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Research Projects of the University of Cologne‘s Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Research 2017/2018



For the third time, the UoC Faculty of Arts and Humanities is presenting its Research Brochure. The brochure impressively demonstrates the manifold ways in which academic research at our faculty – in the form of both large-scale collaborative projects as well as individual projects – is being undertaken. Whether in the form of digital work with texts and objects, archaeology in Europe and Africa, linguistic and cultural investigations into the middle ages and the present or history and philosophy – academics of the Faculty of Arts and the Humanities undertake research with a great deal of commitment and ingenuity.  

For those who would like to get an impression of the great diversity and methodological spectrum of the research being undertaken at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, we cordially invite you to peruse our brochure.

We are delighted to be able to provide you with an insight into the multiplicity of research at our faculty in the form of a selection of current projects in our 2017/2018 brochure, which we will continue to do in the future.
Our deep gratitude goes to the academics of the projects presented who actively supported the editorial team.
We hope you enjoy exploring the world of humanities!

The Dean,
Prof. Dr. Monika Schausten
The Dean of Research,
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Andreas Speer


Articles in single view

...coming soon

Illustration: Christophe Vorlet

Epistemology meets Kant

Cologne Center for Contemporary Epistemology and the Kantian Tradition (CONCEPT)

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Sven Bernecker | Philosophy

Research center funded by an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship Award

The research center is built on the premise that contemporary epistemology and epistemology
in the classical German tradition both benefit from the cross-fertilization of ideas and methods. Contemporary epistemology supplies the logical and conceptual resources that allow us to gain a deeper understanding of issues in Kantian epistemology. [....]



Screenshot from the author of Horizon: Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games 2017)

Open World Structures

Architecture, City- and Landscape in Computer Games

Project leader: Dr. Marc Bonner | Institute of Media Culture and Theatre

Postdoc project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Whether in the form of archipelagos bathed by the ocean, valleys bound by steep slopes or a sea of houses as far the eye can see, open world computer games simulate a lucid vastness and evoke the explorer instinct in users through complex networks of diverse topological strategies that involve them. This project takes as its starting point the finding that unmanageable vastness and and seemingly untouched wildernesses become self-perpetuating. ... CONTINUE READING


Image: Project Zawyet Sultan

Zawyet Sultan

Archaeology and Heritage in Middle Egypt – Local Perspectives on Ancient Egypt

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Richard Bußmann | Egyptology

Funded by the Egypt Exploration Society

Zawyet Sultan is a village near the modern provincial capital of el-Minya, located ca. 300 km upstream of Cairo along the river Nile. The peaceful village seems to have been left untouched by the events of the Arabic Spring in 2011 and the seemingly timeless setting of village life has inspired many Egyptologists to compare present-day Egypt with ancient Egypt. ... CONTINUE READING


The UNESCO World Heritage Nomination Lower Germanic Limes

Roman Military Facilities in the Cologne Metropolitan Area

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Eckhard Deschler-Erb | Archaeology of the Roman Provinces

Sub-project of the UNESCO World Heritage Nomination of the LOWER GERMANIC LIMES funded by the Ministry of Health, Equalities, Care and Ageing of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

he external frontiers of the Roman empire form the largest linear archaeological monument in Europe. Several sections (Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall in Great Britain and the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes in Germany)are already part of the transnational UNESCO World Heritage site “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”. Preparations are currently underway for an application for the Lower Germanic Limes (LGL) to also have the same status. ...CONTINUE READING


Deborah Schiffer, Images wikimedia commons, Fotolia (Dom r.), creative commons

Research and Knowledge Transfer:

Wallraf  – Wallraf digital – Wallrafs Köln

Prof. Dr. Gudrun Gersmann | Chair of Early Modern History

Funding provided by the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR)

One of the focuses of the Cologne chair of Early Modern History is the “later early modern period” around 1800. An academic interest in a prominent Cologne persona of this transition period who has remained present in Cologne to this day is therefore of no surprise. However, what do we know in fact about the famous collector, former rector of the local university and civic reformer Ferdinand Franz Wallraf (1748 – 1824) who bequeathed his various collections to the city of Cologne in 1818? ... CONTINUE READING


Public History Network

Image: Stefanie Samida

Theorie und Methodik einer neuen geschichtswissenschaftlichen Subdisziplin

Participation: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Christine Gundermann | History

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

In September 2017 the network, which is funded by the DFG, was initiated. For the first time, it enables systematic communication about the theoretical and methodological foundation of public history, which until now was mostly understood as “applied history” and therefore regarded and discussed in a praxeologically manner. ... CONTINUE READING


The Cologne Papyrus Portal

Screenshot of the Cologne Papyrus Portal

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Hammerstaedt | Research Unit for Papyrology, Epigraphy and Numismatics - Cologne Center for eHumanities

