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Edited by Tan Wälchli and Corina Caduff

What is practice-based literary research? While literature as a discipline is currently not represented in the artistic research discourse, individual writers and scholars have ties to a variety of institutional constellations in which overlaps between literature, art, and research become manifest. 16 of them expand on their methodological approaches as well as their practice, and they analyse exemplary case studies.

Tine Melzer

literature by comparing it with other, more established fields of artistic research. To reflect on practice-based methodologies, I borrow terms from the discussion of iconology such as verbal images, as well as mechanisms active in the psychology of recognising images: aspect seeing, experiments from


Alexandra Verbovsek

The present paper discusses the current status, the desiderata and possibilities of a methodology in researching Egyptian Art. It traces the development of methodology, defines approaches that have been applied thus far, and highlights opportunities that could arise from a broader perspective with a focus on cultural aspects.

Als 1967 das erste Heft der Zeitschrift POETICA erschien, schrieb der Gründungsherausgeber Karl Maurer in seinem Geleitwort: „Heute scheint, unaufschiebbar, die Zeit einer ‚Philologie der Weltliteratur‘ (Erich Auerbach) gekommen, die sich nicht länger ein im engen und engsten Kreise vergrabenes Spezialistentum leisten kann. Methodische Errungenschaften und geschichtliche Erkenntnisfülle aller philologischen Disziplinen müssen zum gegenseitigen Nutzen und Ansporn beständig ausgetauscht werden“. Dieser Austausch ist nach wie vor für die Zeitschrift zentral. Bei der Fülle an Methoden und Theorien einerseits und der kulturwissenschaftlichen Entgrenzung der Literaturwissenschaft andererseits muss dieser Austausch mit benachbarten Disziplinen und Gegenstandsbereichen mittlerweile aber vor allem darauf zielen, die spezifischen Merkmale der Literaturwissenschaft zu schärfen. Auf diesem Weg will POETICA dazu beitragen, der Literaturwissenschaft jene Besonderheit zu sichern, die sie auch in Zukunft zu einem interessanten und deshalb gefragten Gesprächspartner macht, der konstitutive Kompetenzen anzubieten vermag, die andernorts nicht ausgebildet werden.

: When the first issue of the journal POETICA was published in 1967, the founding editor Karl Maurer wrote in his editorial: "Today, the time seems to have arrived for a 'philology of the world literature' (Erich Auerbach), which can no longer afford a specialism buried in a narrow and intimate circle. Methodological achievements and historical knowledge of all philological disciplines have to be constantly exchanged for mutual benefit and encouragement". This exchange continues to be central to the journal. Given the multitude of methods and theories on the one hand and the dissolution of the boundaries of literary studies in cultural studies on the other, however, this exchange with neighboring disciplines and subject areas must now aim above all at sharpening the specific characteristics of literary studies. In this way POETICA wants to contribute towards securing that special feature of literary studies which will make it an interesting and therefore highly demanded discussion partner in the future, that is able to offer constitutive competencies which are not trained elsewhere.


Valérie Angenot

This article proposes a methodology, which can be applied with the aim to determine whether some ancient Egyptian images bear underlying layers of meaning, or should be understood at face value. In most cases pertaining to hermeneutics, some clues are to be found inside the images that appear as anomalies when considered at the literal level of interpretation. The proposed methodology is then applied to one of the most studied panels from the golden shrine of Tutankhamun, depicting the king pouring water into Ankhesenamun's hand.


Ulrike Fauerbach

Architecture as a field of research is underrepresented in Egyptology at present. Contribution is needed from Egyptologists as it is from Building Archaeologists. This paper drafts a curriculum for students of Egyptology which gives an overview of pharaonic architecture as a whole, names the main topics and gives an introduction to methodology.


Martin Sählhof

Within the study of Egyptology, methods of applied object-related building research are not usually included in the range of subjects taught at university level. This paper proposes a methodological approach in how to undertake an exhaustive building documentation, and presents a suggestion how Egyptology graduates can gain knowledge and skills in the field of applied building research.


Martin Fitzenreiter

The narrative of ancient Egyptian religion holds its position in the intersection of two quite different academic fields: between a specialised regional science of (ancient) Egypt and an all-encompassing study of religions. Whereas the methodological background of Egyptology is provided by archaeology in a wider sense, the study of religion is deeply rooted in the western tradition of conceptualisation of religion both from an emic (theological) and an etic (anthropological) perspective. The following article tries to formulate a predominantly archaeological methodology to describe ancient Egyptian religion. Therefore, any source on ancient Egyptian religion will be evaluated as ‘evidence’. In order to avoid theologically shaped bias, written and pictorial sources should be rated by the same principles as other sources and all of them as results of religious practice. Three aspects of this evidence-centred approach and its potential are discussed: the ‘concreteness’ of any evidence and of the conditions of its formation; the ‘multivalency’ of individual evidence, and the ‘complexity’ of religious signs in the wider context of social practice. The aim of this methodology is to qualify the master narrative of ancient Egyptian religion as a system of beliefs and to supplement it with archaeological and anthropological data.

Ute Habel and Birgit Derntl

The enormous potential of imaging techniques and their further development have led to a more specific characterization of the structure and the functional neuroanatomy of gender differences during the last years. Imaging studies shed light on neurobiological differences and potential influencing factors of the cerebral substrates of emotional and cognitive processes. Considering methodological differences and study constraints oversimplifications and overinterpretations have to be avoided and interpretations have to be made with caution. The recognition of structural and functional cerebral differences may however have clinical implications with respect to individually optimized diagnoses and therapy of disorders.


Christopher Eyre

Evidence-based research methodology is stressed as the core of Egyptological teaching, over the raw acquisition of given knowledge and processing skills. The process of working from detailed observation of the primary evidence base, however fragmentary, is given priority over theory-based approaches as the primary method for the organisation of data. These themes are illustrated through particular discussion of the interpretation of women’s roles, and of belief and practice of religion as topics particularly subject to external cultural prejudices in contexts of both learning and research.