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Annual Conference of the Collaborative Research Center 980 “Episteme in Motion”

The transfer of knowledge is always bound to material objects or practices of representation. The upcoming annual conference of the research center investigates aesthetic procedures involved in generating knowledge from a transcultural perspective, including artifacts from both premodern European as well as non-European cultures. To what extent can aesthetic practices be qualified as practices that constitute knowledge? How do specific cultural and temporal contexts mark aesthetic phenomena? What role do religious backgrounds, ritual practices or craftsmanship play? How do they shape concepts or notions?

The notion of ‘aesthetics’ is explicitly not to be reduced to a theory of beauty, to categories of art or to conceptualizations of the sublime. Rather, we understand ‘aesthetics’ as an open concept that allows for a transcultural investigation of a spectrum of practices regarding sensorial experiences, forms of perception and the affective potential of formation, as well as sensorial ways of comprehension. Talking about ‘premodern aesthetics’, we intendedly include reflections implicitly made with and through objects, their materiality, or practices. In which contexts do they take effect and how can they be described? In paying specific attention to the material and medial conditions of aesthetic practices, to objects and perceptions, we aim to investigate the relevance of aesthetic dimensions in premodern cultures of knowledge.

The annual conference is conceived and organized by the concept group “Materiality and Mediality” under the direction of Anne Eusterschulte and Claudia Reufer.


Jens Baumgarten, São Paulo

Almut Bockisch, Berlin
Anne Eusterschulte, Berlin

Annette Gerok-Reiter, Tübingen
Vladimir Glomb, Berlin
Inga Mai Groote, Zürich

Jan-Peer Hartmann, Berlin

Sharon Kinoshita, Santa Cruz

Niklaus Largier, Berkeley

David Lurie, New York City

Julia Orell, Vancouver
Rana Raeisi Dastenaei, Isfahan

Sugata Ray, Berkeley

Claudia Reufer, Berlin

Jörg Robert, Tübingen

Ulrike Schneider, Berlin