Funded by the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts

he Cologne Papyrus Collection, one of the most important of this kind worldwide, includes approximately 10,000 items, mainly fragments of papyri and parchments (ca. 8,000 items), but also around 500 ostraca (potsherds covered with short texts written in ink) and a small group of lead and wooden tablets. ... CONTINUE READING



Image: ArchAIDE Project

Archaeological Automatic Interpretation and Documentation of cEramics

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Maria Letizia Gualandi und Dr. Gabriele Gattiglia | University of Pisa
Principal Investigator at the University of Cologne: Prof. Dr. Michael Heinzelmann | Institute of Archaeology

In archaeology, ceramica are a central material category for questions of dating. However, its determination is only usually possible for a few specialists and takes a great deal of time. The long-term goal of this project is to optimize the process of analyzing ceramics by means of (semi-)automated recognition processes and the development of a reference database. ... CONTINUE READING


In the Flashlights

The Principle of ‘Prominence’ organizes our Language and plays a Key Role in processing the Flood of Information in Our Everyday Lives

Spokesperson of the CRC: Prof. Dr. Klaus von Heusinger I Institute for German Language and Literature I

Collaborative Research Centre 1252 “Prominence in Language” is being funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for their first four-year funding period

he principle of Prominence is probably a relevant principle in all languages that helps us to organize the things we want to say or write in an efficient and communicatively successful manner. It filters important from less important information and supports the processing of the given input. ... CONTINUE READING


Martin Heidegger and Postmodernity

A Story of Delusion?

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sidonie Kellerer | Philosophy & a.r.t.e.s Research Lab

Freigeist-Fellowship funded by the Volkswagen Fundation

Even today, more than 70 years after the end of the Second World War, the philosopher Martin Heidegger’s relationship with National Socialism continues to raise multiple questions: Did he glamourize its ideology? Or was he critical of it after all? ... CONTINUE READING



A Web-based Platform for the Research of old-Sanskrit Texts

Principal Investigators: PD Dr. Daniel Kölligan | Historical-Comparative Linguistics | Department of Linguistics; Dr. Uta Reinöhl | General Linguistics, Department of Linguistics; Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rolshoven | Linguistic Information Processing, Department of Linguistics; Apl. Prof. Dr. Patrick Sahle | Cologne Center für eHumanities (CCeH)

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), LIS-Funding “eResearch-Technologies”

The cooperation project “VedaWeb” (Department of Linguistics, Cologne Center for eHumanities) is a web-based platform for the linguistic research of old Sanskrit texts that builds on the Rigveda – one of the oldest and most important texts of the Indo-European language family. The Rigveda will be presented with full morphological and metrical annotation and translations. ... CONTINUE READING


China’s Third Modernity

Library of Congress: Interior of the house of a rich Chinaman, Peking, China; photographer: H.C. White Co.; published: North Bennington,Vt., U.S.A.: H.C. White Co., publishers,1901

In-Between-Moments and Apparatus-based Media

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Stefan Kramer | Chinese Studies

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

This project analyzes conceptions of time in philosophical as well as artistic and aesthetic practices in early 20th century China. The cultural and historical specificity of the perception of time that prompts a comparative perspective on China becomes apparent when considering that prior to the advent of global modernity, the concept of a divisible “time” that was so formative for Europe did not gain relevance in the history of ideas and institutions in a China regarding herself not as linearly developing, but as an expanding eternity ... CONTINUE READING




(Re-)Collecting Theatre History

Alice Guszalewicz as Brunhilde in Wagner's Valkyrie, Cologne 1911 (TWS Köln), Image: Blum&Höffert, Cologne

Collaboration Networks of Theatre Practitioners in Digital Space

Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Peter W. Marx | Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung,Institute of Media Culture and Theatre

Collaborative Research Project between the Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung (TWS), the University of Cologne, and the Institute of Theatre Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, in co-operation with the Cologne Center for e-Humanities (CCeH) and the Theatre Museums of Düsseldorf and Munich, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

A theatre performance is usually the result of an intensive and months-long collaboration of a group of people coming from highly diverse professions. Intendant, dramaturg, director, actors, stage and costume designers, and technicians constitute an intricate network that exists only for a limited period of time and, through organized teamwork, realizes the idea of a theatre production on stage. ... CONTINUE READING


Miscellaneous Poetics

On the Coevolution of Periodical Press and the Modern Novel

Project leader: Dr. Daniela Gretz / Prof. Nicolas Pethes | Institute for German Language and Literature I

Subproject of the DFG-Research Group FOR 2288 on “Journal Literature” (Bochum/Cologne/Marburg)

