Research Priorities and Goals
In today's technological societies, universities of technology are experimental environments for new forms of thinking, knowledge, and working before these are transferred to the real world. But this performative anticipation of future social and cultural ways of living and working through research is not a one-way street. Culture and society are increasingly demanding a say in scientific and technological developments.
Research in the humanities and social sciences has an exciting role to play in this respect. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities considers it one of its most important tasks to explore this performative anticipation of future social and cultural ways of living and working – hermeneutically, historically, normatively, empirically, and data-analytically, but always critically-reflectively – in an interdisciplinary manner using the toolkits of the humanities and social sciences. This is in line with the founding claim of the Faculty of Humanities to provide independent and autonomous teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences.
However, this is only possible on the basis of a strong disciplinary foundation. For this reason, the second important task is to strengthen the disciplinary foundation and to benefit from the opportunities a technical university offers for testing new technology-based methods.
However, innovativeness and reflexivity in the “university enterprise” are not simple matters, and the time they require is notoriously lacking in everyday university life. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities therefore seeks to provide intellectual space for the development of new thoughts, new methodological approaches, and new topics to be explored.
Furthermore, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities has a strong focus on initiating collaborative research. Researchers of the Faculty of Humanities are involved in collaborative projects with colleagues from other RWTH institutes and departments, but also from other universities worldwide.