Since the transition into the UA Ruhr in 2007, the KWI has been readjusting its topics. After Prof. Dr. Ute Schneider’s period as acting head, Prof. Dr. Julika Griem took over in April 2018. This change initiated a programmatic reorientation and the reintegration and rehousing of projects.

In order to elaborate the new topics, establish national and international cooperation and actively design the Institute’s event schedule, a team of seven highly qualified post-doc researchers were hired in April 2019; three of them are funded by Stiftung Mercator. The fellows come from the disciplines of history, sociology, German literary studies, and art history, and therefore represent the Institute’s new course. Proceeding from the four working areas Cultural Science Studies, Cultural and Literary Sociology, Science Communication and a Teaching Lab, the aim is to offer innovative research constellations with national and international resonance in the Ruhr area. However, the KWI by no means considers itself a site of monastic seclusion and mental “deceleration”. Rather, it embodies a discursive laboratory and catalyst for new research questions and the analysis of their potential.