Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster: Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration

Research Initiative “Cultural Theory and Theory of the Political Imaginary”

This Research Initiative draws on the tradition of general literary studies in Constance. Priority, however, will be given to the analysis of objects which lie outside the realm of literature (as conventionally understood). Text, code, narrative, and fiction have become key categories of cultural theory and have potential beyond their literary-scientific import for the study of mechanisms of cultural aisthesis more generally. In this framework, “culture” is not to be understood as a separate realm devoid of utility but as a source of codings with a systemic function.

At the same time, the Research Initiative will examine imaginary processes long assigned to the history of ideas, having been merely understood as phenomena complementary to “hard“ social materiality. Even though no society can exist without institutions, institutions remain – in the sense outlined here -- imaginary. The fact that an accumulation of individuals can present itself as a collective agent to be recognized by institutions makes it necessary to have a set of genuine aesthetic procedures. Imaginary integrals have to be created in which subjects are mirrored and retroactively establish a (new) relationship to themselves.

The Research Initiative is linked to an international program for guest scholars, which can in the framework of the Center of Excellence find a firmer footing.


PD Dr. Marcus Twellmann

phone +49 7531 88-5232
e-mail marcus.twellmann[at]uni-konstanz.de

Office Y 104
University of Konstanz

Post address

Universität Konstanz
FB Literaturwissenschaft
Fach D 160
78457 Konstanz, Germany