The Diversity of Literatures

The research focuses of the Institute of Literary Studies are encapsulated by the different departments. Literary Studies is a diverse field, covering a wide spectrum of topics. These are best represented by the mission statements of the respective departments.

Mission Statements

American Literature and Culture

The American Studies Program at the University of Stuttgart offers a comprehensive education in U.S.-American history, society, culture, and literature. Students learn about crucial developments in American literature and culture from the colonial beginnings of the United States until the present. Those who pursue a Master’s degree can specialize in American Studies with an emphasis on interculturality and intermediality. Our program is one of a few in Germany with research foci in the Digital Humanities.

Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities is the name of a new research area that combines Computer Science and the Humanities. Computing power is used to work on questions classically posed by the Humanities, utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods in an interdisciplinary fashion. Only this mixed-methods approach is able to yield results meaningful for the questions posed. In Stuttgart, the main focus lies on questions of text analysis as well as digital editorial activities. Both of these areas facilitate cooperation with other Humanities departments and institutions outside of the faculty. Furthermore, Stuttgart offers a Master program in Digital Humanities that deeply interlaces research and teaching.

English Literatures and Cultures

The research areas at the Department of English Literatures and Culture at the University of Stuttgart cover a broad spectrum of topics – from Early Modern to contemporary, digital literature, from Shakespeare studies to postcolonial theories to approaches from the field of cognitive literary studies. In these areas, our department is involved in numerous transdisciplinary collaborations with international partners and we strive to introduce our students to latest research and theories early on in the courses we offer.

Gallo-Roman Studies

The core areas of research in the Department of Gallo-Roman Studies are the literature and culture of the early modern period, especially its theatre (Corneille, Molière, Racine) and the depiction of magic. Teaching benefits from research impulses and, at the same time, presents the diversity of French literature and cultures over the centuries.
Practical language exercises, seminars on cultural studies and excursions are also part of the portfolio of the teachers in the department and are offered in the various Bachelor's and Master's programmes.

Italian Studies at the University of Stuttgart – sempre una buona scelta!

Exquisite teaching, focused on Italian literature and culture spanning from the beginning of the 13th century to its newest developments in the 21st century, is not everything the Italian Studies in Stuttgart have to offer: close contacts with Italian institutions like the Consulate General of Italy, the Instituto Italiano di Cultura Stuttgart and the Dante Society Stuttgart allow for numerous interesting cooperations which offer students the opportunity of a direct contact with Italy. Contacts that more often than not lead to concrete studies abroad, be it a semester abroad, an internship or assistenze. The activities of the department-lead Italien-Zentrum in addition offer the opportunity to come into contact with Italian language and culture and, more concretely, authors and scientists. The programme of the Italien-Zentrum offers scientific conferences centered around current research as well as film nights, readings by renowned authors and newcomers alike and joint projects with universities and cultural institutions from Germany and Italy. The department publishes a journal, HORIZONTE, which is one of the most important and renowned Italian Studies journals in Germany.

Medieval and Early Modern German Language and Literature

German Medieval Studies deals with German language and literature from its beginnings to the 16th century. It discusses and contextualizes older German literature against the background of the social, cultural and media situation of that period.

Modern German Literature

Modern German Literature Studies (NDL) deals with German-language literature from the early modern period to the present and examines its connections to literature from other cultures. To this end, the NDL works from a perspective that is literary and cultural-historical, literary-theoretical, text-analytical, computer-assisted and interdisciplinary.


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This image shows Malte Heckelen

Malte Heckelen


Responsible for Website Management / Academic Staff, Department Digital Humanities

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