Department of Humanities

Humanities subjects investigate the way humans give meaning to the world. Their objects of study are the languages, social evolution, cultural production and cognitive achievements of humankind. Research in the humanities often focuses on cultural heritage, holding that investigation of the past is a precondition for coping with the present and thinking about the future, while maintaining a critical distance from ideological prejudice.

Within the faculty, humanities subjects focus on several areas of particular relevance today. One focus is social, linguistic and cultural diversity as demonstrated by individuals, evidenced by historical processes and/or represented in literature, the arts and the media. Many scholars in our faculty pay particular attention to the relevance of the media to cultural and social evolution. We investigate the way learning processes are influenced by multilingual and intercultural contexts as well as by new media, and reflect on the meaning of knowledge in knowledge-based societies.

Scholarship in the humanities is highly self-reflective and based on sound methods such as source criticism, historical reasoning, conceptual analysis and interpretation, but at the same time open to social and other sciences as well as to the application of modern technology. The humanities are therefore particularly appropriate for critical analysis of (hidden) power relations and the effects of social and cultural practices. They make their own contribution to assessments of ways society can deal with challenges such as the influence of artificial intelligence or the causes and effects of migration.


Peter Gilles

Research areas

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