About Us

© IKT/Stefan Csáky
© IKT/Stefan Csáky

The Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History is a research facility of the humanities, combining basic research with innovative international theoretical approaches.

The Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History is a research facility of the humanities, combining basic research with innovative international theoretical approaches.

The goal of research activities at the IKT, the only exclusively transdisciplinary research unit at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, is the analysis of complex cultural systems. Research is focused on the following key question: how are memory, identity and knowledge generated, represented and communicated within complex social and cultural constellations by means of narrative, staging and translation?

Collaboration between researchers from different fields – history, literature, translation, politics and theatre – opens up new perspectives for investigations into cultural processes that are socially relevant in Europe, especially Central Europe, and beyond.

The IKT’s work takes place within four research clusters:

  1. Theatre and Theatricality
  2. Sites of Memory – Spaces of Memory
  3. Cultures of Knowledge
  4. Translation

The IKT works closely with prestigious Austrian and international research institutions and its research is guided and supported on an ongoing basis by an international Scientific Advisory Board.

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With a broad programme of events, the IKT participates in the dialogue between the sciences and the public.

  1. IKT basic research projects as defined above
  2. International interdisciplinary conferences (once per annum)
  3. International interdisciplinary workshops (up to three per annum)
  4. jours fixes’ on topics relevant to current dialogue within the cultural sciences; these more informal gatherings also serve to advance and encourage younger scholars
  5. The ‘ernst mach forum’ (two panel discussions per annum to which representatives of cultural and natural sciences, medicine, and technology are invited)
  6. International programme for the exchange of scholars
  7. The Committee for Literary and Cultural Sciences of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA)
  8. Publication of the OeAW periodical 'Sprachkunst'
  9. Tutoring of advanced (M.A. and Ph.D. level) university students

The research of the Institute is subject to ongoing assessment by an international advisory board.