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MIMESIS: Munich Doctoral Program for Literature and the Arts

mimesisThe International Doctoral Program MIMESIS, based at LMU Munich, is dedicated to innovative doctoral research in the fields of literature and the arts, with special emphasis on historical, theoretical and transdisciplinary perspectives.

Its research program is framed by the term mimesis, a key concept throughout the history of the arts, right up to the most recent developments in critical and cultural theory. MIMESIS offers a structured program of doctoral study combining seminars, workshops, lecture series and master classes. In addition internships with leading cultural institutions and at partner universities will be integrated into the study program.

In the International Doctoral Program MIMESIS the term mimesis is not only designated as the subject of individual research projects but also offers an integrative notion for the entire program and a conceptual challenge for the art forms, practices and areas involved.

A foundational term since literature and the arts first became the focus of reflection, mimesis has remained a key concept throughout the history of aesthetic work and thinking, right up to the most recent developments in critical and cultural theory. Mimesis offers a wide range of possible translations:

“imitation”, “representation”, “presentation”, “exhibition”, “impersonation”, “simulation”, “emulation”, “reproduction”, “repetition”, ”travesty”, “parody”, “reflection”, “copy”, including also abstracts terms like “realism” or “identification”.

Thus, the term suggests an inclusive sphere of interests and issues, which any engagement with literature and the arts must address. Although not all art is or purports to be mimetic, the very concept of art is inconceivable without a theory of mimesis. And with this theory, aesthetics offers indeed a foundation for central anthropological, psychological and other cultural discourses, too.