RTG 2190/1: The Literary and Epistemic History of Small Forms


Small forms are no newcomers among textual types and genres, but in the effort to cope with and exploit advancing media-technological reticulation and mobility they have acquired new prominence - as well as new urgency for research in the philosophy and history of science. The organization of cultural memory has become increasingly difficult even as attentional resources are dwindling. The impact of this development on the management of observation, the accumulation of ideas, the dissemination of knowledge, and the guidance and control of learning processes cannot be understood without investigating the routines and practices of representation that differentially format the production and mediation of knowledge. The expansion of the realm of attainable knowledge, as well as the concomitant dispersal of attention and the relentless acceleration of the speed at which new discoveries must be recorded, demand new efficiency and creativity in the use of limited time and space. Outlines, abstracts, notes, protocols, previews, essays, articles etc. have thus become indispensable in the practice of research and education as well as in media and the arts. Thus far, however, the genesis and evolution of these forms, which are integral to the larger success story of prose, have received only selective attention.This graduate program will advance the analysis of small forms by exploring their literary and epistemic history in broad historical scope from antiquity to the present. With its systematic focus on literature, science and popular culture, the program seeks - firstly - to determine what small forms emerge within each domain with its particular writerly and representational procedures, examining how these forms serve to control, reflect, criticize and (media-specifically) channel processes of communication. Secondly, the program will analyse the development and circulation of small forms through exchange between these fields.Both in research and supervision, the program is set up for historical and disciplinary breadth and offers an ideal framework for training doctoral students at the highest methodological levels and international standards. Our qualification procedures guarantee the feasibility of the program by combining methods of supervision that have been employed successfully in the PhD-network »The knowledge of literature« - including seminars, colloquia, retreats and a writing workshop - with course offerings relevant to professional careers. The curriculum thus includes a »Praxiswerkstatt« in the second year, which introduces students not only to praxeological research but also to the work of newspaper and online journalists, librarians, and archivists professionally concerned with small forms.


Principal Investigators
Vogl, Joseph Prof. Dr. phil. (Details) (Modern German Literature / Literature and Cultural Studies / Media)
Matala de Mazza, Ethel Prof. Dr. (Details) (Modern German Literature (Literature of the 18th to the Present))

Further project members
Frank, Susanne Prof. Dr. (Details) (East Slavic Literatures und Cultures)
Kipf, Stefan Prof. Dr. (Details) (Didactics of Latin and Ancient Greek)
Lobsien, Verena Prof. Dr. phil. (Details) (Modern English Literature)
Martus, Steffen Prof. Dr. phil. (Details) (Modern German Literature / Literature of the 18th to the Present)
Scheuer, Hans Jürgen Prof. Dr. (Details) (German Literature of the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era)
Schmitzer, Ulrich Prof. Dr. phil. (Details) (Latin Studies)
te Heesen, Anke Prof. Dr. (Details) (History of Science Specializing in History of Education and Organisation of Knowledge in the 19th and 20th Century)

Duration of Project
Start date: 04/2017
End date: 09/2021

Research Areas
Modern German Literature

Research Areas
cultural history, Historisch-vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft, Kulturgeschichte, Linguistik, Literaturwissenschaft, Sprachdokumentation

Last updated on 2021-05-05 at 09:51