As part of the investigation of the transformations that ancient economics and chrematistics underwent in the early modern era, this project focused on ancient psychotopology, exploring the cultural resonance and literary productivity of stoic oikeiosis as well as aristotelian-galenic models of faculty theory.


In the course of research, it has emerged that these dimensions of ancient as well as early modern psychophysiology not only define the soul as economic space and its activities as a type of household management – including the internal allocation of competencies and powers, the management of resources as well as the regulation of excess and the production of aesthetic ‘surplus’ or symbolic credit. To understand – as early modern psychology does – the working of the soul as economy also helps to describe the specific suggestions made in literary texts and their potential effects with respect to ways of ordering the mind, influencing, guiding and controlling its administration, its productions and the ethically relevant actions to which it is capable of moving. Thus, imaginations as well as actions instigated by Renaissance texts, in particular the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, have come to be seen as outcome of specific transformations of the economic paradigm as unfolded in ancient thinking from Plato, Hesiod and Aristotle to stoic and neoplatonic authors.


In connection with the research questions pursued in research groups (C-2) Space and Metaphor and (D-4) Immaterial Causes and Physical Space, the perspective of oikonomia has so far led to the following publications:

Verena Lobsien et al., “From the Oikonomia of Classical Antiquity to Our Modern Economy. Literary-theoretical Transformations of Social Models“, in: eTopoi: Journal for Ancient Studies, Special Volume 6 (2016)
Verena Lobsien, “Topopoetik der Herrschaft: Allegorische Ökonomien bei Spenser und Shakespeare“, in: Ulla Haselstein (ed.), Allegorie. DFG-Symposion 2014. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016, 382-413
Verena Lobsien, “The Household of Heroism: Metaphor, Economy, and Coriolanus“, in: Shakespeare Survey 69 (2016), 216-227
Verena Lobsien, “Shakespeares Affektpoetik“, in: Martin von Koppenfels, Cornelia Zumbusch (eds.), Handbuch Literatur & Emotionen, Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 2016, 379-398
Verena Lobsien, Shakespeares Exzess. Sympathie und Ökonomie. Wiesbaden: Berlin University Press, 2015
Verena Lobsien, “Reflection: Faculties and Imagination“, in: Dominik Perler (ed.), The Faculties: A History, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press (Oxford Philosophical Concepts), 2015, 140-149