On the 24th and 25th of September 2020, a postgraduate workshop will take place at the University of Tartu, Estonia on the following topic: Interactions between German studies and neighboring disciplines. The workshop as part of a doctoral school funded by the DAAD would like to evaluate and explore the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary work in German studies by looking at specific projects. (Post) PhD students from all philologies and humanities are invited, who engage in interdisciplinary interactions with German studies in their projects.
Interdisciplinarity is not only an extremely potent keyword in academic resource allocation though it is the reality and necessity of many contemporary scientific ventures. Even the (foreign) German studies can and must benefit of neighboring disciplines such as other philologies, German as a foreign language, comparative studies, history and other disciplines. An expanded look at one’s own subject offers both broader 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 expansion, 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 areas of study, but also not really doing justice to any of the subjects. Interdisciplinary vastness can be implemented at the expense of scientific depth. For this reason, the workshop 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 planned workshop reacts to a very specific interdisciplinary constellation that has shaped the work of the DAAD-funded doctoral school 'Dynamics of Transcultural Semiosis' that runs in Tartu and Göttingen since 2018. The workshop understands itself as a closing conference of the doctoral school, which should bundle interdisciplinary experiences and reflect on further work steps. The first funding phase of the project ends at the end of 2020, which offers a good opportunity to take stock and exchange ideas in the form of a workshop. The doctoral school, whose research framework was inspired by the term 'Semiosphere' by Jurij Lotman, 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 and others 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 workshop 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 event focuses on works in German, but relevant contributions can be submitted in English as well. It is about exchanging knowledge and approaches from the field of interdisciplinary German studies.
In addition to keynote speeches by selected scientists from Tartu and Göttingen, young researchers have the opportunity to present their doctoral projects and to exchange ideas. In order to benefit as much as possible from the collaboration, to take up new suggestions in the discussion and to increase your own qualification as a reviewer, each short lecture is assigned a response statement with a following discussion.
Please submit abstracts on questions of interdisciplinary research in your project to the organizers Anna Bers, Marika Peekmann and Terje Loogus by February 15, 2020. The abstract should not exceed 300 words in length and outline both, challenges and advantages of the specific work between German studies and other disciplines. If the answer to the workshop is positive, we ask for an impulse paper (approx. 10-20 pages) that is available to all participants for discussion, will be shortly presented (15 min) and complemented by a substantial response. The conference takes place at the Germanic Institute of the University of Tartu. Funds for travel expenses and accommodation are available on a limited basis and subject to further approval. However, we would be happy to assist you in applying for funding.
PhD students 'Dynamics of Transcultural Semiosis'
Cooperation within the framework of the 'Vladimir Admoni Program' of the DAAD