Two New Research Training Groups

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In a great success for researchers at the Department of English and American Studies, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved funding for two new research training groups: “Die Konstruktionsgrammatische Galaxis” and “Literatur und Öffentlichkeit in differenten Gegenwartskulturen.”

The Construction Grammar Galaxy

This RTG focuses on construction grammar, a theoretical approach in linguistics based on the assumption that a person’s entire knowledge of language is represented by a network of pairings of forms with meanings, or “constructions.” In the research training group “The construction grammar galaxy,” researchers from the fields of linguistics, psychology and brain research will be examining central aspects of this concept and will demonstrate its use on largely unresearched languages, language stages, and language contact situations. Speaker of this group is Prof. Dr. Ewa Dabrowska.

Literature and the Public Sphere in Different Contemporary Cultures

This RTG analyzes, under which social, political, economic, and medial conditions literature is created and how it affects its surrounding environments. Researchers will scrutinize contemporary literature from different languages and cultural spaces since 1945 in view of changing and fragmenting public spheres. In doing so, they will apply a praxeological concept of literature, which includes socio-cultural contexts, political frameworks, institutional arrangements, the literature industry, and the literary scene. Speakers of this group are Prof. Dr. Antje Kley and Prof. Dr. Dirk Niefanger.

Strong Focus on Research

The two new RTGs will be installed in the fall of this year and will provide excellent support for young researchers in these fields. Together with the already existing research training group “Das Sentimentale in Literatur, Kultur und Politik” (, speaker: Prof. Dr. Heike Paul), they attest to the department’s leading-edge research.