The IFK Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften was founded in Vienna in 1993. It is an independent institute for advanced study that aims to support and develop the transdisciplinary cultural analysis and the study of culture.
To achieve this objective the IFK focuses its work on the following areas:
Offering young scholars possibilities to undertake research, do projects, and hold discussions through its Junior Fellowship
Internationalizing the humanities in Austria by hosting renowned scholars as Senior Fellows and Research Fellows
Extending the reach and utility of the study of culture by developing and supporting Research Foci
Promoting a problem-oriented, method-conscious, transdisciplinary, self-reflexive, intellectual culture by its sponsorship of Lectures & Conferences
Communicating the best and most innovative research results by publishing Papers
To further the development of the relatively new discipline of cultural studies, it is important to thematize the realm of culture (art, literature, architecture, sciences, media, life-styles, and the culture of everyday life) in a comprehensive manner. Culture cannot be grasped merely historically as the memory of a society but is equally understood as a realm of discourse regarding society's future prospects. Culture may be understood as a dynamic process that produces and interprets meanings and is shaped by political, social, and economic contexts. Culture as the sum of life-forms and life-styles of human beings, differently determined according to place, society, and history, is not self-referential but articulates societal processes as well.
Thus the task of cultural studies is not only to analyse the "interior" of given aesthetic, literary, and popular practices, but also to assay their external conditions. Consequently, cultural studies can be understood as a project of deciphering cultures as textures of the social. In this reading culture is neither one factor (among others) nor a hermetic sphere, but rather it suffuses the whole texture of social life.more » « less