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Outstanding award winners

With the Grimm Poetry Professorship, the University of Kassel has already honored such important and at the same time thematically and stylistically heterogeneous writers as Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller (1998), Christoph Hein (2002), Rafik Schami (2010) and Sibylle Lewitscharoff (2013). Since the beginning of the lecture series, the concept of the Poetry Professorship has also been characterized by a broad concept of authorship and an intermedially comprehensive understanding of poetics. As a result, the prizewinners also include media crossovers such as the playwright Tankred Dorst (1986) and the director and Oscar winner Volker Schlöndorff (2011).

Publication series on the Grimm Poetics Professorship

Since 2018, a publication series on the Kassel Grimm Poetics Professorships has been established by the publishing house Königshausen & Neumann. The series is edited and supervised by Stefanie Kreuzer.

1st volume: Klaus Hoffer: Grimm Poetics Professor 2018
Volume 4: Doris Dörrie: Grimm Poetics Professor 2022
2nd volume: Felicitas Hoppe: Grimm Poetics Professor 2019
Volume 5: Feridun Zaimoglu: Grimm Poetry Professor 2023
3rd volume: Terézia Mora: Grimm Poetics Professor 2021

Grimm Poetics Professorship Film Series

In cooperation with the media artist and director Thomas Henke(FH Bielefeld), an accompanying series of filmic (artist) portraits of the award winners has been initiated. The following films are now available:

AND I WAS FERIDUN ZAIMOGLU (D 2023; Director: Thomas Henke) is the third GPP companion film.

Image: Thomas Henke, Stefanie Kreuzer, Feridun Zaimoglu

FRAU DÖRRIE AND THE GHOSTS (D 2022; Director: Thomas Henke) is the second short film in the GPP (companion) film series.

Image: Doris Dörrie, Thomas Henke, Stefanie Kreuzer
Image: Thomas Henke, Stefanie Kreuzer, Feridun Zaimoglu
Image: Doris Dörrie, Thomas Henke, Stefanie Kreuzer

THEY ALWAYS SAY TERÉZIA MORA (D 2021; Director: Thomas Henke) was realized as the first experimental (feature-length) film of the GPP film series under Corona Pandemic conditions.

Image: Thomas Henke, Stefanie Kreuzer, Terézia Mora

Current profiling

Currently, the Kassel Grimm Poetics Professorship is being accentuated in terms of media aesthetics­tu­and is receiving an additional decidedly cinematic focus. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Stefanie Kreuzer ("Neuere Deutsche Literatur­wissen­schaft/Me­dien­wissen­schaft"), the poetics­pro­professorship will in future be open to both literary and film professionals, as well as to those working in the fields of theater, art and culture­. This medial 'opening' is completely in the sign of the Grimm's name givers. The Brothers Grimm's collection of fairy tales already marks a significant change in media from the oral to the written, from the orally transmitted and ritualized fairy tales­er­zäh­lun­gen to a written, linguistically standardized and narratively overformed text­samm­lung.

Event Practice

An important concern of the Grimm Poetics Professorship has always been to establish a productive exchange between university literature/film/media studies, contemporary writers, playwrights, and filmmakers, as well as a culturally interested public. The series of events always consists of three parts:

(a) a public inaugural lecture on a topic chosen by the poetics professors themselves,

(b) a public reading from a current text - or a film viewing - as well as

(c) a public (seminar) event at the university, which is especially addressed to the students of Kassel.

In addition, the intensive examination of the - in the broadest sense - 'aesthetic' works of the honorees has been accompanied for several years by specialized courses at the Institute of German Studies, in which literary and cinematic works of the poetics professors are reflected upon with the students.

History and tradition

The Kassel Brothers Grimm Poetics Professorship has been awarded by of the University of Kassel since 1985 and is currently endowed by the Kassel Sparkasse. Originally initiated as a central institution of the Reform University Kassel, the Poetics Professorship has been awarded in recent years by the Institute of German Studies to outstanding authors, but also playwrights and directors. The Poetics Professorship is named after the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, who lived and worked in Kassel.­­­­­&Their diverse and interdisciplinary work in the­genre is of an editorial, scientific and political nature and ranges from the publication of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales), to the­for­schung of the German language, to their humanistic commitment to the formulation of human rights.

Image: Nieves de le Fuente Gutiérrez

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

The genre-spanning and wide-ranging work of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm is editorial, scholarly, and political.

As part of the Göttingen Seven, the Brothers Grimm also campaigned against royal despotism and for a liberal constitution. The honorary title in Kassel is a sign of this interdisciplinary, diverse, aesthetic-philological as well as social-political commitment.


Over the course of their history, the Kassel Poetics Lectures have taken place at various public venues in the city, at the Kunsthochschule and at the University of Kassel. Until 2008, the events were held in the Eulensaal of the Murhard Library. Later, the poetics professors made guest appearances in the lecture hall of the Kunsthochschule, which is open to the Karlshaue. In recent years, due to the great public interest, the events were held in the largest lecture hall I of the newly built Campus Center of the University of Kassel on Holländischer Platz, which can hold about 650 people. In the future, events within the framework of the Poetics Professorship could also find their way into municipal cinemas.


The Brothers Grimm Poetics Professorship is not to be confused with the professorship "The Work and Impact of the Brothers Grimm" at the University of Kassel. This professorship is currently occupied by the Grimm researcher Prof. Dr. Holger Ehrhardt.

- Stefanie Kreuzer | As of Oct. 2023 -