This focus deals with 'knowledge' in its widest sense: as specific patterns of thought, their origins and communicative strategies; as a conceptual framework governing information deemed 'true'; and as a plural phenomenon, which encompasses a range of different 'knowledges', often in tension with one another. In addition, questions of circulation and translation - and of the relationship between these two - are intrinsic to these themes. 'Knowledge' must be translated and circulated before it can be useful.
Enlightenment is central to this research focus, both in the sense of the Enlightenment (the intellectual movement that characterises European thought between the mid-seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries) and of 'enlightenment' as a process (of which Kant's definition in "Was ist Aufklärung?" (1784) may be taken as an exemplar). This focus involves intellectual, educational, scientific, cultural, and communicative aspects of enlightenment and of the straw men (Feindbilder) which it constructed. In essence, the approach pursued in this research focus is counter to a teleological and unified concept of enlightenment, in favour of a fluid, varied, and complex picture of knowledge.
Through its own library holdings; the co-operation with the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel; the recent Akademie projects, "Scholarly Journals and Newspapers as Networks of Knowledge during the Enlightenment" and "Blumenbach Online"; and the new orientation of the Lichtenberg Kolleg, the University of Göttingen is the perfect location for this research.

Beteiligte Postdocs: Beteiligte Promovierende:
Dr. Andrew Wells

Dr. Claudia Nickel

Stephanie Jabs

Sara Schlüter

Sebastian Wilde

Marie Ziegler

Rüdiger Brandis