English Literary Studies at the Philosophical Faculty are interested in literature and culture of the Anglophone world outside the USA and are represented in both the BA courses in English and Literary Studies as well as in the teaching degree-related MEd and the MA programme in Literary Studies. The courses in English Literary Studies cover the field of English-language literature since the early modern period in its historical depth and geographical breadth, taking into account cultural, social and political contexts as well as central theories, methods and problems of Literary Studies.
Project-related publication: Kai Merten, ed. Diffractive Reading: New Materialism, Theory, Critique (Series New Critical Humanities). London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2021.
The Erfurt Network on New Materialism (ENNM) examines the neo-materialist currents in recent philosophy as well as Literary and Cultural Theory. Neo-materialist thought aims to re-assess and re-describe external ‘reality’ both after and beyond the linguistic turn. In so doing, it questions as well as transcends the premise that all reality is culturally constructed, while not only falling behind but also integrating this constructionism. Therefore, the group mainly deals with the question whether New Materialism can be used as a method (or as a critique of existing methods) in Literary and Cultural Studies. At the same time, it is sounding the possibilities of a European research network and is therefore participating in a network application on the relationship of New Materialism to literature and aesthetics. At the moment, we regularly meet in reading sessions while also organising guest lectures and workshops. In September 2019, we held an international conference on the topic of New Materialist Literary Theory. As a starting hypothesis, the Erfurt Group has observed that there are two main positions in New Materialism: one position argues that all human agency is always already bound up with non-human agencies of the surrounding material world, as is reflected in ‘connection’ concepts such as Karen Barad’s ‘Onto-Epistemology’ or Donna Haraway’s ‘Naturecultures’. The other position claims that, on the opposite, human connections to the material world will never be able to make available the objects in their full potential and ‘being’ at all. This position is taken up in both ‘Object-Oriented Ontology’ and ‘Speculative Realism’. The network aims to study both these positions while at the same time asking whether they can be, on the one hand, united and, on the other hand, related to literary texts and cultural practices.
Kerstin Howaldt, Doctoral Student, English Literature
Chaniga Chaipan, Doctoral Student, English Literature
Annemarie Mönch, Graduate Student, English Literature
Prof. Kai Merten, English Literature
Dr. Dunja Mohr, Assistant Professor, English Literature
René Porschen, Doctoral Student, General and Comparative Literature
Dr. Annina Klappert, Senior Lecturer, General and Comparative Literature
Dr. Peter Schuck, General and Comparative Literature
Religious Media Conflicts in the Early Modern Period
Conference on Religious Media Conflicts in the Early Modern Period
The conference is based on the thesis that the Reformation accusations of idolatry against traditional religious practices and objects from the early 16th century onwards discuss matter as a carrier or communicator of religious spirituality, and therefore as a medium. In this context, the conference is interested in religiously based or dimensioned conflicts between media, with media and in media such as image, text and theater. Because of their religious foundation, the media conflicts described go far beyond theological debates and also include social, political and aesthetic issues. Overall, the 16th and 17th centuries are to emerge as the central section of European media history with noticeable effects up to the present day.
International conference organized by Prof. Kai Merten (University of Erfurt) and Prof. Claus-Michael Ort (CAU, Kiel), in cooperation with the Gotha Research Center
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Heinen (Wuppertal): Gottes Sammlung verbotener Bilder. Die Erfindung des Museums in der katholischen Reform
Prof. Dr. Johann Anselm Steiger (Hamburg): Intermedialität und Interkonfessionalität. Die Kanzel in St. Marien in Rostock als Beispiel
Prof. Dr. Kai Bremer (Gießen): Jesuitische Bildpropaganda im Konflikt. Der Streit um das Prager Bild 1585
Prof. Dr. Stephanie Wodianka (Rostock): Die Stimme der Betrachtung: Medienkonflikte in der romanischen Meditationsliteratur
Bianca Hufnagel, M.A. (Tübingen): „Quamobrem uelim adolescentes ex his libris ad nostram religionem rerum uerba formasque deportare.“ – Die Bedeutung von Editionen der Werke Ciceros für die frühneuzeitliche religiöse (Medien-)Kompetenz.
PD Dr. Ralf Haekel (Mannheim): Häresie als Medieneffekt im Werk John Miltons
Dr. Elke Huwiler (Amsterdam):Theater als Medium der Konfessionalisierung: Reformatorische und gegen-reformatorische Spielpraktiken in der Schweiz des 16. Jahrhunderts
PD Dr. Dieter Fuchs (Wien): Wort und Bild: Hamlet und die Jungfräuliche Empfängnis
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser (Münster): Verbrennen oder korrigieren: Bücherverbrennungen und Bücherverstümmelungen in England unter Heinrich VIII.
Dr. des. Dominik Sieber (Tübingen): „Es ist aber ouch ain schlechte gedechtnuß, die man von grebern unnd todten gmeld haben muß […]“ – Grabmonumente als problematische Medien in der schweizerisch-oberdeutschen Reformation
Dr. Haruka Oba (Kurume): Medienkonkurrenz innerhalb einer Konfession? Unterschiedliche mediale Konzepte der Orden am Beispiel der Darstellung japanischer Märtyrer
Dr. Christian Mühling (Würzburg): Die französische Tagespublizistik unter Ludwig XIV. im Spannungsfeld von innerer Kirchen- und europäischer Mächtepolitik