The ZfL BLOG regularly publishes contributions on current literary and cultural research.

From summer semester 2022 on, the ZfL dedicates its research to its annual theme COUNTER WORLDS.

The MEDIA CENTER provides visual and audio documentation of the ZfL’s research activities.

The ZfL associates present their research at home and abroad. ZfL EN ROUTE shows where.

The podcast BÜCHER IM GESPRÄCH features researchers talking about their new publications.


At the annual ZfL LITERATURE DAYS we discuss current topics of the literary and the academic world.

You find the ZfL in the legendary Mossehaus that was reconstructed by architect Erich Mendelsohn in the 1920s.


06 Oct 2022 – 07 Oct 2022

Workshop | ATTENTION: Changes in the program!
Verlust und Vielfalt. Zur Parallele von Artenschutz und Denkmalschutz um 1900

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27 Oct 2022 – 29 Oct 2022

Conference | ATTENTION: Changes in the program!
Aktivismus und Wissenschaft I: Zur Theorie, Geschichte und Aktualität einer Provokation

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27 Oct 2022

Aktivismus und Wissenschaft heute. A conversation with Armin Nassehi and Eva von Redecker

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01 Nov 2022

Book presentation
Im Gehäuse des Wahns. Deutsche Schriftsteller im sowjetischen Exil

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09 Nov 2022

Book presentation
Das Leben schreiben. Warlam Schalamow: Biographie und Poetik

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11 Nov 2022

Das Rätsel in der Moderne

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16 Nov 2022

Wednesday lecture
Christoph Cornelißen: Das kurze und das lange 20. Jahrhundert. Über die Probleme, einen Anfang und ein Ende zu finden

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The ZfL

The ZfL is a humanities institute for literary research in interdisciplinary contexts that draws from a cultural studies framework. Its methods also engage with the structural transformations within historical-hermeneutic subject areas that have taken place in recent decades. In contrast to the study of literature at universities, predominantly organized by nationality, the ZfL fosters a broad concept of literature, but also uses interdisciplinary tools to fundamentally question the etiology of various literary concepts, their potential for the future, and the relationship between literature and other arts or cultural practices. This is done in the three program area History of Theory, World Literature, Knowledge of Life, and in the Focus Projects.


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History of Theory

analyzes the genealogy of theory and develops innovative forms of historicizing it.

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World Literature

disusses the global interrelations of literature and its potential to shape the world.

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Knowledge of Life

investigates the knowlege of life in historical and interdisciplinary respects.

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Focus Projects

work on issues that run across the thematic fields of the program areas.

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