Cultural Research

At Leuphana's School of Culture and Society, scholars from sociology, history, art history, literature, media studies, and philosophy explore cross-disciplinary issues involving cultural research. Our programme is organized into interdisciplinary research areas. In each one, different concepts of culture, and different methodological and theoretical approaches to cultural studies, dialogue with one another in rigorous, productive ways.

Key Topics

The School of Culture and Society focuses on foundational cultural, social, and societal issues. Our students study the conflicts and transformations of the present but also the historical developments that have led to their emergence. Central to this process are three thematic research units that reach beyond the immediate academic context and integrate scholars from different disciplines, which makes Lüneburg's program unique. As the individual units develop the theoretical frameworks and research projects that will offer helpful analytical critiques of our present moment, they mutually enrich one other. All of them are characterized by a variety of collaborative opportunities like colloquia, conferences, and summer programs, and they are all involved in numerous externally funded projects. As such, they provide both scholars and students with a rich environment for innovative, advanced research in cultural studies.

Digital Cultures

Digital Cultures focuses on the cultural changes that have come about through the increase of digital technologies over the last half century. Its aim is to explore these changes, analyzing them theoretically and empirically, with a view to their historicity and their influence on the present. Beyond digitalization euphoria or mere criticism, this research area provides students with the opportunity to develop a precise, methodologically rigorous, and internationally anchored discussion of the challenges facing digital cultures. Its overarching goal is to establish and develop further cultural research under the sign of digitality, interweaving German Kulturwissenschaften with recent, Anglo-American-dominated discourse on digitality. The various activities and projects in this research focus emerge largely from the »Centre for Digital Cultures – CDC«. This research focus at Leuphana also plays an important role as a relevant and necessary extension and foundation of broader economic, technological, and legal research regarding digitalization.

Cultures of Critique

Cultures of Critique is a research focus dedicated to the question of critique, which has returned with vehemence to social and academic debates in recent years. It examines the range of meanings within the concept of critique and develop an understanding of it that is rooted in its cultural conditions. The research focus begins by looking at critical discourses and practices, coming to understand them as culturally situated phenomena. With this historically changing notion of critique, it then explores the formal and material forms of critical discourses and practices, their medial and technological conditionality, the preconditions of a critical act, and the modes of perception and horizons of expectation. It also considers critique’s functions, modes of action, and determinations. This research focus pays special attention to the ways critique is bound by its representation. By reestablishing Kulturwissenschaften’s claim to critique, this research focus also brings these perspectives to bear on the further development of contemporary cultural research. The various research activities of this focus area are brought together at the »Center for Critical Studies – CCS«.

Cultures of Conflict

As a research area, Cultures of Conflict brings together researchers from the social sciences, cultural studies, and the humanities for whom the concept of conflict plays a central role in their theoretical, conceptual, and empirical work. This focus is less interested in analyzing manifest conflicts—familiar from social-scientific conflict research—and more interested in exploring the ways conflict theory can help us understand a diverse array of contemporary issues. Using an understanding of conflicts as culturally situated phenomena, beyond open conflicts, students also study latent conflicts, structurally conditioned conflict constellations, and their connections to social crisis phenomena. This research area thrives on the disciplinary, methodological, and theoretical diversity of its members, and it involves regular colloquia and events, as well as the introduction of conflict-theoretical perspectives into university teaching.

Research Projects

An overview of the research projects conducted at the School of Culture & Society can be found on the detailed pages of the main topics Digital Cultures, Cultures of Critique and Cultures of Conflict as well as in our research database.


School of Culture & Society



  • Prof. Dr. Andrea Kretschmann

Dean of Research

  • Prof. Dr. Roberto Nigro