• Emotion Talk Across Corpora (Englische Sprachwissenschaft)
    This research project deals with the language of emotion (expressions such as love, hate, afraid, happy), and how it is used in four varieties of British English (conversation, fiction, news, academic discourse). More specifically, Im interested in analysing, across a 20-million-word corpus: (a) the frequency of expressions of affect, (b) the expression of affect via different parts of speech (verbs, adjectives etc) (c) patterns of affect, (d) the rhetorical functions of expressions of affect. The findings of this research will have an impact on neighbouring disciplines such as cultural studies (e.g. the analysis of emotional point of view and perspective).

  • Mysticism and Utopia of Art in the Oeuvre of Thomas Bernhard (Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft)
    The oeuvre of Thomas Bernhard is – clearly – characterised by a consistent negative, disparate and basically life-negating outlook on the world which became manifested in sick, isolated individuals or never-ending tirades of hatred against almost everything and everybody. This resignation over the modern world, however, results from an attitude of loss, as can occasionally be read between the lines, over a lost or impossible unity with nature or his fellow beings (particularly in a family context). Mainly contained in his early works but also hidden in his later texts are tendencies of a quasi-romantic utopia of unity which is repeatedly represented in “other states”, a flowing together of impressions which can truly be called mystic; especially the creative act of writing constitutes a possibility, at least for a short time, of obtaining a feeling of unity of being. The dissertation aims to place such aspects in the foreground and to define Bernhard’s cosmos via those elements which are lost therein, with the important role of writing leading the way to the poetry of the author which has not quite been covered as yet.

  • In the Dungeon of Conscience. Dramatising Ethical Normativity on the Stage of Early Modern Times Franz Fromholzer (Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft)
    Based on the situation of prisoners in historical dramas of Early Modern Times, this study aims to contribute towards the knowledge about the strategies used in dealing with conflicting ethical norms. The ethical reading of history in drama requires a conflict with “the other”, the other confession, the other culture (orient, slavism) in order to certify the non-questionable norm in its deathly consequence, which is above the individual life. Thus, a situation is created which is characterised by an inability to enter into a dialogue or to reach a compromise between different ethical norms or cultural worlds. The study further aims to examine how conscience has to be re-interpreted and re-defined in order to survive as a non-questionable authority in the conflict with the power of “the other”.

  • Water on the Mills of Time – an Elementary Force as a Mirror of the Border Area Between Belief in Progress and Change of Society Christina Alexandra Hartmann, M.A. (Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft)
    The paper centers on the relationship between humans and society and the process-like state of the world, from the beginning of the French Revolution to Post-War Time. The following two aspects are to be examined in closer detail: To which extent does the element water represent a mirror of such a relationship with regard to content as well as language? What does water as an independent elementary character stand for, and how is it used by the author? An important role is played by aesthetical, mythological, metaphysical, psychological or emancipatory aspects in connection with the historical environment, scientific, political, spiritual developments and industrialisation. Is a change of paradigms with regard to the representation of “water” taking place throughout decades or centuries, is such a change subject of merely one work of literature, or are both options possible? For this reason, the dissertation deals with representatives from the Periods of Classicism, Realism, Industrialisation, Symbolism to Post-War Literature, such as: J.W. Goethe (Faust, der Tragödie zweiter Teil), Th. Storm (Die Regentrude, Aquis submersus), W. Raabe (Pfisters Mühle), Th. Fontane (Der Stechlin), finally I. Bachmann (Undine geht) and G. Eich (Unter Wasser).

  • Der blaue Reiter ist da – a Beautiful Phrase, Five Words – Nothing But Stars. Letters exchanged between Else Lasker-Schüler and Franz Marc, a Cross-Border Dialogue Karin Rossmanith-Haslinger (Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft)
    The private and public letters exchanged between Else Lasker-Schüler and Franz Marc takes place in various sign systems. Painting is in dialogue with language. This paper examines on which levels the media meet. Based on the correspondence of the poet with the painter, the following aspects will be looked at:
    • Structures of language and painting in the respective other medium, boundaries of literature and paintings, acting together of both sign systems
    • Masks and symbols: Animals, symbolism of colours in love, religion
    • A dialogue in Expressionism
    • Setting boundaries, dissolving boundaries: Overlapping of life and work, abolishment of gender polarisation, spaces, bodies, utopias, overcoming death

