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B - Spaces


B1 - Loci of Leisure in Greek and Roman Letters

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Zimmermann

Letters are a ‘decelerated’ medium of communication, a characteristic that is particularly apparent in the way in which these documents re-imagine their places of composition as loci of leisure (otium), e.g. as gardens, villas and libraries. Greek and Roman letters offer a good opportunity to study the discursive processes involved here, inter alia because spatial staging was a central concern of the rhetorical training received by all educated individuals of the time. We proposed to examine three groups of letters from this particular perspective: letters with a philosophical or pedagogical orientation (e.g. Seneca and Libanius); those produced by the social elite (including Cicero and Pliny); and poetic letters (Horace, Ovid and others).

Dr. Francesco Fiorucci
Dr. Franziska C. Eickhoff


B2 - Leisure Spaces in Courtly Residences: Topography and Form in Architecture and Nature

Prof. Dr. Hans W. Hubert

In the art-historical project ‘leisure’ was treated as an epistemological category that enables inquiries into the specific nature of such spaces and into their mental use. At the centre of this study were the concrete architectural manifestations and their variable decorational forms that characterize leisure spaces in Italy and France, especially of the court residences originating in late mediaeval to baroque times. The aim of the project was to understand ‘leisure-places’ in secular buildings as an important component of courtly culture and to establish this category in the cultural history of architecture.



B3 - ‘Performing Idleness’: British Theatre in the Eighteenth Century as a Space of Leisure, Idleness and Otium

Prof. Dr. Monika Fludernik

In this project Muße was analyzed in the setting of the British theatre. The focus was on the metatheatre and on the performative quality of idleness on the British stage and on the part of the various groups involved with theatrical production and reception (authors, actors, actresses, spectators). In the context of the professionalization of acting and writing for the stage and before the background of social developments that made the theatre a resort not only of entertainment but also of educative leisure and otium, the project analysed various approaches to creativity and otiosity, also taking account of contemporary prints and discussions of idleness and otium in literary magazines as well as in poetry and novels.



B4 - Leisured Travel vs. Tourism: Individualism and Deceleration in British Travel Writing between 1840 and 1914

Prof. Dr. Barbara Korte

The project investigated British travelogues in period from 1840 to the outbreak of World War I in order to explore how deliberately slow and idle travelling counter-acted the advance of tourism during the decades before 1914. The project analysed the spaces, performances, semantics and gender aspects of leisured travel, as well as the means of its literary articulation.

Dr. habil. Heidi Liedke


B5 - Loci of Imaginary Communication: Functions of Otiose Leisure in Bibliographical, Anthological, and Anecdotal Literature (16th through 19th century)

Prof. Dr. Ralph Häfner

Early modern approaches to otiose leisure are manifest in literary genres like „amoenitates", „otia", „bibliothecae", florilegia, and compilations of anecdotes, along with their vernacular equivalents. The pivotal question of the research project focused on the observation that works of the like manner produce loci of imaginary communication which enable otiose leisure by neutralizing the impact of time. Otiose leisure occurs in concrete locations which resist the pressure of terms, deadlines, and calendars. The „real" location of leisure (library, academy, salon etc.) creates loci of a communication which are imaginary exactly because they realize time, not as a succession of facts, but as a concomitance of historically distinct facts simultaneously present in the “forgotten modes of perception and comprehension” (Fumaroli).

Prof. Dr. Michael Multhammer