Ongoing Projects

CASTI Network

The CASTI network employs methods from a variety of disciplines to study the conceptual language of science, technology, and innovation (STI). 

Reinhart Koselleck Library and Archive project - DLA Marbach

  Zeit in a box:
 Information from the German Literature Archive in Marbach (DLA) about the ongoing project on the Reinhard Koselleck collection.


Oxford research project: Re-imagining democracy in the Mediterranean, 1750-1860

In the middle of the eighteenth century, ‘democracy’ was a learned word, used primarily in discussions of the ancient world – Greece and republican Rome – or to denote one element within mixed constitutions: that is, constitutions (including the British) which combined monarchical, aristocratic and democratic elements. From the mid-eighteenth century, democracy was increasingly theorised as a primitive political form, ill-fitted to the complexities of modern life: ‘modern democracy’ came to sound like a contradiction in terms. For all that, by the middle of the nineteenth century democracy had become a key category for comprehending the modern world, and the term had passed into general use.

MC5 Global Concepts: Towards a Global History of Concepts

This research group, based in Heidelberg, sets out to reflect the globality of concepts which, mainly Euro-American in origin, have been adapted around the globe in a large number of languages and by sizeable and culturally diverse communities. As a result, native keywords, metaphors and practices have been enriched, but also replaced, by representations of globalized notions that have become the ineluctable currency of international exchange and debate.

A Colonial and Conceptual History of Asymmetric Warfare and Security

This four year program of research focuses on how ideas of civilized warfare, as an activity pertaining to the subjects of sovereign states, emerged in European political and international thought c.1650-1800. Specifically, this research seeks to recover the British colonial history of asymmetric warfare in India, North America and Australia throughout this period, tracing the articulation of the difference between 'civilized' as opposed to 'uncivilized' forms of conflict. 

Die Sprache der Dinge. Philosophie und Kulturwissenschaften im deutsch-russischen Ideentransfer der 1920er Jahre

Einem bislang nur wenig erforschten Kapitel des deutsch-russischen Ideentransfers zwischen 1910 und 1930 widmet sich ein neues Forschungsprojekt am Institut für Philosophie der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, das die VolkswagenStiftung für drei Jahre fördert: der Wirkung der Staatlichen Akademie der Kunstwissenschaften (russische Abkürzung: GAChN) in Moskau. Das Projekt wird von einem deutsch-russischen Forscherteam durchgeführt und im Rahmen der neu eingerichteten Forschungsstelle „Russische Philosophie und Ideengeschichte" realisiert.

Centre for Political Discourse Studies (CEPODS)

The Hungarian headquarters of political discourse studies is the Institute for Political Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences where the Centre for Political Discourse Studies (CEPODS) was founded on the basis of previous research activity, January 2005. Earlier, a Discourse Seminar, lead by Professor Márton SZABÓ, had been established for undergraduate and graduate students as well as young researchers.

Transfer and Transformation of Missionaries' Images of Europe in Contact with the Other, 1700–1970

How did Europeans outside Europe view Europe? From the 18th century onwards, Protestant Europeans left their home countries for decades on end, often even for the rest of their lives, to promote Christian, “European” values to cultures outside of Europe. Working in European networks, they formed a European identity at an early point in time. At the same time, physical distance from Europe and the encounter with non-European cultures changed their concepts and images of Europe. The Junior Research Group, located at the Leibniz Institute in Mainz and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, examines these modifications and their repercussions on Europe.

University of Glasgow research project: Mapping Metaphor with the Historical Thesaurus

Over the past 30 years, it has become clear that metaphor is not simply a literary phenomenon; metaphorical thinking underlies the way we make sense of the world conceptually. When we talk about ‘a healthy economy’ or ‘a clear argument’ we are using expressions that imply the mapping of one domain of experience (e.g. medicine, sight) onto another (e.g. finance, perception). When we describe an argument in terms of warfare or destruction (‘he demolished my case’), we may be saying something about the society we live in. The study of metaphor is therefore of vital interest to scholars in many fields, including linguists and psychologists, as well as to scholars of literature.

Political Language in the Middle Ages: Semantical Approaches

By taking up an historical approach to discourse and focusing on the linguistic composition of texts, this Leibniz project, based at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt, aims to contribute to and broaden the insights gained from the history of political ideas. Computer-assisted methods of textual analysis will be developed and tested, with the Bielefeld tradition of historical semantics informing this development.


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