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Summer School

Berkeley-Cologne-Yale-Summer School “Aesthetic Possibilities: Literature, Rhetoric, Philosophy”

The seventh Berkeley-Cologne-Yale Summer School “Aesthetic Possibilities: Literature, Rhetoric, Philosophy” will be focusing on the topic “Scripture – Number – Image: Literature and Forms of Notation”.

The Summer School will take place at the University of Cologne from July 23 to 26.

Relations between scriptural signs and other forms of notation have been a topic in the study of literature for a while. They did so already before the current debates about digital humanities, the role of algorithms, digital formats of literature, literature and AI, and the so-called ‘end of the book’ have started to give a new shape to the discussion.
The interest in different practices and forms of notation can be followed along several lines. Often, questions focus on how traditional literary texts contain non-scriptural forms, numbers, and images. Beyond that, the very distinction between scripture, number, and image can be questioned. Not all languages draw such a distinction along the same lines, and, to take just one recent example, Derrida’s notion of scripture problematizes the very distinction between scripture, image, and number. In addition, recent theories of scripture focus on the independence from spoken language and on the pictorial character of the operations in question.
Speaking historically, we often observe relations of competition or translation between literature and other discourses (mathematics, economy, bureaucracy, etc.). Thus, discussions on methodology in early statistics focus on narrative versus numerical models; in its entire history, geometry is shaped by parallel forms of and relations between figures, numbers, and texts; and in The Capital, Marx uses both mathematical formulas and narrative as well as conceptual translations. Many other examples could be added, particularly with regard to the hybrid forms of scripture, number, and image in the uses of diagrams, illustration, cartographic representations, lists, and schematic representations—and the forms in which they emerge in literature.

Application Information

Applicants are asked to send a brief outline of the project they wish to present (max. 2000
words), a letter of motivation and a short CV (max. 2 pages) by April 30, 2024 to:

Sophie-C. Hartisch ( and Sophia Wagenlehner (

Keyword: Summer School 2024

Accepted applicants will be informed by May 15, 2024.

Materials will be provided. Travel and accommodation are to be organized and paid for by
the participants themselves.