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

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

From winter semester 2023 on, the ZfL dedicates its research to its annual theme ACTIVISM AND ACADEMIA.

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

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.

The ZfL has moved!

NEW ADDRESS as of July 1, 2023:
Pariser Straße 1, 10719 Berlin


12 Jun 2024 – 14 Jun 2024

International conference
The Rescuing Sovereign at Sea: Historical Perspectives on Maritime Law, Morals, and Politics

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13 Jun 2024 – 14 Jun 2024

Interdisciplinary workshop with a literary reading (external)
Deep Time: (Durch) geologische Zeit erzählen und erklären

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17 Jun 2024

Panel discussion
Georgien zwischen Widerstand und Isolation

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20 Jun 2024 – 21 Jun 2024

Workshop (external)
Ecological Perspectives on the Nexus Rerum

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21 Jun 2024

The Dissident Library: Soviet Studies in the FRG: The Cultural Dimension

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03 Jul 2024

Wednesday lecture
Sylvia Sasse (Universität Zürich): Probleme mit der Wirklichkeit. Dokumentarliteratur und Dokumentartheater vor Gericht

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03 Jul 2024 – 05 Jul 2024

Dokumentarische Evidenz – Zu einem besonderen Genre sprachlicher und praxeologischer Vergangenheitserkenntnis

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05 Jul 2024 – 06 Jul 2024

The Absolute Idealism of Reception

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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 key 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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