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Projects and Centres

The following projects and centres are housed at our department or are carried out with the participation of department members.

GAME - Games and Active learning Methods in Education

The EU-funded project "GAME - Games and Active learning Methods in Education" is based in Germany, Norway and Slovakia. The common goal of the partners is to develop a learning game template with an easily accessible database of quests, minigames and code snippets. Once completed university teachers all over Europe can use the template to create their own learning games to help students take their learning into their own hands and become independent learners who dare to explore, test, fail, and learn from their own mistakes. The template will also be used at the three partner locations to develop different learning games that address the needs of the individual partner universities. At Marburg, the template will serve to create a learning game for prospective students and those considering studying in Marburg. It will provide an opportunity for future students to get to know university buildings, members of staff and different academic disciplines even before they register and become a student at Marburg.

Grammatical Nativization in Spoken Sri-Lankan English

Sri Lankan English is a South Asian variety of English that has been evolving for more than 200 years after the British - interested in the local natural resources - brought their language to the island state, located to the south-east of India. Over the centuries, the country's environment as well as the contact with the local languages, Sinhala and Tamil, has triggered distinct developments and differences between contemporary Sri Lancan English and the historical input variety British English. So far, descriptions of the linguistic peculiarities of spoken Sri Lankan English are rare, however. Based on the spoken components of the Internatioal Corpus of English, this project, therefore, aims at the investigation of the grammar of Sri Lankan English in comparison with British and Indian English in order to explore their characteristics empirically and on a statistically well-founded basis. 

Further information can be found on the project's website

Syntax Beyond the Canon: Cutting-edge Studies of Non-Canonical Syntax in English

In the research network "Syntax Beyond the Canon: Cutting-edge Studies of Non-Canonical Syntax in English", funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) the members are interested in the structural diversity of the English language and seek to uncover how, when and why structural deviations from a recognized standard and thus the choice of alternative construction may come about (e.g. Tim likes Anna very much. vs. It is Anna that Tim likes very much. vs. Tim likes her, Anna, very much.). The collaboration of researchers with diverse foci enables the network a holistic investigation of non-canonical patterns, i.e. the projects are not limited to their employment in contemporary English but also consider historical data as well as different mother-tongue, second and foreign language backgrounds and contexts. 

Further information can be found on the project's website

The World of Medicine in America’s Long Nineteenth Century

Viewed from a Cultural Studies perspective, the medical profession is an inexhaustible source of information about the respective societies in which it develops. In this project, Prof. Dr. Carmen Birkle looks at the cultural history of medicine in the United States, and to some extent in Canada, and focus on the intersections of literature, culture, gender, and ethnicity. What was studying medicine like in the late eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries? How did the institution of medicine cope with epi- and pandemics such as repeated yellow fever and cholera outbreaks? Did the foundation of the American Medical Association in 1847 and the subsequent introduction of stricter rules for doctors and their apprentices and for medical studies in general have any impact on questions of gender and the opportunities for women in the field? What does the example of Elizabeth Blackwell as the first woman to get a medical degree in 1849 in the United States tell us about the medical profession and concepts of gender? What do many medical students’ journeys to Europe – to London, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Zurich – tell us about the advancement of medicine on both sides of the Atlantic? Why and when were the American Medical Associations of Berlin and Vienna founded? How were these visiting students’ and doctors’ studies organized by these associations in the midst of many other cultural activities? Where, when, and how did the first Black and Indigenous doctors practice medicine in the United States? Why do many U.S.-American writers talk about the cures taken in Europe – in travelogues and fiction? Most of all, how are all of these issues represented in U.S.-American literature as well as in autobiographical writings? Examples include narratives by many well-known and lesser known fiction writers, autobiographers, and doctors of different ethnic and gender backgrounds. Inter-ethnic, inter-gender, and inter-national relations as expressed in these writings and lives reveal a nation strongly negotiating its national, cultural, and literary emancipation(s) and identities in North America in the long nineteenth century.

Gender, Power Relations, and the State: Media, Normative Framing, Social Practices

This research network investigates the tensions between the guiding concepts of gender, power relations, and the state. These tensions are visible in the gendered dynamics of formal and informal practices of (state) power and domination. The projects cover interactions between medializations, social practices, and normative framings in the attribution and negotiation of gendered (state) power in the process of historical change from the early modern period to the present. This interdisciplinary network consists of scholars from the disciplines of literary and cultural studies, media studies, history, political science, art history, and psychology. It is located at the Center for Gender Studies and Feminist Futures at the University of Marburg, but also includes scholars from the Herder Institute for Historical Research on Eastern Central Europe - Institute of the Leibniz Association, from the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, and from the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster. 

Further information can be found on the project's website

The Linguist's Lair

Linguistic topics are sometimes felt to be challenging particularly for beginnerst, which may be due to them usually not being represented in the school curriculum. The Linguist's Lair addresses this in a playful manner by offering the first linguistic Escape Room. The game is designed to accompany the introductory class and offers opportunities to immediately apply the newly-acquired skills and knowledge. Further information on the project page.

Marburg Centre for Canada Studies

The Marburg Centre for Canada Studies emerged in 2001 with the interdisciplinary task force “Kanada der Philipps-Universität”, founded in 1989, that was already then able to draw on the longstanding research interests of scientists at Marburg on Canadian studies.

The centre comprises of members from different departments (Foreign Languages and Cultures, Geography, Social sciences and Philosophy among others) and facilities (the library) of the university that have a mutual interest in Canada and Canadian studies. The aims of the centre include the exchange and deepening of knowledge of – among others – geographical factors, the political and social system, and the literature(s) of the world’s second largest country.