Thinking the European Republic of Letters
We will study Europe from the perspective of its transnational intellectual heritage. The starting point for our research group is the need to understand Europe not just in terms of politics, economics, and geography, but also as an intellectual endeavour. Thus, we will specifically stress the continuing centrality of a Europe of Ideas. It is in Europe where philosophy emerged as a specific form of rationality and where it has arguably played a bigger role for the self-understanding and self-reflection of its populations than anywhere else. Without it, Europe would be literally unthinkable.
Closely related to the shapes and traditions of European thought are the languages and literatures of Europe. Together they form the European Republic of Letters: a complex network of intellectual and artistic expressions, influences, practices, genres and institutions across epochs, borders, languages and media. By achieving a sense of understanding for the co-emergence of European philosophy and literature, we wish to acknowledge the historic and systematic diversity of thought and to argue for the persistent necessity of a European Republic of Letters.
The group’s historical focus is on the modern period from the Renaissance and Humanism until today. Whereas in the Classics, medieval and early modern studies, philosophy, rhetoric and poetics are often studied together, this is seldom the case in contemporary academic philosophy. Ideals of knowledge taken from the natural sciences and mathematics have dominated for a long time at the expense of literary contextualisation and analysis. In literary studies, on the other hand, philosophy has often been met by scepticism in the name of theory. This group will go beyond such intellectual stereotyping and stress the essential interdependence of scientific, normative, aesthetic, and historical modes of thinking in a Europe in touch with the rest of the world.
This group is aiming to broaden the scope of European studies and European cultural history by concentrating on European thought in the context of (comparative) literary and philosophical discourses. Its purpose is to provide both an open forum for intellectual exchange and to pioneer new approaches to intellectual history for a core group of scholars from various disciplines, in particular from philosophy, modern language and literature studies, comparative literature and bibliography/genetic criticism. We wish to become the foremost centre for studies within the philosophy & literature paradigm in Scandinavia, in close cooperation with our national and international partners. Our research projects, workshops, seminars and guest lectures will focus on:
- The historicity of concepts and ideas, including those of philosophy and literature themselves
- Linguistically mediated yet non-propositional forms of knowledge
- The figurality of thought: metaphor, style, genre
- Manuscripts, book history and editorial practices of European thought: the role of critical philology and bibliography for the European Republic of Letters
- The Enlightenment as a literary critique of philosophy and philosophical critique of literature
- Literary-philosophical constellations: institutions, conventions, media (including the culture of intellectual correspondences across Europe)
- The role of women in intellectual history
- The contribution of the Republic of Letters to Europe’s cultural memory
- Critical topology
- The transformations of Ancient philosophy and poetry in modern thought and literature
- Linguistic diversity of thinking and writing
- European thought and global history: colonialism and beyond
Just as diversity is essential to the European Republic of Letters itself, the foundation of our group lies in the participants’ own research. We will pool these efforts and our many different scholarly and linguistic competencies into larger units in order to achieve a complexity of enquiry unavailable to the individual. Our results will be disseminated and made public through teaching, conferences, academic and non-academic publications, as well as media talks.
7. marts 2019
Nietzsche’s philosophy and its influence on Spanish Literature. The case of Theatre
Sergio Santiago Romero (Madrid)
27. marts 2019
Rilke, Heidegger, and the struggle for the Open (Das Offene)
Prof. Hans Ruin (Södertörn)
10. april 2019
Diskussion af Hans Blumenberg
13. maj 2019
Writing Time: The Aesthetics of Ephemerality in Nineteenth-Century Periodical Literature
Sean Franzel (Missouri)
27.-29. juni 2019
International konference om tidlig tysk romantik
Feb. 21 2018
A Cosmopolitan Republican in the French Revolution. The Political Thought of Anarcharsis Cloots
Frank Ejby Poulsen discusses theses and arguments of his dissertation: (closed meeting, group members only)
March 16 2018
Techno og filosofi: Om at oversætte Rainald Goetz’ Rave
Troels Thorborg Andersen
open meeting, everybody welcome
March 16 2018
Book presentation and discussion with Christian Benne
Møllegades Boghandel, Nørrebro: Book presentation and discussion with Christian Benne on Friedrich Nietzsche’s lyrical poetry. Open meeting, everybody welcome.
April 4 2018
Stanley Cavell and the relationship between intellectual history, philosophy and literary criticism
Debate. Closed meeting, group members only.
