The interdisciplinary Research Training Group “Notational Iconicity” (Graduiertenkolleg "Schriftbildlichkeit") is dedicated to the study of script and writing in multiple fields within the humanities and human sciences. It supports research that contributes to a change of perspective from a phonographic, language-based concept of writing to an iconographic, language-neutral concept. Its fundamental theoretical principles are: (i) alphabetic and non-alphabetic scripts are hybrids of language and iconography; (ii) scripts are not merely methods of recording spoken language, but also tools in their own right for the direct expression and manipulation of thought.
The Research Training Group brings together scholars interested in the systematic and/or historical investigation of the creative and explorative function of notation and script in societal, religious, intellectual and artistic contexts. The participating disciplines include the entire spectrum of the humanities as well as mathematics and computer science. The centerpiece of the course of study at the “Schriftbildlichkeit” Research Training Group is the colloquium, which meets regularly and allows members to encounter each other’s work. Additionally, the Group’s members organize a yearly program of workshops, conferences and lectures.