Judith Jansen

Proceedings opened

Dissertation colloquium: 6 July 2020


Biographical information

  • Since Oct. 2013: Recipient of a PhD scholarship by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes; Associate member of the GRK 1808: Ambiguity - Production and Perception
  • Since 2012: Research Assistant at the Department of Media Studies; PhD Student at the University of Tübingen, supervised by Prof. Dr. Frauke Berndt
  • Spring 2015: Research Stay at the University of Oxford
  • 2012: Research Assistant at the Department of German Philology/ Literature of the 18th and 19th Century
  • 2009: Internship at the Goethe-Institute in Padua / Italy
  • 2008 – 2011: Student Research Assistant at the Department of German Philology/Literature of the 18th and 19th Century
  • 2005-2012: Studies of German Philology, History and Italian Philology at the Universities of Cologne, Florence and Tübingen
  • Born 1986 in Cologne



Language as Medium. Mediological Studies on the German Late Enlightenment (working title)

Language emerges as the central and immediate medium of the human mind in the Late Enlightenment. Because of the assumed analogy between thinking and speaking and, therefore, its constituted epistemological relevance, language is brought into the focus of interest. In the meantime the German language, as a privileged epistemological medium, has posed and poses a variety of problems.

Upon examination and reflection on the subject it has become increasingly clear that language is a non-transparent and unreliable medium because of its missing standardization and rising awareness of its ambiguity.

Since the 1770s the structure and nature of language has been the basis for a robust and controversial discussion, concerning the Grammar, orthography, linguistic variance, lexicon and the sovereignty in matters of interpretation because no single institution decides on a norm of the German language. The debates concern both the medial relation between the mind, language and perception, and the material aspect of the medium.

My project analyses the debates on and the rising awareness of language as a medium on the one hand, and its material form – the visible writing and the audible sound – on the other hand.

In this regard I intend to analyse the process of debating the issue and the simultaneously rising awareness of language as a medium.

Therefore, it is my intention to examine both the discussions of grammarians on the standardisation of language and the literary twist of the language as contributed by poets establishing an autonomous and self-aware position in the discussions about language and contributing a different perspective on language and its ambiguity, namely, on its productivity, its creative potential and its self-reference as a medium.



  • Winter term 2014/15
    • PSII: Was ist Hochdeutsch? Debatten und Kontroversen im 18. Jahrhundert



  • "Die Stimmen der Sprache. Dramatisches Erzählen in F.G. Klopstocks Grammatische Gesprächen" (Exposé accepted): Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für die Erforschung des 18. Jahrhunderts (DGEJ) at the Interdisziplinären Zentrum für die Erforschung der Europäischen Aufklärung (IZEA), Halle/Saale, 28.-30.09.15: Erzählende und erzählte Aufklärung – Narrating Enlightenment and Enlightenment Narrative



  • Jansen, Judith (2018). "Die Stimmen der Sprache. Inszeniertes Erzählen in F. G. Klopstocks Grammatischen Gesprächen (1794)." Erzählende und erzählte Aufklärung. Eds. Frauke Berndt und Daniel Fulda. Hamburg: Meiner. DOI: 10.28937/978-3-7873-3357-8