Completed Projects


Subproject "Comparative Literature and 'Leiblichkeit' "


Comparative Literature addresses corporeality under three aspects. On the side of production aesthetics, it examines the author and his creative process. On the side of reception aesthetics, it focuses on the reader and the narrative of the text reading. And on the side of poetology, it is concerned with the literary work, integrating two levels of corporeality; first, corporeality as theme of the work itself, and second, corporeality as state of the reader constituted by the work during its reading. Our project shall concentrate on the third aspect, the poetological approach.

More information can be found here.

Project duration: November 2012 to 2017

Project "Equality and Inequality in Liver Allocation"


The Marsilius Kolleg project "Equality and Inequality in Liver Allocation" employs criteria for distribution of donor livers from the medical, legal, and ethical point of view.  Far too few organs are donated in Germany compared to the needs; this is especially true for donor livers. There is tension between the distribution criteria in force in Germany Transplantation Act - "urgency" and "chance of success". The current mode of distribution depends primarily on urgency. The researchers involved in the project will identify the problems of medical practice and the weaknesses of the existing distribution system from an ethical and legal perspective. In a further step, proposals will be developed to improve the distribution mode for donor livers, with the goal of increasingly taking both criteria of the Transplantation Act into account, as well as meeting the requirements of the everyday medical practice.

The project is headed by Prof. Dr. Monika Bobbert (medical ethics), Prof. Dr. Gerhard Dannecker (criminal law) and Prof. Dr. Tom Ganten (transplantation medicine). More information can be found here.

Project duration: March 2013 to 2014

Project "Ethical and Legal Aspects of Total Genome Sequencing"


Experts tell us that in the foreseeable future the deciphering of complete genomes of individuals – known as total sequencing – will be customary procedure in diagnostics. The associated prospects of “individualised medicine” have generated high hopes that it will soon be feasible to attune diagnosis, therapy and prevention more accurately to patients’ individual physical characteristics. But these new genetic potentialities have also triggered controversies about their ethical and legal implications. These are the aspects that the Marsilius Kolleg project team will address. Alongside researchers from the university itself, project participants include scientists and scholars from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. The scientists and scholars involved intend to establish an international platform for interdisciplinary discussion of normative issues connected with medicine and the sciences. The project will run for three years, beginning in March 2011.


Project “The Global Governance of Climate Engineering”


PosterceThe project “The Global Governance of Climate Engineering” focuses on a rarely but controversially discussed option to deal with global change. “Climate engineering“ is an emerging concept of a deliberate alteration of the global climatic system by technological means. Serious suggestions for different technologies have been developed during the last few years. The research group concentrates on the multiple interconnections between technological, economical, cultural, political, social and psychological aspects of climate engineering. Further Information:

Project “Human Dignity”


This project started in 2005 as part of the newly established “Interdisciplinary Forum for Biomedicine and Cultural Studies” (IFBK). It has focused on stimulating the discussions between scholars of the sciences and the humanities on the issues of human dignity and concepts of personhood. The project deals with fundamental problems as well as with applied research. So far, the different discourses on human dignity stayed isolated from one another. The project aims to interconnect these discourses following the idea that in many cases biomedical progress has questioned the traditional concept of personhood. Therefore, the coverage of and the reasons for human dignity have become more and more controversial in our society. The project has research-groups on “Concepts of Personhood and Neurosciences”, “Human Dignity at the Start of Life” and “Humane dying”. Each group includes senior and junior scholars from a wide range of disciplines.

Project “Perspectives of Ageing in the Process of Social and Cultural Change”


PosterageingThe project “Perspectives of Ageing” picks up on two major social challenges of the demographical change. On the level of society, the benefits and potentials of ageing need to be strengthened. On the other side, individual risks need to be detected in an early stage in order to minimise their impact. These two challenges characterise the Janus-face of ageing with its concomitance of gains and losses.


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