Research in this Field of Focus concentrates on the construction and dynamics of cultural spaces in order to better understand urgent problems of cultural identity, social and religious conflicts, and transcultural processes that are caused, for example, by accelerated mobility, migration or historical entanglements. The Faculties of Modern Languages, Philosophy, and Theology will identify common topics as a focus for their research and then collaborate in several interdisciplinary research networks, such as the Excellence Cluster “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”. Furthermore, the central interdisciplinary research organisations in the three faculties involved are to be integrated.
Research in interdisciplinary and intercultural anthropology and ethics requires intensive cooperation of the life, cultural, behavioural and social sciences. In addition to the transcultural studies programmes already established, the Interdisciplinary Forum for Biomedicine and Cultural Studies (IFBK) and the Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology (FIIT) will join in close association with the research group on subjectivity formed in 2010.
A Digital Humanities Research Group will analyse the impact of the growing data volume, image material and storage media on the humanities with respect to cultural identity, text editions, archives and digital culture. It will contribute to fundamental theoretical research and serve as an interface to related institutions of the university, such as the library, the Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing (HCI) and the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (ICR).
Furthermore, Text Worlds will be developed as a new theme. This will address how historical, cultural and transcultural contexts affect the creation, perception and interpretation of texts, and how this interpretation in turn affects these contexts