Mi / 10:00 – 12:00

The Uses of Literature in the Social Sciences

Internes Kolloquium, offen für Interessierte der Universitätsallianz Ruhr (UAR)

Patrick Fessenbecker, University of Southern Denmark & Bryan Yazell, Bilkent University

Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI), Raum 106, Goethestraße 31, 45128 Essen

There is no shortage of proposals calling for greater collaboration between literary studies and the social sciences. But although literature departments may readily acknowledge the value of collaboration, its benefits may appear less evident to scholars on the other side of the disciplinary divide. Our project acknowledges the unequal level of engagement that often characterizes interdisciplinary dialogue and seeks to better understand how social scientists actually use literary sources in their research and writing. To this end, we have collected data from JSTOR’s entire database of social science journals to delineate the various literary ‘uses’ that account for everything from quips attributed to Mark Twain, allusions to Sherlock Holmes, to prolonged engagements with the philosophy of Robinson Crusoe. This project ultimately contributes to research at the intersection of social science and literature by providing a more comprehensive perspective on how observers outside literature departments esteem literature’s capacity for reflecting, shaping, or otherwise engaging with human behavior.


Als Forum des wissenschaftlichen Austauschs bietet das KWI-Kolloquium die Möglichkeit, aktuelle Forschungsvorhaben und –ergebnisse vorzutragen und zur Diskussion zu stellen. Nicht nur laufende Forschungsprojekte innerhalb des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts sondern auch Gastvorträge können hier gemeinsam mit dem Institutskollegium und interessierten Teilnehmer*innen diskutiert werden.

Internes Kolloquium, offen für Interessierte der Universitätsallianz Ruhr (UAR).