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The Dahlem Humanities Center (DHC) was founded in 2007 as part of the Excellence Initiative as one of five Focus Areas at Freie Universität Berlin, making it the first institution of its kind in Germany. It brings together the breadth of research in the humanities at Freie Universität, which is unique in Germany, and is located in the two departments of Philosophy and Humanities and History and Cultural Studies. In November 2019, it was made permanent at Freie Universität Berlin. The DHC aims to detect and investigate new trends in the humanities and to support interdisciplinary research, both at the regional and international level. Another major concern is to strengthen the visibility of the humanities also in the non-university public.

With advice from the Board of Directors and the members of the Dahlem Humanities Center, the staff coordinates all aspects of the center’s programs and events. 


  • Foster communication and collaboration in the humanities at Freie Universität Berlin
  • Identify current research trends and promote ideas for new collaborative research endeavors
  • Promote international research cooperation and establish transnational networks in the humanities
  • Involve academic and non-academic audiences and facilitate an ongoing conversation about the role of the humanities in society
  • Support early career researchers through fellowships and other dedicated programs


A wide variety of events and pro­gram series’ create the basis for a vibrant exchange of knowledge and ideas between re­searchers from all career levels. Coope­ra­tion with non-uni­versity research orga­niza­tions, cultural institutions, and the humanities centers at leading universities around the world generate important new impulses for humanities research in Berlin.

One of the highlights of Freie Universität's academic calendar is the annual Hegel Lecture. It has been delivered by eminent scholars in the humanities, such as Judith Butler, Homi Bhabha, Hélène Cixous. These lectures frequently attract audiences of several hundred, generating interest in the humanities beyond Freie Universität’s Dahlem campus. 

In collaboration with Suhrkamp publishers, the DHC hosts the biannual Siegfried Unseld Lectures. These talks, designed to foster a dialogue between the arts and academia, are delivered by internationally acclaimed writers and intellectuals. 

At the heart of the center’s regular programming are the Dahlem Humanities Center Lectures, an ongoing lecture series in which scholars, both upcoming and established, are invited to share their ideas on topics across the full range of the humanities disciplines. 

The Digital*Humanities im Gespräch (Digital*Humanities in Dialogue) series, organized together with Freie Universität’s Center for Digital Sytems (CeDiS), provides a forum for an interdisciplinary conversation about current developments in the Digital Humanities and their methodological implications for the humanities in general.

With the workshop series Forschung im Dialog (Research in Dialogue), the DHC helps to identify perspectives for interdisciplinary research cooperation by inviting scholars from various humanities disciplines to present newly funded research projects.


The DHC serves as a host institution for different fellowship programs, including the DHC's own Dahlem Junior Host Program, offering international junior and senior scholars the possibility of short- and long-term research stays at Freie Universität Berlin.

Department of Philosophy and Humanities