang

Dr. Nils Lehnert

Christina Liemann

Philippe-André Lorenz

Dr. Anna Meywirth

Dr. Paul Reszke

Christine Riess (Spokesperson)

Annika Rink

Valentina Roether

Dr. Murat Sezi (Spokesperson)

Jan Sinning

Vanessa-Nadine Sternath

Maria Weber