Profile of the Altertumswissenschaftliches Kolleg Heidelberg
The Altertumswissenschaftliches Kolleg Heidelberg (AKH research community for the study of the ancient world) was established in 2004 with funds from the Ministry of Science, Research and Art of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Its aim is to study, on the basis of contemporary theory and with regard to phenomena and questions of the present, the historical cultures of ancient times, their constituent cultural structures and the creation of meaning within them.
The concept of the AKH is interdisciplinary by nature. The cultures of the ancient world encompass the realms of prehistory, the Near East and Egypt, ancient Greece and the Roman Empire as well as the empires of late Antiquity, Byzantium and early Islam. These are put into an intercultural perspective through collaboration with disciplines studying the present-day, within both the arts and the sciences. The methodological foundation for this is a "hermeneutics of otherness", which complements the traditional historical construction of cultural identity by opening a perspective on alternatives. In doing so, the ability to address themes of relevance to the present is to be built within the disciplines studying the past.
Within the framework of the AKH, annual projects are funded which are carried out jointly by one representative of the disciplines studying antiquity and one representative of an academic discipline not regularly engaged in the study of antiquity. In each project, one of these partners is a member of the University of Heidelberg and one belongs to another university in Baden-Württemberg. Postgraduate researchers are affiliated to the project on the basis of scholarships. At both universities, study groups are formed to further the aims of the project through regular meetings, colloquia and conferences.