In as early as the nineteenth century, mass media began to emerge. The most important ones were periodical journals that included both ‘high brow’ literary magazines and popular formats such as penny magazines or family magazines. Most of these periodicals published contemporary novels in instalments – novels that were only later republished in the book format familiar to us. It is therefore not surprising that recent periodical studies have been focussing on the interrelation between nineteenth century novels and journals with respect to the serial structure they share. ...  CONTINUE READING





co:op – community as opportunity

The Creative Archives’ and Users’ Network

Participation: Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH)

Funded by the Creative Europe Programme, Category 2 – European Cooperation Projects

Within the framework of the co:op project, the Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH) is cooperating with European archives and research institutions in order to preserve a common cultural heritage and to encourage the involvement of the general public. Activities include the further development of possibilities for the open source description of archival records as well as the expansion and intensifying of teaching at third level based on and with the help of digital archive portals such as Monasterium. ...CONTINUE READING


Experimental Pragmatics (

Image: Florian Bogner

DFG Priority Program

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Petra Schumacher | Institute for German Language and Literature I with PD Dr. Uli Sauerland | Leibniz-Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the framework of the DFG Priority Program (SPP 1727) “ New Pragmatic Theories Based on Experimental Evidence” (2014-2020)

During communication many aspects of meaning are only implicitly expressed and yet communication is for the most part successful. It is generally assumed that a speaker who utters, “Some daisies are in flower”, indicates that s/he does not have sufficient evidence to say, “All daisies are in flower”, i.e. “some” is interpreted as “not all”. At a restaurant, a customer may be called “the gin tonic” by the waiter, who in fact means, “the person associated with the gin tonic.” Why do speakers choose particular expressions? And why do hearers make correct inferences and enrich unarticulated meaning constituents? Why are the inference processes so reliable? Which mechanisms are hearers employing? Which knowledge do interlocutors share? ... CONTINUE READING


The Jerusalem Euchologion

Mestia, Svaneti | Image: Tatiana Bardaschowa

Principal Investigators: Professor Dr. Claudia Sode, Byzantine Studies and Professor Dr. Jürgen Hammerstaedt, Classical Philology

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

ur Cologne DFG project, entitled “The Early Jerusalem Euchologion in Georgian Transmission. Comparative Edition, Translation and Commentary”, is examining so-called orationes praesidentiales (presidential prayers), i.e. texts addressed to God, spoken in general or specific religious gatherings by their presiders: patriarchs, bishops or presbyters,at ceremonies for core sacraments such as Eucharist,baptism and for wedding ceremonies, for feasts and daily common prayer, for special occasions such as birth, illness,dying and death. A collection of these kinds of prayers is traditionally called Euchologion – the Greek equivalent of the Latin sacramentarium or orationale. ...  CONTINUE READING


Sounding Memories

Image: Monika E. Schoop

Nazi Persecution and Anti-Nazi Resistance in the Music of Contemporary Germany

Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Federico Spinetti and Dr. Monika E. Schoop | Institute for Musicology, Department of Ethnomusicology

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

he period of National Socialism is a crucial aspect of memory culture in Germany today. This is also reflected in music. The Edelweißpiraten Festival, the Microphone Mafia hip-hop duo, the Auschwitz-survivor Esther Bejerano and the Reinhardt family are only some of the numerous musicians, projects and initiatives that demonstrate how the memorialization of both the victims and the opponents of Nazism is more important than ever in times of a global political shift to the right. In both musicology and memory studies, however, the topic remains largely unexplored. ... CONTINUE READING


The German Audit Office in the Course of Changing Political Regimes of the 20 Century

Bundesarchiv, Image 146-2006-0219

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Ullmann | Modern History

The project is being funded by the Federal Audit Office

"The fate of a state can be predicted, so to speak barometrically, from the status and functionality of its accounting and auditing,”as Social Democrat MP Kurt Heinig who fled the National Socialists in 1933 wrote in his constitutive book The Budget. As budget auditing is by no means a “secondary function within state financial administration”; on the contrary: “An exchequer without constant monitoring is a government answering to no one, a dictatorship.” Financial auditing therefore forms an essential basis of fiscal and subsequently political decision-making processes. ...  CONTINUE READING


Image: R. Vogelsang

The Colonization of an Afro-Alpine Environment by Stone Age Hunter-Gatherers

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ralf Vogelsang | Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, Palaeolithic Research Unit

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Research Unit FOR 2358

igh-altitude mountain habitats are regarded as unfavorable regions for human colonization. Therefore, it seems reasonable that humans would only be pushed into such conditions by land scarcity in the lowlands following rapid population increase or ecological changes. On the other hand, tropical highlands in Africa have been mentioned time and again as potential refugia during times of environmental stress, such as the hyper-arid conditions in the Horn of Africa around 20,000 years ago when most parts of the region were uninhabitable. ... CONTINUE READING