The Institute of Philosophy and Sciences of Art explores the long traditions of philosophical and art theoretical thinking in research and teaching, and relates their content to modern issues. Specific profiles of Lüneburgs Philosophy and Sciences of Art as well as general humanities and social sciences related research interests occupy a leading role in this structure. 

The Institute of Philosophy and Sciences of Art is organized in two units: Philosophy and Sciences of Art.

Furthermore, the Kunstraum, which is linked with the Institute of Philosophy and Sciences of Art, offers a practical orientation that is closely linked to contemporary art and its actors.

Since winter term 2016/17 the faculty of humanities and social sciences has established a research training group "Cultures of Critique. Forms, Media, Effects" (spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Beate Söntgen, IPK).


Sciences of Art at the Leuphana University focuses on crucial issues of fine art and the use of images from the Enlightenment to the present day. Besides the communication of the concepts of art history and its methods, the Cultural Studies at the Leuphana University concentrate on contemporary art, art history of modernity, art sociology, visual studies, art criticism and art theory/aesthetics. In regard to sciences of art as well as society, these topics indicate a strong reference to actuality. Moreover, the program deals with the analysis of works of fine art and its criticism, the institutional and social conditions of artistic production, reception and distribution. Furthermore, fundamental questions of presentation and presentability, from an aesthetic and artistic and from an epistemic and political perspective, are relevant. Painting, photography, film, installation, video, and performance are subjects of research and teaching, as are images of daily use in science or advertising.

A close collaboration with the Kunstraum of the Leuphana Universität of Lüneburg establishes a practice-oriented connection to contemporary art and its actors. In practice seminars and workshops, students can gain experience in conceiving exhibitions of contemporary artists. Students benefit from a lively exchange with the Leuphana Arts Program promoting a dialogue between artists and scholars. Excursions to significant exhibitions and museums within Germany, Europe and beyond take place on a regular basis. Previous study tours led to Dakar (2014), New Delhi (2013), Jerusalem/Tel Aviv/Ramallah (2015).

In the Bachelor, faculty members of the Sciences of Art unit mainly teach the advanced course Art and Visual Culture. Furthermore, the Humanities Module of the Complementary Studies program offers additional art-theoretical courses. The Master’s Program Arts & Sciences: Kulturwissenschaften – Culture, Arts and Media primarily consists of the Major “Kunst- und Medienwissenschaft” as well as the Minor “Praxisfelder der Künste”.

The discipline-related appendix and the module guide provide detailed information regarding the study program of the Bachelor’s and Master’s Cultural Studies. 


Philosophy has a long and rich tradition lasting up to the intensive debates of contemporary philosophy in which the researchers and teachers of the unit are actively engaged. As a critical practice of thought, philosophy examines the conditions of cognition, gives methodological and content-related impetus to other sciences, and makes an important contribution to assessing valid rules and norms as well as current social problems.

One of the concerns of philosophy at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg is to support the exchange and lines of connection between the continental European and Anglo-Saxon traditions of philosophy. In doing so, we combine the claims to clear argumentation made by analytical philosophy with the examination of claims to truth and validity and the research of the phenomenological-hermeneutic tradition, which continues to have an effect on current French philosophy and has thus indirectly become a source of inspiration in cultural studies. A further main focus of philosophy is on cultural philosophy and aesthetics since the “saddle period” around the year 1800, but also on German idealism and its history of international reception.

With theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy, and the theory of science, the unit functions as a cross-faculty bridge within the university.



Museums, Transculturality, and the Nation-State (Ed. by Susanne Leeb and Nina Samuel)

Book presentation and discussion on 29 May 11:30, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

While the nation-state gave rise to the advent of museums, its influence in times of transculturality and post-/decolonial studies appears to have vanished. But is this really the case? With case studies from various geo- and sociopolitical contexts from around the globe, the contributors investigate which roles the nation-state continues to play in museums, collections, and heritage. They answer the question to which degree the nation-state still determines practices of collection and circulation and its amount of power to shape contemporary narratives. The volume thus examines the contradictions at play when the necessary claim for transculturality meets the institutions of the nation-state.

With contributions by Stanislas Spero Adotevi, Sebastián Eduardo Dávila, Natasha Ginwala, Monica Hanna, Rajkamal Kahlon, Suzana Milevska, Mirjam Shatanawi, Kavita Singh, Ruth Stamm, Andrea Witcomb.

The book is published as the final publication of the project PriMus (Promovieren im Museum), Leuphana University Lüneburg.



Sciences of Art

Contemporary Art

Prof. Dr. Susanne Leeb

Provenance Studies

Prof. Dr. Lynn Rother

Art History

Prof. Dr. Beate Söntgen



Philosophy, especially continental philosophy

Prof. Dr. Roberto Nigro


For more information on current and completed projects, please refer to the research database and the people pages.


The institute is particularly responsible for the following study programs in Bachelor and Master



Major Cultural Studies

Minor Philosophy