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.


23 Sep 2019 – 25 Sep 2019

International Conference
Politics – History – Eschatology. Functional, Inter(con)textual, Structural, and Comparative Approaches to Gog and Magog

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23 Sep 2019 – 26 Sep 2019

9th International Summer Academy at the ZfL 2019
Historicizing. Forms, Practices, Significance

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24 Sep 2019

International Summer Academy at the ZfL – Public Keynote Lecture
Monika Dommann (University of Zurich): Kann die Hyper-Gegenwart historisiert werden, und wozu? Ein Versuch

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25 Sep 2019

International Summer Academy at the ZfL – Public Keynote Lecture
Caroline Arni (University of Basel): Zeiten symmetrisieren. Rekursive Geschichtsschreibung als Historisierung

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10 Oct 2019 – 12 Oct 2019

International Symposion
New Approaches to Hans Blumenberg

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21 Oct 2019 – 22 Oct 2019

International Workshop in Leipzig
»Sprachhandeln«. Reflexionen über die deutsche Sprache nach dem Holocaust

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25 Oct 2019

Podiumsdiskussion mit Eva Geulen, Lütfiye Güzel, Ijoma Mangold, Lea Schneider
Wer darf Literatur?

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10 Dec 2019 – 12 Dec 2019

“History goes Pop”? On the Popularization of the Past in the Memory Cultures of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine

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15 Nov 2019 – 16 Nov 2019

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

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22 Nov 2019 – 23 Nov 2019

ZfL Literature Days

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22 Nov 2019 – 23 Nov 2019

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

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05 Dec 2019 – 07 Dec 2019

Jahrestagung des ZfL

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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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