Regardless of whether it is a historical film, the evening news, or a shaky YouTube video from a crisis area – cinematic images are not only about historically, culturally, or politically relevant issues. Rather, the images are themselves part of the public discourse in which objects of shared memory as well as attitudes to issues of culture, politics, and community are continuously modulated. It is important to address not only the depicted images, but also the aesthetic and poetic forms they utilize. How can filmic images be analyzed as discourse, or assessed and classified in discourses, when they are not seen as representations, but rather as technical modeling of perception? To what extent does the academic view of the historical, cultural, and political dimensions of film change, if they are not considered as a representative document of public discourse, but rather as the medium of an independent discourse conducted in images and sounds? The members of the research center that is being set up at Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with Filmuniversität Babelsberg aim to address these issues and develop a methodology for the analysis of filmic discourses. The project is being led by Prof. Dr. Hermann Kappelhoff (Freie Universität Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Michael Wedel (Filmuniversität Babelsberg).
The DFG Humanities Centres for Advanced Studies are a special type of funding instrument specifically tailored to the working methods used in these particular fields. They are funded for an initial period of four years. They should include researchers from more than one university and address transdisciplinary topics.