Sociology of Literature and Culture

The German tradition of cultural sociology has had substantial influence and is currently being developed in a variety of ways. However, the realm of literature is not yet investigated as intensively as other artforms and cultural fields. For many reasons, the KWI will try to fill this gap: The literary field and the literary market are subject to a number of structural changes – new formats, media, and genres are changing aesthetic standards; new actors like agents and bloggers are shifting professional concepts and roles. A declining readership and a lack of appreciation for ‘the good book’ are lamented periodically. To address these complex developments, we aim to question one-sided diagnoses based on cultural criticism or tech euphoria in order to contribute to more detailed analyses. In order to achieve this, scholars from a variety of different fields need to cooperate: Contemporary reading behaviours and their history can, for example, only be described precisely if cognitive psychologists, philologists, and cultural sociologists as well as cultural economists were brought together. A specific focus will be put on the challenge to perceive literary texts not merely as “black boxes” in larger contexts of action, application, and distinction. Instead, the aim is to describe these forms of articulation as attractive documents, repositories of knowledge, and contexts of meaning for philology, cultural studies and the social sciences. At the same time, the social-scientific and especially sociological way of academically using literary sources, strategies and traditions has to be examined. A particular focus will lie on the development of interdisciplinary methods, and through this also on the transfer of the terminology developed by literary studies.

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Julika Griem

Latest News

Narcotic City Event Series in N.Y. City

Narcotic City Event Series in N.Y. City

Starting on 11 October, the Narcotic City Event Series at 1014 will explore the discourses, imaginaries, practices, and consequences of public drug use from the 1970s until the present with a focus on American and European cities. Across three evening roundtables, the series will address how cultures of drug consumption are interwoven into public spaces, […]

Journal of Literary Theory: Neues Themenheft “Artistic Collaborations: The Practice and Aesthetics of Working Together” erschienen

Journal of Literary Theory: Neues Themenheft “Artistic Collaborations: The Practice and Aesthetics of Working Together” erschienen

Nach einer Workshop-Reihe unter dem Titel “Kooperation, Kollaboration, Ko-Kreation” im Oktober 2020 und im Mai 2021 am KWI ist nun das neue Themenheft “Artistic Collaborations: The Practice and Aesthetics of Working Together” des Journal of Literary Theory erschienen. Herausgegeben wird das Heft von Ines Barner (ETH Zürich, zuvor KWI) Anja Schürmann (KWI) und Thyssen@KWI Fellow Kathrin Yacavone. […]

Opening of “Narcotic City Archive”

Opening of “Narcotic City Archive”

Last week the HERA project “Governing the Narcotic City” celebrated the opening of its Narcotic City Archive in the Aquarium in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Activists and scholars from across Europe were invited to share their stories and findings: From self-organised drug-checking in Amsterdam, London and Lisbon to solidarity in the Zurich heroin scene of the late 1980s, […]

BudeMunkWieland: Lesung und Gespräch

BudeMunkWieland: Lesung und Gespräch

„Hier ist nichts frei erfunden. Die Geschehnisse nicht, der Ort nicht. Nur die Figuren, die auftreten, sind Mischfiguren, in denen wie im Traum die Züge verschiedener Gefährtinnen und Gefährten zusammengezogen sind. Die Fiktion ist wahr, und die Fakten stimmen.“ Am Freitag, den 14. Mai veranstaltet das KWI eine Lesung und Diskussion mit den Autor*innen des […]

New: The Narcotic City Lockdown Report

New: The Narcotic City Lockdown Report

The recent developments all over the world due to the coronavirus pandemic have had a great impact on the international project Governing the Narcotic City, partly residing at KWI and coordinated by Stefan Höhne and Sage Anderson. How does one conduct historical, sociological and ethnographic research on public spaces when most parts of the world […]