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Doctorate Program

Premodern Textuality

University of Munich (chair), University of Erlangen-Nürnberg,  University of Regensburg, University of  Würzburg, Catholic University of  Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

Doktorandinnen des Kollegs

Degree: Doctorate Degree

Duration of study: 4 semesters

Place of study: Munich

Requirements: university degree

Language of instruction: German

Places: 12

The dissertations pursued in the framework of this Ph. D. program make use of the cross-fertilization between cultural and textual studies and the methodological innovations which have resulted from it in recent years. Students work in the fields of Classical Philology, Medieval Studies and Early Modern Studies. Their research focusses on the various manifestations, functions and uses of texts as well as on the factors which govern their formation. Special attention is being paid to the problematics of the transmission and reception of texts in pre-modern European (as well as Europeanized) cultures. The program is based in Munich, where renowned scholars from different philologies advise graduate students from both German and international backgrounds, and where institutions of academic excellence like the Research Network 573, "Pluralization and Authority in the Early Modern Age" (funded by the German Research Foundation), pursue similar academic interests. It offers regular graduate seminars, colloquia organized by the students, interdisciplinary lecture series, visiting professorships, workshops and summer schools. Outstanding international specialists from all historical disciplines - textual as well as non-textual - are involved in designing its curriculum.

The twelve participants in the programme have their own fully equipped offices; they receive support for research-related travel both inside and outside Germany, and they have the opportunity to teach at their respective departments. Intense supervision of the individual projects, the well-balanced curriculum and the lively, intellectually inspiring surroundings provide excellent academic conditions for our students and allow them to complete their dissertations with maximum efficiency.
The program focusses in particular on questions concerning the specificity of early modern textuality. While recent methodological approaches like the New Philology or the New Historicism have been instrumental in generating these questions, scholars in the field are still looking for valid answers. At stake are problems of authorship, of textual identity, of mediality (particularly of oral and written expression, of manuscript and print culture, of the relation between sound and word, of textuality combined with pictorial and object-related communication), and also of performativity and contextualization. These phenomena are located within philological, editorial and hermeneutical contexts, as well as within the history of ideas and within social history. A theoretically informed approach, a curiousness for the very alterity of pre-modern ways of thinking and communicating, and a lively interest in questions at issue in historical disciplines outside the traditional philologies are among the essential prerequisites for the innovative research undertaken within the program's Ph.D. projects.

The international Ph.D. program "Pre-modern textuality" took up its work on 1 December 2004, with Peter Strohschneider, Professor for medieval German language and literature and now the president of the German Council of Science and Humanities, as its spokesperson. Ph.D. supervisors include classical philologists as well as experts in the medieval and early modern periods - specialists in Middle and New Latin, German, English and Romance language(s) and/or literature(s). The first generation of students successfully completed their dissertations in 2006 and 2007. The second generation of students completed their dissertations from 2008 to 2012.

Highlights of the International Doctorate Program

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Vollhardt

Funded by:
  • Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts;
  • Elite Network of Bavaria:
  • December 1, 2004 - November 30, 2012