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

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

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

From summer semester 2022/23 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.

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.


31 May 2022

The Dissident Library: Non-Conformists. The Ukrainian Intelligentsia in the Dissident Movement, 1960s–1980s

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01 Jun 2022 – 03 Jun 2022

International Conference
The Red Globe. Writing the World in Eastern European Travel Literature of the Cold War

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08 Jun 2022

Panel discussion
Spaces of Fanfiction

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09 Jun 2022

Reading and talk
Paperbacks und PDFs

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10 Jun 2022

Algorithmizität als Kultur des Verstehens? Digitale Erkenntnisprozesse in den Humanities

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14 Jun 2022

Reading and talk
“Sie verlassen den heteronormativen Sektor”

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16 Jun 2022 – 18 Jun 2022

International Conference
Socialism’s Divergent Masculinities. Representations of Male Subjectivities in Soviet Constellations and Beyond

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23 Jun 2022

Festive Event. Inaugural Lecture as Honorary Member of the ZfL
Giga Zedania: Mamardashvili, Artaud and the metaphysics of Soviet life

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24 Jun 2022

Stage reading and talk
Tragödienbastard: Wo spielt das Gegenwartstheater?

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27 Jun 2022 – 29 Jun 2022

Annual conference of the “The Short Life of Soviet Yiddish Literature”
“What is on Trial Here is the Yiddish Language”: The Making and Unmaking of Soviet Yiddish Literature

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27 Jun 2022

Panel discussion
Doppelrollen im Literaturbetrieb

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29 Jun 2022 – 30 Jun 2022

Wie postdigital schreiben? Verfahren der Gegenwartsliteratur

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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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