Our conceptions of space, knowledge and cultural players, as well as of their interaction, have changed dramatically in recent decades; in the course of the already ancient processes of globalization and universalization, what role is played by distinctions that emerge as a result of contrary tendencies such as regionalization, particularization and/or “glocalization”? And what connections to possible concepts of identity shared by the bearers of these bodies of knowledge do such distinctions indicate?

These issues have been explored through the analysis of diverse, interdependent bodies of knowledge and their respective media (e.g. literary and religious texts, paintings, inscriptions, archaeological artifacts, rituals and performances), which on the one hand are connected with space to varying degrees, and yet on the other hand are also concretely situated in space. Space, knowledge and identity have been understood here as interdependent social constructs; consequently, factual or fictional self-assignations played just as important a role as the hotly disputed topics of remembrance and collective memory. The goal was to connect analysis grounded in classical studies with reflections on the history of knowledge, and hence to investigate knowledge formations and discourses on identity in the ancient world, and to conduct a – likewise thoroughly (self)critical – inquiry into the contribution made by our own research practices to the constituting of contemporary identities.

The research group focused on knowledge-based spaces of identity, whose founders, designers and addressees create, modify and materialize spatial arrangements and knowledge, and are thus essential for the production of relational space and bodies of knowledge. This becomes clear, e.g. in place- and space-oriented narratives, through spatially referenced material culture, in the form of discourses on memory, and in the course of cultural transformation within the scope of spatial mobility and cultural contact situations. In this way, using a variety of case studies set against different disciplinary backgrounds and based on diverse sources, the project addressed the central Topoi theme of the dynamics of space and knowledge.

Research Projects


Third-party Funded Projects