  • The Narrative Poetics of the Lyricist Eduard Mörike. Between Classicism/Romanticism and Realism Kim, Jong-Pil (Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft)
    For a some decades, research has discussed the narrative works of the lyricist Eduard Mörike more intensively than ever, particularly his first and only novel “Maler Nolten”. This dissertation centres on the literary works which he compiled himself in the collectors’ volume “Vier Erzählungen” in 1856 which gives evidence of the literary development of the narrator Mörike from the Nolten novel (1832) to the Mozart novella (1856). However, it has been neglected by research so far. By a discourse on the aesthetical peculiarity and literary-historical connections, the narrative poetics of the lyricist, who left behind only few remarks on his narrative theory, is restored and compared with the previous or following literary flow, respectively. Thus, the change of époque at the transition between Weimar Classicism/Romanticism towards (poetical) realism is included into the dissertation and the literary-historical significance of the narrator’s works is examined.

  • Conjectured edition of the “Millstätt Collection of Sermons” Prof. Dr. Freimut Löser (Deutsche Sprache und Literatur des Mittelalters)
    The Millstätt Collection of Sermons is one of the last significant and mainly unedited prose texts in Middle High German from the period around 1200. It has been passed down in one handwriting only (around 1200). A complete edition of this unique monument of early German prose has been prevented so far due to changing ownership and the consequences of war. (We have at our disposal 20, respectively 4 prints of 19th century sermons from this collection.) The Millstätt Collection of Sermons containing 66 sermons is the only unedited collection of a whole of 8 large collections of early German sermons which in view of quantitative and qualitative aspects represents a unique corpus of catechist and adhortative text documents in Europe, written in the people’s language from the period around the year 1200. The texts of these early German sermons are sample sermons for use by ministers originating between the years 1170 and 1230 and do not fall under the sermons of the Mendicant Order. As it is documented by numerous passages within the early German sermons as well as by individual handwritings, the target group of early German sermons were readers who were interested in the literature of around the year 1200. Thus, there exists a certain degree of overlapping between the potential recipients of courtly literature and those of early German sermons. The sermons possess a central value with regard to the theological horizon of laymen nobility which has been underestimated as yet. Since the Millstätt sermons contain standard information with respect to catechism and liturgy in sermons for any occasion, the edition of this last unedited text of around the year 1200 represents an urgent research desideratum. The Millstätt sermons have a great significance for understanding the theological knowledge horizon of laymen around the year 1200.

  • German Clerical Prose of the 13th Century Reflected by Latin Tradition: An Examination of Linguistic Variability and Stereotype Prof. Dr. Freimut Löser (Deutsche Sprache und Literatur des Mittelalters)
    The intended examination focuses on the tension between variation and repetition, between grammatical-lexical variance and consistency in text documents of the Middle Ages. It aims to describe the variance of stereotype sentence and text units as contained, for example, in Upper German clerical prose of the 13th Century (with regard to later tradition until the late 15th century) under paradigmatic and syntactic aspects and further to confront it with Latin documents. An analysis of treatises, reflections, sermons, monastery regulations and phrases, is to contribute towards the determination of boundaries which distinguish the stereotype as an elementary unit of a literary tradition from the common units of natural language, on the one hand, and from the units of traditional poetry as such (i.e. not context-related), on the other hand.

  • Textbook Middle High German Prof. Dr. Freimut Löser (Deutsche Sprache und Literatur des Mittelalters)
    Textbook Middle High German for UTB Basics (Narr publishing house, Tübingen). Introduction to the historical grammar of German with an emphasis on linguistics (in particular a comparison with New High German) and on Old German (translation training) comprising 14 chapters including teaching instructions, short grammar in tabular form and commented translation exercises.
    Expected publication date: Spring 2008

  • The scientific discourse in the romance languages Prof. Dr. Sabine Schwarze (Romanische Sprachwissenschaft )
    he heterogeneity of national scientific styles has been neglected not only with respect to possible linguistic results, but also with a view to expected stimuli for the inter-cultural communication research (and didactics of foreign languages). It has been gaining particular importance due to the rapidly progressing linguistic standardisation of the scientific market (compare Bourdieu) where English has increasingly become the dominating lingua franca. For the romanistic scientist the romance scientific languages continue to be the central basis of her/his scientific work and an integrative component of her/his linguistic socialisation in the academic sector. However, she/he should ask herself/himself in which way scientific types of text, their traditions of discourse and thus academic writing in the romance languages is affected by the internationalisation of research, the participation in the international scientific public, and, last but not least the increasingly important modification of communication techniques. The Chair examines the linguistic areas of France, Italy and the francophone Canada.