Knowledge - Temporality - Cultural Comparison

Philosophische Fakultät und Fachbereich Theologie

FAU Contact:
Paul, Heike Prof. Dr.
Matten, Marc Prof. Dr.
Fischer, Robert Dr.



Knowledge and Knowing

The PhilFak’s current research regarding the socio-cultural and historical conditions of modes of knowing and their formation focuses on approaches dealing with the development and (re-)production of implicit and amorphic repertoires of knowledge, as well as explicit ‘inventories’ and archives of knowledge (D. Taylor). The term knowledge figures both propositionally as explicit and verbalized knowledge, and non-propositionally in the sense of ‘tacit’ or pre-reflexive knowledge. The latter manifests itself in bodily practices, experiential knowledge and traditions, but also in structures of feeling and affect (Polanyi, Ryle, Neuweg, Shotwell). These multidimensional conceptualizations of knowledge operate in critical distance from a primarily cognitive notion of knowledge, also often dominant within Eurocentric (academic) discourses, and, hence, enable a productive dialogue with non-European forms of knowing that are based on divergent understandings of space and time.

Time and Temporality

The various strands of research at PhilFak analyze temporality as a foundational, albeit mostly implicit, dimension of socio-cultural orders and processes. Research in this area includes how ‘time’ is perceived in different social, cultural, political, and historical constellations; how individual and collective practices reflect, and simultaneously prefigure, medial and narrative representations of ‘time’ (i.e. how they control the experience of ‘time’); and how such (hegemonic) temporal regimes change or persist, for instance, due to the conditions of late-capitalist globalization (Rosa, Welzer). As such, analyses focus on narrative or memorial structures that help preserve, pass on, or reiterate past events. Eventually, the goal of this scholarly effort is the topographical modelling of a future that, with the help of prognostic or prophetic measures, helps sketching strategies of coping with contingency in the sense of a preservation or modification of symbolic and social orders. However, this angle also considers ‘time’ from a more subjective point of view: as a phenomenon of presence in the form of extraordinary experience or in the context of life-world being and pre-reflexive existence.

Cultural Comparison

Just as the complex of knowledge production in general, symbolic and social orders largely figure as culturally specific. Hence, their analysis requires a comparative approach which considers and integrates the insights of cultural hermeneutics. To avoid premature gestures of universalization, the goal is to reconstruct the epistemological horizons in which the analyzed phenomena occur and to compare these to the cultural premises of western academic research. Only in a second step, possibly transcultural phenomena (in the broad sense of the term) will be identified and examined. The faculty regards issues of interculturality not only as restricted to relations between traditional cultures and cultural spaces. It also deals with these issues regarding supposedly intracultural relations, as, for instance, between various functionally differentiated areas of order (gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, dis/ability, regional heritage) or in group interactions within plural and multicultural societies. A focus on interculturality also requires supplementary analyses of processes that cut across cultural boundaries and operate beyond established mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. On the one hand, these include different forms of transculturation, hybridization, and cultural mobility (of human beings as well as knowledge). On the other hand, such processes also encompass the question of transnational networks and publics.

Assigned publications

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Risi, C. (2018). Die ästhetische Gewalt des Krieges in der Oper. In Aida Bosch; Hermann Pfütze (Eds.), Ästhetischer Widerstand gegen Zerstörung und Selbstzerstörung. (pp. 119-130). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
Kley, A. (2018). Literature and Knowledge: An Introduction. In Antje Kley, und Kai Merten (Eds.), Literature and Knowledge. Frankfurt/M.: Lang.
Paul, H. (2018). "Schwarze Sklaven, Weiße Sklaven": The German Reception of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'. In Tracy C. Davis, Stefka Mihaylova (Eds.), Uncle Tom's Cabins - The Transnational History of America's Most Mutable Book. (pp. 192-222). Ann Arbor, USA: University of Michigan Press.
Tamer, G. (2018). Überlegungen zum Verhältnis von Geschichte und Prophetie im Koran. In Joar Haga, Sascha Salatowsky, Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann und Wolfgang Schoberth (Eds.), Das Projekt der Aufklärung. Philosophisch-theologische Debatten von der Frühen Neuzeit bis zur Gegenwart. (pp. 483-496). Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt.
Kley, A., & Höpker, K. (2018). Unruly Creatures, Obstinate Things – Bio-Objects and Scientific Knowledge Production in Contemporary Science Novels. In Sina Farzin, Roslynn Haynes, Susan M. Gaines (Eds.), Under the Literary Microscope: New Perspectives on Science in Society from Contemporary Fiction. University Park, PA: Penn State UP.
Kley, A. (2018). US Print Culture, Literary Narrative, and Slow Reading in the Age of Big Data: Steve Tomasula’s VAS – An Opera in Flatland. In Heike Schaefer and Alexander Starre (Eds.), Medium, Object, Metaphor: The Printed Book in Contemporary American Culture..
Kley, A., & Höpker, K. (2017). Beyond the Laboratory: Biotechnology and Literary Knowledge Production in Contemporary Science Novels. Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, XLVIII, 3 (2015), 195-212.
Risi, C. (2017). Die performative Macht der Geste. Xavier Le Roy re-enactet Simon Rattle, der Strawinskys Le Sacre du Printemps dirigiert. In Brandstetter, Gabriele; Schneider, Katja (Eds.), SACRE 1913/2013. Tanz, Opfer, Kultur (pp. 121-134). Freiburg: Rombach.
Tamer, G., Grundmann, R., Kattan, E.A., & Pinggera, K. (Eds.) (2017). Exegetical Crossroads: Understanding Scripture in Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the Pre-Modern Orient. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter.
Kirchmann, K., Gottwald, M., & Paul, H. (Eds.) (2017). (Extra)Ordinary Presence Social Configurations and Cultural Repertoires. Bielefeld: Transcript.

Last updated on 2018-24-10 at 10:55