in the Corona semester a new format - The International Visiting Professorship Live @home

Aleida und Jan Assmann - Bild von Phillip Roth

With Aleida and Jan Assmann, the Center has succeeded in inviting the highly acclaimed originators of the concept of "cultural memory" for the international visiting lectureship.

How and what do societies remember? This is the key question at the heart of the concept of cultural memory. More specifically, this approach aims to delineate officially legitimized, institutionally constructed forms of collective memory that differ from individual memories. This is invariably linked to the ways in which knowledge about the past is used as a source of orientation for the present and the future.


Correspondingly, Aleida and Jan Assmann have had a lasting impact in the field of cultural studies, but have also repeatedly engaged in current social and political debates. The multi-award-winning, mutually inspired intellectual couple, who were most recently honored with the Peace Prize of the the German Book Trade Association in 2018, will focus on the topic of "Remembering and Forgetting" in their Augsburg lectures. 

The topics of the lectures were based on both joint research and their individual expertise. Jan Assmann spoke about the invention of antiquity, while Aleida Assmann reflected on developments that threaten the communal spirit and the actions that can be taken to counteract this.


Due to the cancellation of major events on account of the spread of the coronavirus, the lectures had to be postponed from the summer semester 2020 to the winter semester of 2020/21. Unfortunately, it was still not feasible to host the lectures in Augsburg. Instead, the lectures were broadcasted on our Youtube channel.

Remembering and Forgetting - Lectures and Workshops Live @home

December 8th 2020, 18:30 pm
Jan Assmann – Die Erfindung des Altertums: Schrift, Kanon, Vergangenheit



February 9th  2021, 18:30 pm
Aleida Assmann – Gemeinsinn. Was ihn bedroht und was man dafür tun kann



December 9th 2020 and February 10th 2021, 10:00 am
Workshop series for master’s and graduate students via Zoom



Livestream: Jan Assmann – Die Erfindung des Altertums: Schrift, Kanon, Vergangenheit
Livestream: Aleida Assmann – Gemeinsinn. Was ihn bedroht und was man dafür tun kann

About the speakers

Aleida Assmann

is an Anglicist and cultural scientist. Until 2014, she held the chair of English and literary studies at the University of Konstanz. Aleida Assmann received her doctorate in 1977 from the University of Heidelberg with a thesis on "The Legitimation of Fiction" and completed her habilitation there in 1992. In 1993, she was given a chair at the University of Konstanz. Numerous guest professorships and fellowships have brought Aleida Assmann to the USA, to Princeton and Yale, and to the University of Vienna, among other places. In addition to numerous works on English literature and the archaeology of literary communication, her research has focused primarily on cultural memory, remembrance and forgetting. Aleida Assmann's most recent works are "Menschenrechte und Menschenpflichten. Schlüsselbegriffe für eine humane Gesellschaft" (2017) and "Der europäische Traum. Vier Lehren aus der Geschichte" (2018).


Jan Assmann

is an Egyptologist, as well as a researcher in the fields of religious and cultural studies. Until his retirement in 2003, he held the chair of Egyptology at the University of Heidelberg. Since 2005, Jan Assmann has been an honorary professor of cultural studies and theory of religion in Konstanz. In 1965, he received his doctorate in Heidelberg on the subject of "Liturgical Songs to the Sun God". In 1971, Jan Assmann habilitated on "The Tomb of Basa (No.389) in the Theban Necropolis". Guest professorships and fellowships took him to Berlin, Munich, the USA, Paris and Jerusalem. His research has focused on the Egyptian civilization as a society guided by ideas of order and justice. Jan Assmann became known to the broader public through his studies on monotheism. His most recent publications include "Totale Religion. Ursprünge und Formen puritanischer Verschärfung" (2016) and "Achsenzeit. Eine Archäologie der Moderne" (2018).


In 1978, Aleida and Jan Assmann jointly founded the working group "Archaeology of Literary Communication", which was intended to stimulate discussion across various disciplines. Its first conference in 1979 centred around the topic of "Writing and Memory". This paved the way for the development and research of the concept of cultural memory. Aleida and Jan Assmann have received numerous awards, both individually and together. These include, among others, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade Association in 2018 and the Karl-Jaspers Prize as well as the Balzan Prize in 2017.