The term ‘specialized disciplines’ (sometimes referred to as ‘rare disciplines’) is an attempt at translating the term ‘kleine Fächer’, a working definition which arose in Germany in the context of the development of ‘mass universities’ in the 1960s. It denotes subjects, or ‘strukturprekären wissenschaftlichen Kompetenzen’ – ‘institutionally-precarious scientific disciplines’) that in quantitative terms have fewer professorships and are thus less represented at universities in Germany and abroad. These disciplines are important not only in themselves but also as auxiliary subjects that enrich broader studies in, for example, history, classics, and archeology.
Some of the competencies in Heidelberg that fit this definition are
- Aegean Archeology/Mycenology
- Byzantine Archeology
- Ancient Egyptian Languages
- Koine Greek
- Textual Criticism
A general list of ‘specialized disciplines’ can be found, in German, here (https://www.kleinefaecher.de/was-ist-ein-kleines-fach/kleine-faecher-in-der-kartierung/)