For the last two decades, the study of culture has been one of the most rapidly developing fields of research in European and North American scholarship. Envisaging texts, social structures and human action as cultural phenomena provides a common ground for dialogue among the various disciplines within the humanities and social sciences.
Studying Culture at the GCSC
The GCSC’s academic framework reflects a pluralistic understanding of the study of culture.
The various approaches – synchronic and historical, interpretative and empirical, contextualising and systematic – are no seen as being mutually exclusive, but are natural allies. “The study of culture” thus does not refer to a particular theoretical approach. Instead, JLU aims to enhance dialogue among the disciplines, fostering self-reflexive, interdisciplinary and international approaches to the field and promoting these insights with several opportunities for publication.
Developing New Approaches
Identity, performativity or mediality. The nature and inter-transferability of such dynamic key concepts drives our research programme.
A concept-based methodology is one of the preconditions for engaging in productive interdisciplinary dialogue. Both disciplinary knowledge and its limitations need to be considered. With regard to research training, key concepts are not seen as static tools which can simply be applied to fields of research. Knowledge about the background and implications of a particular concept have to be communicated as well. Thus, interdisciplinary research at the GCSC focuses on both the object level and the meta level of dynamic concepts. We investigate their inter-transfer between diverse disciplines and academic cultures, highlighting difference, debate, and dialogue.
GCSC Research Areas
Disciplinary boundaries converge in eight interdisciplinary Research Areas that promote lively and productive exchange.
Methodological pluralism, interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration with top-ranking international research facilities lie at the heart of our research. Within our Research Areas, young scholars not only find the interdisciplinary context that supports them in the development of their research interests; together with fellow doctoral students, postdocs, and professors, GCSC students organise projects and events and thereby gain further valuable qualifications.
*PLEASE NOTE: With the new academic year starting in October 2012 the designations for some of the GCSC’s research areas have changed. The adjustments in the designations reflect and highlight some of the most significant advances in the respective fields, developments in which the contributions made by GCSC researchers have been instrumental. The former names for our eight research areas were: (1) memory cultures, (2) culture and narration, (3) culture and performativity, (4) visual culture, (5) culture, language and the new media, (6) culture and identities, (7) political and transnational cultures and (8) cultures of knowledge, research and education.