All departments within the Faculty of Language and Literature at the University of Bayreuth are participating in the doctoral programme Kulturbegegnungen – Cultural Encounters – Rencontres Culturelles: Interdisciplinary Studies in Language, Literature and Media : African Studies and Literature in African Languages, English Language and Literature, Arabic Studies, German Language and Literature including Intercultural German Studies / German as a Foreign Language, Islamic Studies, Media Studies, Romance Language and Literature, and Drama Studies.
The programme offers a broad and widely differentiated field for research. The overall heading of Cultural Encounters serves to unite a range of research foci, which in turn provide the framework for diverse individual historical, systematic and interdisciplinary studies.
This approach is, thematically, cutting edge , since globalisation has dramatically increased the need for reflection on all intercultural issues. It is largely for this reason that research in language, literary and media studies over the last two decades has significantly shifted towards the study of phenomena such as cultural identity, cultural stereotyping and intercultural communication, migration, alterity (‘otherness'), syncretism and hybridity. Language, literary and media studies are among the disciplines at the vanguard of such research since cultural encounters occur within the context of communicative processes which operate through language and the media. Cultural identities, images of what is familiar and what is foreign, are formed largely through the production and reception of texts as well as via media representations.