April 24 2018
Danish writer Stig Dalager in conversation with Sabrina Ebbersmeyer
Danish writer Stig Dalager in conversation with Sabrina Ebbersmeyer on Elisabeth of Bohemia, one of the first women in Western philosophy. Stig Dalager will also read from his novel Kvinde i et århundrede (2017), which was partly inspired by Sabrina Ebbersmeyer’s work on Elisabeth (open meeting, everybody welcome).
May 18.-20. 2018
International conference on Elisabeth of Bohemia
Paderborn. Co-organised by Sabrina Ebbersmeyer.
May 22 2018
Litteraturkritikken før og nu
Seminar i anledning af udgivelsen af bogen Litteraturteori LIVE. Seksten samtaler om kritikkens guldalder ved Marianne Stidsen. Medvirkende bl.a. Marianne Stidsen, Isak Winkel Holm, Lasse Horne Kjældgaard og Christian Benne. Followed by reception (open meeting, everybody welcome).
June 13 2018
Author meets Critic with Kristin Gjesdal
With Kristin Gjesdal (Oslo Universitet/Temple University): Herder's Hermeneutics: History, Poetry, Enlightenment, Cambridge University Press 2017. In conversation with Christian Benne (KU) and Adam Paulsen (SDU). Followed by reception. Open meeting, everybody welcome.
June 22-24 2018
Vom Blatt zur Seite. Was es heißt, ein Manuskript zu lesen
Hamburg. Workshop at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, organised by Christian Benne
5 October 2017
Fiction as thought experiment?
Guest lecture with Prof. Dr. Christiane Schildknecht, University of Lucerne.
15 November 2017
Author meets critic: with Paul A. Kottman
Paul A. Kottman is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the New School for Social Research, and Eugene Lang College, the New School for Liberal Arts. He is a member of the Committee on Liberal Studies, and is affiliated with the Philosophy Department. He holds the Abilitazione, Professore Ordinario in Filosofia, Estetica (Professor of Philosophy, Aesthetics) in Italy. He has held Visiting Professorships at the University of Tokyo; the Università degli studi di Verona; Instituto per gli studi filosofici, Naples; and the International Chair in Political Languages, Dipartimento di Politiche Pubbliche e Scelte Colletive (POLIS), Università del Piemonte Orientale.
He has been awarded residential fellowships at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (Institute for Research in the Humanities) and Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Universität zu Köln. He is the editor of a new book series at Stanford University Press, Square One: First Order Questions in the Humanities His most recent book is Love as Human Freedom (Stanford University Press, 2017).
One of the European Centres of Excellence is a major partner of our group: The Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies, Cologne, already financed and co-hosted a conference at the University of Copenhagen in September 2016.
A research group on the ethical aspects of "philosophy and literature" in Lucerne, led by Prof. Chrisdne Abbt, is also an important partner.
We also cooperate closely with the Hamburg based Centre for Manuscript Studies and with an Anneliese-Maier-group on text curatorship 5 (Prof. Glenn Most, Scuola Normale, Pisa).
Research group members
Members from the University of Copenhagen
|Anna Lena Sandberg||Associate professor||+45 353-28156|
|Birthe Hoffmann||Associate professor||+45 353-28176|
|Christian Benne||Professor||+45 353-30085|
|Christian Dahl||Associate professor||+45 353-29269|
|David Possen||Part-time lecturer||+45 353-28100|
|Helle Porsdam||Associate professor|
|Jan Rosiek||Professor||+45 353-28349|
|Julio Hans C. Jensen||Associate professor||+45 353-28455|
|Katrine Helene Andersen||Associate professor|
|Marianne Stidsen||Associate professor||+45 353-28340|
|Niklas Olsen||Associate professor||+45 51 29 96 76|
|Sabrina Ebbersmeyer||Associate professor||+45 353-28861|
|Tina Jane Lupton||Head of department||+45 93 50 94 15|
|Tue Andersen Nexø||Associate professor||+45 353-21268|
25 June - 26 June 2020
International workshop on Early Romantic Language Philosophy
18 June - 19 June 2020
International conference in cooperation with the International Schelling Society
12 June 2020, 13:15-14:30
Dichterstimmen: Hofmannsthal und Celan
11 June 2020
Workshop on Birgitte Thott (1610-1662) and her intellectual contexts
3 June 2020, 14:30-16:00
Are women trustworthy? Female figures in Pierre Bayle’s Dictionnaire historique et critique
29 May 2020, 13:15-14:30
Wer also erzählt Nietzsches 'Zarathustra'?