On the 14th–15th of October 2021 a postgraduate conference will take place at the University of Tartu, Estonia on the following topic: Interactions between German studies and neighboring disciplines. The conference is part of a doctoral school funded by the DAAD and would like to evaluate and explore the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary work in German studies by looking at specific projects. (Post) PhD students in philology or in other humanities are invited, who engage in interdisciplinary interactions with German studies in their projects.
Interdisciplinarity in German Studies:
Interdisciplinarity is not only an extremely potent keyword in academic resource allocation, but it is the reality and necessity of many contemporary scientific ventures. Even the (foreign) German studies can and should benefit from neighboring disciplines such as other philologies, German as a foreign language, comparative literature, history, etc. A broader look at an individual subject offers both wider methodological perspectives and foundations as well as new research content that can be examined by using philological research methods. However, interdisciplinarity cannot be experienced and conceptualized only as a promising addition, but also as a complex challenge: besides synergy effects, incompatible premises and method competition are conceivable. Researching between two disciplines can either lead to getting relevant impulses from both study areas, but also not doing justice to any of the subjects. Interdisciplinary vastness can be implemented at the expense of scientific depth. For this reason, the conference should, on the one hand, discuss foreseeable productive effects based on concrete projects, and on the other hand, work out whether losses in the quality of the dissertations are expected and whether there are limits to interdisciplinarity.
The doctoral school:
The conference reacts to a specific interdisciplinary constellation that has shaped the work of the DAAD-funded doctoral school 'Dynamics of Transcultural Semiosis' that has been running in Tartu and Göttingen since 2018. The conference presents itself as a closing colloquium of the doctoral school and should bundle interdisciplinary experiences and reflect on further work steps. The first funding phase of the project ends at the end of 2021, which offers a good opportunity to summarize the close cooperation and to exchange ideas with one another in the form of presentations and discussions. The research framework of the doctoral school was inspired by the term 'Semiosphere' by Jurij Lotman and it focuses on different areas of linguistic and cultural transfer. Besides projects in the field of contemporary German literature/literary studies, research topics that link this subject with didactic, comparative, linguistic and historical topics are examined as well. The dissertation projects from the subjects mentioned above rarely remain within a single discipline. They are stimulated by neighboring subjects, originate from there, are framed by premises from other disciplines, or are constituted in an implicit or explicit opposition relationship to them.
The conference is aimed at all young researchers who focus on a topic within their research that is relevant to German studies in an interdisciplinary framework, i.e., research in connection with DaF didactics, literary studies, comparative studies, history, semiotics, other philologies, etc. The aim is to exchange knowledge and approaches from the field of
interdisciplinary German studies. In addition to keynote speeches by selected scholars from Tartu and Göttingen, young researchers have the opportunity to present their doctoral projects and to exchange ideas. In the discussion that follows, suggestions can be gathered and new, innovative perspectives explored within the framework of interdisciplinarity. The working language of the event will be German, but relevant contributions can be submitted in English as well.
Application and registration:
Please submit the abstracts on your research projects by 15 June 2021 together with the conference registration form. You will receive a prompt acceptance notice. The abstract should not exceed 300 words and outline both, challenges and advantages of the specific work between German studies and other disciplines. Each speaker has 20 minutes for the presentation, and it is then followed up by a 20-minute-long discussion. The conference takes place simultaneously online and onsite at the Germanic Institute of the University of Tartu (subject to the state restrictions due to COVID-19). When registering without a presentation, please fill out the registration form likewise.
Doctoral School 'Dynamics of Transcultural Semiosis'
Cooperation within the framework of the 'Vladimir Admoni Program' of the DAAD