Project launch
28 Apr 2022 · 2.00 pm

Launch of the project “The 20th Century in Basic Concepts”

Venue: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL), Schützenstraße 18, 10117 Berlin, 3. Etage, Trajekte-Tagungsraum / Zoom
Research project(s): The 20th Century in Basic Concepts

The ZfL is working on a dictionary of basic concepts of the 20th century. In cooperation with the Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS) in Mannheim, the Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam (ZFF) and funded, amongst others, by the Leibniz Association (“Cooperative Excellence” program), this joint project explores the political-social and cultural semantics of Germany in the ‘century of the extremes.’

In order to develop the approximately 150 articles, three types of concepts of the 20th century will be analyzed with the help of specific digital tools. The ZfL analyzes political-social basic concepts of scientific provenance such as ‘Diversität,’ ‘Energie,’ ‘Evolution,’ or ‘Gen.’ The IDS addresses the political-social basic concepts of great scope and duration such as ‘Demokratie,’ ‘Diktatur,’ ‘Europa,’ or ‘Freiheit.’ The ZFF focusses on political-social concepts of time and process such as ‘Beschleunigung,’ ‘Fortschritt,’ ‘Geschichte,’ or ‘Krise.’

The articles from the dictionary will first be published by Schwabe Verlag in a database in Open Access, later as a printed edition in five volumes.


Eva Geulen (ZfL)

Martin Sabrow (ZZF)

Ernst Müller (ZfL)
Presentation of the overall project

Alexander Friedrich (ZfL), Rüdiger Graf (ZZF), Mark Dang-Anh, Stefan Scholl (both IDS)
Presentations of the subprojects