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Collaborative Research Center 980: Episteme in Motion

Der SFB Episteme in Bewegung stellt sich beim Tag der Lehre als Pilotprojekt vor.
The Episteme in Motion collaborative research center introduces itself as a pilot project at the Tag der Lehre (Teaching Day) event. Image Credit: SFB 980

Collaborative research center 980, “Episteme in Motion,” combines 20 subprojects that study how knowledge has changed and processes of transferring knowledge over a period stretching from antiquity to the early modern period from a transcultural perspective. Many of the “small” disciplines – from Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Egyptology to Iranian studies – are represented in the research alliance. The alliance partners are Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

In this way, the collaborative research center’s research program offers numerous points of connection to introduce students to the particular quality of top research done as part of an alliance project. Research-oriented teaching has been implemented within the collaborative research center through various formats.

Lecture Series

During the 2013/2014 winter semester, the collaborative research center presented itself with a lecture series titled “Wissensbewegungen” (Knowledge Movements) as part of the Open Lecture Halls program at Freie Universität. The lecture series was also integrated into the curricula for various degree programs in the humanities in order to bring the focus of the center’s research into as broad a range of teaching activities at the university as possible; seminars held at the same time and in the future are intended to anchor the area of focus on a lasting basis. The event was designed by Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann, Professor, and Dr. Kristiane Hasselmann. The audio recordings of the talks are available on the center’s website.


  • Introductory seminar and writing course: “Was heißt Wissen (Episteme)? Klassische Modelle und Kritik” (16006/16007), Dr. Anne Eusterschulte, Professor at the Institute of Philosophy, 2013/14 winter semester
  • Main seminar: “Magie und Wissen in Wolframs von Eschenbach Parzival,” Prof. Jutta Eming at the Institute of German and Dutch Languages and Literatures, 2013/14 winter semester

Research Internships

The research internship “Das Astrolab aus dem Museum für Islamische Kunst - Astronomisches Wissen im Transfer” (The Astrolabe from the Museum für Islamische Kunst – Transferring Knowledge of Astronomy), which was offered during the 2014/15 winter semester as part of the center’s project “Objects in Transfer,” gave students from various departments a look at the interdisciplinary, cross-institution work done by the transfer project in cooperation with the Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum of Islamic Art), one of the Berlin State Museums. The goal of the project is to develop a series of interventions in the permanent exhibition.

A research internship was offered in the center’s subproject “Von Logos zu Kalām: Figurationen und Transformationen von Wissen in der vorderorientalischen Spätantike” in the 2015 summer semester. The internship was aimed at students in the master’s degree programs in Arabic studies, religious studies, Islamic studies, history (ancient history, Late Antiquity, medieval history), editorial studies, classical philology, and related subjects.

Research Colloquia

The managers of the subprojects at collaborative research center 980 offer regular research colloquia at the relevant institutes within their areas of work, providing guidance in scholarly work and giving students impetus from current research for their own work. The dialogue is created by inviting both the doctoral candidates and the student assistants at the collaborative research center to the institute colloquia, along with inviting colloquium participants from the institutes to the center’s events.

Further Activities of Collaborative Research Center 980

Interdisciplinary Research Seminars

These seminars are taught by two or even more employees of the research center from different disciplines. They are also explicitly aimed at students of different disciplines. In this way, instructors and students approach the issue from different subject-specific perspectives. This format hones participants’ perceptions of the specific findings-related interests of their own disciplines and boosts knowledge of scientific and scholarly perspectives, discourses and “languages” of other disciplinary cultures and also offers a highly practical way to experience how the research interests of individual disciplines interlace when concrete subjects are involved, and how methodological challenges appear in a new complexity.


  • 2014/15 winter semester: Bilder der Seele in Antike/Spätantike und Renaissance (instructors: Dr. Fabiana Cazzola, Ursula Ziegler). This course dealt with questions of visual knowledge relating to both philosophical and art history texts and examined specific works of art (drawings, paintings, sculptures).

Interdisciplinary Research Seminars with Integrated Conference or Workshop Attendance

These research seminars provide a structural introduction to the key presentation and discussion formats in the humanities and cultural studies. The seminar prepares participants to attend a conference as a group and is a place for them to follow up on the conference. It also gives students the opportunity to try out the knowledge they have gained in the seminar in practice at the conference, for example as part of a small workshop.


  • 2014/15 winter semester: Hinter den Kulissen. Ein konferenzbegleitendes Seminar zur internationalen Tagung "Modell + Risiko. Historische Miniaturen dynamischer Epistemologien" (instructors: Michael Conrad M.A., Anna Laqua M.A., Peter Löffelbein M.A., Dr. Michael Lorber)