The area “literature and knowledge“ questions discursive interactions between science and literature within literary studies, with a focus on cultural studies and combining philological methods with knowledge interests and methods in the history of knowledge/science. The by now broadly established key assumption is that literary texts do not simply transport knowledge or reflect it, but rather take part in creating it, as the creation and social dissemination of new objects of knowledge and new insights are imprinted by the process of narration and orchestration. However, there is no consensus whether literature ‘merely’ contributes to an encompassing history of knowledge contents and knowledge structures, or whether it itself ‘has’ a knowledge (or a lack thereof) – possibly because different concepts of knowledge are used.
In this seminar we will discuss fundamental texts about “literature and knowledge,” retrace debates, and critically follow up on the establishment of this research area (including the publication of reference books). Further, we want to use select examples to carve out specific (historical) interferences between academic and literary knowledge creation and the interpretation and creation of the world, e.g. in the context of psychology, meteorology, immunology, national economy or physics, or with an eye toward forms of recognition and creation, such as question, (thought) experiment, case history, or protocol. For our mutual decision on phenomena to be discussed, I am counting on both the expertise and curiosity of the seminar’s participants.