Since summer semester 2019 the ZfL has been dedicated to its annual topic HISTORICIZING TODAY.

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.


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

The ZfL has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 01 Jan 2019.

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


25 Oct 2019

Panel discussion with Eva Geulen, Lütfiye Güzel, Ijoma Mangold, Lea Schneider
Wer darf Literatur?

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07 Nov 2019 – 09 Nov 2019

International Conference
The Stalingrad Myth. Russian-German Comparative Perspectives

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15 Nov 2019 – 16 Nov 2019

Verwalten – verwerten – vernichten. Kulturpoetische Formationen des Abfalls seit 1930

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17 Nov 2019 – 19 Nov 2019

Annual Conference of the Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg
Diaspora and Law. Culture, Religion, and Jurisprudence beyond Sovereignty

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19 Nov 2019

Lecture in the context of the exhibition »Like you! Freundschaft digital & analog«
Gianna Zocco: Transatlantische Freundschaft. Die literarischen Unruhestifter James Baldwin und Fritz Raddatz

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22 Nov 2019 – 23 Nov 2019

ZfL Literature Days

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22 Nov 2019 – 23 Nov 2019

Workshop at Warburg-Haus Hamburg
Die »Vorträge der Bibliothek Warburg«. Das intellektuelle Netzwerk der KBW

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01 Dec 2019 – 02 Dec 2019

Workshop in Oxford
Hermeneutic Interventions and Practices of Reading: Between Modernity and Antiquity

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03 Dec 2019

Lecture in the context of the exhibition »Like you! Freundschaft digital & analog«
Dirk Naguschewski: Systemsprenger in der Post: Wie Correspondance- und Mail-Art Grenzen überwinden

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06 Dec 2019 – 07 Dec 2019

Annual Conference at the ZfL
Historicizing. Questions for a Method of the Humanities and Cultural Studies

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10 Dec 2019 – 12 Dec 2019

"History goes Pop”? On the Popularization of the Past in Eastern European Memory Cultures

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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 research areas History of Theory, World Literature, and Knowledge of Life.

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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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