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WiSe 23/24


Winter Semester 2023/2024


Prof. Dr. Jennifer Doyle (University of California)

Scientia Sexualis: A Curatorial Project

14.11.2023, 18:00-20:00 (CEST), GGK/GCSC (MFR) & Online (BBB)

In this lecture, Jennifer Doyle shares her collaboration with Jeanne Vaccaro on Scientia Sexualis, an exhibition of contemporary art which takes up the intersection of sex and science. She will share the exhibition's defining questions and challenges, reflect on the history of queer and feminist work in this space and situate this project in relation to the ongoing fight for bodily autonomy and sexual liberty. Scientia Sexualis will open in the fall of 2024 at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and is part of PST ART: Art & Science Collide, a regional festival sponsored by The Getty.

Jes Fan, Form Begets Function (2020) - detail.

Aqua Resin, Pigment, Wood, Fiberglass, Glass, Urine, Depo-testosterone, Melanin


Organised with Research Area 3 "Cultural Transformation & Performativity Studies"



GCSC/RCSC Distinguished Researchers

Roundtable: "New Perspectives for the Study of Culture"

28.11.2023, 18:00-20:00 (CEST),  Online (BBB)

Roundtable online only

Dr. Doris Bachmann-Medick (Adjunct Research Fellow, International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC)),

Prof. Dr. Rolf J. Goebel (Distinguished Professor of German, Emeritus, Dept. of World Languages and Cultures, University of Alabama in Huntsville),

Prof. Dr.  Richard Grusin (Distinguished Professor of English, Emeritus, Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee),

Professoressa Emerita Dr. Angela Locatelli (Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Bergamo)


Prof. Rósa Magnúsdóttir (University of Iceland)

The Cultural Cold War: The Challenges of Interdisciplinary Knowledge Creation

30.01.2024, 18:00-20:00 (CET), GGK/GCSC (MFR)

The Cultural Cold War was the ideological conflict that formed the basis for the Cold War, sometimes also talked about as the battle for hearts and minds. As a research field, the Cultural Cold War was originally the domain of historians, but ever since the 1990s, the field has grown exponentially as topics related to the Cultural Cold War are now approached from several other disciplinary directions, such as literature, art, and anthropology. Just like the Cold War, which was originally researched mainly as a superpower conflict – with Soviet-American relations in the foreground – the cultural Cold War had global implications. A global web of connections, including transnational relations and entangled narratives, further complicates the picture of what we understand and research as the Cultural Cold War. Especially the role of actors involved in the cultural Cold War has raised several questions about agency and primary sources in general. Additionally, new approaches, access to sources, and theoretical developments have seen historical research branch out into several new subfields. In my presentation, I am hoping to work through some of the challenges that arise when a research field expands, while also thinking about ways to make the most out of the promise of interdisciplinary approaches. 

In cooperation with: Oberseminar Osteuropäische Geschichte, JLU


Prof. Dr. Martin Revermann (University of Toronto, Canada)

The Theatre of Science

06.02.2024, 18:00-20:00 (CET), GGK/GCSC (MFR)

The recent pandemic has made it abundantly clear that scientific insights need to be communicated effectively so that the general public understands and ‘buys in’ by changing its behavioural practices collectively. Persuasive social theatre and suggestive performance techniques are crucial parts of such scientific communication strategies. In other words: the sciences need the theatre! This need will only grow in the future, as the vast majority of key sciences in the 21st century will be ‘embodied sciences’, i.e. sciences which affect the human body (individually and collectively) in very concrete ways: genetics-based medicine (including individually tailored vaccine treatments); environmental sciences; and Artificial Intelligence which will re-configure the relationship between the human body and its non-human counterparts.

I will discuss how in some (famous) scientific contexts theatre-and-performance art has been utilized to communicate novel and paradigm-changing insights. The main part of the lecture will focus on the other side of this equation, i.e. how the theatre as an embodied communicative medium continues to interact with the sciences. Four key aspects will be considered: the scientist as a problematic hero; science and religion; science and power; and the relationship between science and language. To illustrate my points I will draw, to various degrees, on several plays, spanning 2500 years of thinking with and through the medium theatre: Aristophanes’ Clouds (423 BCE), Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (ca. 1590), Karel Čapek’ Rossum’s Universal Robots (1920), Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo (1955) and W;t by Margaret Edson (first performed in 1995).

In the final section of the lecture, I would like to build on the insights previously gained to initiate further collective discussion: how can theatre and performance in the future facilitate public education and enable critical public discourse regarding science, especially those ‘embodied sciences’ which will fundamentally re-shape our lives in the decades to come? Particular thought will be given to pedagogy at the university level and the benefits of an integrated theatre/science approach.

In cooperation with: Klassische Philologie & Angewandte Theaterwissenschaften, JLU