Interphilology is a special feature of the Department of Languages and Literatures. This transversal offer includes courses from the modern and classical philological disciplines represented in Basel, which can be attended by students of all philological subjects and counted as interphilological credits for their respective studies. The individual subjects provide detailed guides with further information. Interphilology is intended to provide a comparatistic view beyond the boundaries of "one's own" subject, as outlined below using the example of General Literary Studies.
Each spring semester, the lecture series "Theories and Methods of Literary Studies" takes place. In each fall semester, a thematic lecture is offered on an overarching aspect or a complex of works in General Literary Studies. Further information is listed at the Faculty's research focus Interphilology (in German).
What Is Meant by General Literary Studies?
Each individual language in literary studies is contoured by a specific repertoire of objects (canon, historical and cultural characteristics) and, in part, by a variety of methods linked to particular theoretical traditions. In addition, in every language there are objects, problems, and research interests that concern literature as such, i.e. independent of linguistic, national or regional specifications. General Literary Studies is concerned with the following five dimensions:
(a) Comparatist or world-literary dimension
The subject of General Literary Studies are texts that explicitly refer to several literatures, languages, or cultural areas. In principle, this also applies to the great authors of the Western canon such as Homer, Dante, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Goethe, etc., as long as their "world-literary" significance is taken into account.
b) Literature in the interplay of several arts and media
Here, literature is examined in its medial conditions or in the competition and interplay between the arts.
c) Artistic orientation
In this dimension, the "language game literature" is considered in its rhetorical, poetological or linguistic-artistic aspects.
d) Cultural orientation
Literature is studied in the context of other cultural dimensions and social practices.
e) Theoretical orientation
This includes questions that do not primarily relate to individual works (explication of texts) or specific historical contexts but pursue a theoretical-methodological interest in knowledge.