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Research fields


Image Credit: Jannis Sterr


Image Credit: Marcus Reichmann

“To read means to satisfy the philological drive, to make a literary impression on oneself. To read out of an impulse for pure philosophy or poetry, unaided by philology, is probably impossible.” (Athenaeum Fragment 391, transl. by Peter Firchow, in: Philosophical Fragments, 1991)

Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies (FSGS) mentors theoretically and conceptionally outstanding dissertation projects in the field of literary studies that examine texts of European and non-European origin. Our aspiration is to advance genuine literary research perspectives that transcend national or single-language limits and that critically challenge globalization technologies by situating all phenomena of cultural practice – including current ones – in a broad historical horizon.

Research fields are the relationships between literary texts, the coherence between literary texts and processes of language reflection, rhetoric and poetry, the correlation between literature and other aesthetic media, as well as the interdependence of literature and discourses on knowledge. There are no limits for researching literary subjects in terms of time period (ancient times to the present) or language (world literatures).

FSGS promotes research in literary studies that is methodically innovative and sets a benchmark internationally through the reflection of its approach in comparing texts, media, and cultures. The main focus is the philological concentration on phenomena of textuality or linguisticality, the process of diachronic and synchronic comparison of languages, literature, culture, and media, a historical awareness that extrapolates connections between literary texts and cultural processes of meaning-making, social development and the constitution of knowledge, as well as a theoretical orientation in the sense of critical exploration of the practice of literary studies and its central terms or frames of reference.

The choice of our namesake comes from the realization that Friedrich Schlegel’s work created important preconditions for a theoretically ambitious and methodically innovative study of literary studies as it has been successfully represented at Freie Universität Berlin for many years.

Department of Philosophy and Humanities
Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
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