Leuphana involved in new DFG special research area

2021-11-29 Lüneburg/Berlin/Bonn. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has now established 14 new Collaborative Research Centres (SFB) to further strengthen top-level research at universities. Among them is the project "Intervening Arts" led by the Free University of Berlin, in which Leuphana University Lüneburg is involved with a sub-project through Prof. Dr. Beate Söntgen.

More than ever, the arts are currently determined by the claim to be socially effective. They are committed to democracy and human rights, they address crises such as climate change and corona, and they design new forms of living and working. Researchers from numerous disciplines propose the term "intervening arts" to describe this phenomenon, which gives the Collaborative Research Centre its title. The network of five universities aims to redefine the social position of art as an intervening practice and to develop a conceptual-theoretical framework for art in the present age.

The sub-project at Leuphana within the SFB is entitled "Artistic Life Practice as Intervention". Together with her colleagues Dr. Mimmi Woisnitza and Anna Kipke, Prof. Söntgen will be investigating artistic positions from the first half of the 20th century that combine the claim of a therapeutic-formative intervention in moments of social crisis with the use of conventional artistic procedures. The focus will be on the changes in art and life through artistic formative practices.

Three sub-projects are dedicated to the different accentuations of artistic interventions that not only demand social transformation, but also design, test and implement it themselves in practice. Specifically, they will take a closer look at the work of the English artist and art critic Roger Fry, the Latvian actress, director, and theatre director Asja Lacis and the Swiss healer and artist Emma Kunz.

The spokesperson for the Collaborative Research Centre "Intervening Arts" is Prof. Dr. Jürgen Brokoff from the Free University of Berlin. Other participating universities are the Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Leuphana Universität Lüneburg and the Universität der Künste Berlin.


Personal details: Prof. Dr. Beate Söntgen has been Professor of Art History since 2011 and has also been the spokesperson for the DFG Research Training Group "Cultures of Critique" at Leuphana since 2016.
You can find out more about Prof. Dr. Söntgen here:



The Collaborative Research Centres established by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) are long-term research institutions at universities, designed to last up to twelve years, in which researchers work together within the framework of an interdisciplinary research programme.