SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences

Institute for Writing Studies (ISW)

Our Goal

The Institute for Writing Studies is an interdisciplinary research institute. Its members bundle and initiate writing research and development projects on writing in the profession, at university and school, as well as on creative and literary writing in different contexts. 

The aim of the Institute is to facilitate and promote research and development projects in writing studies. In this way, it makes the interdisciplinary expertise of actors from writing studies visible both in the theoretical field and in the field of practice and contributes to national and international networking.

Writing as a cultural technique is such a self-evident activity that it was initially overlooked as an object of research for a long time. Gradually, it became the focus of attention in various academic disciplines that look at writing from very different perspectives, with different questions and methodological approaches (e.g. in psychology, linguistics, educational sciences, German didactics, literary studies, translation studies, cultural studies, neurosciences, technical sciences, etc.). In parallel, a field of practice has emerged in recent decades, particularly at universities, which is dedicated to the teaching and learning writing and writing to learn, i.e. the question of how writing can be taught, supported and used as a learning medium in different subjects. Out of these two developments, a new discipline is currently forming in the German-speaking world: Germanic writing studies. "This not only examines contexts, processes, and practices of writing itself and the ideas associated with writing and learning to write in specific contexts, but it also asks what forms of support for learning to write are common there and how they can be further developed." (Girgensohn et al. 2021, 31). 

The Institute for Writing Studies offers a broad framework for these developments. The research projects of the researchers associated with the Institute 

● use different empirical methods and different theoretical approaches; 

● are linked to discourses of different disciplines; 

● examine, for example, writing processes, writing products (i.e., written texts), the learning and teaching of writing, and writing as a medium for learning and reflection; 

● refer to different languages. 

On the one hand, the Institute locates itself in the tradition of US-American writing research and, on the other hand, has its roots in the interdisciplinary German-language discourses on writing studies, as represented, for example, by the professional societies and working groups gefsus e.V. (Gesellschaft für Schreibdidaktik und Schreibforschung ; Germany), GewissS ( Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliches Schreiben; Austria ), Forum wissenschaftliches Schreiben (Switzerland) or #schreibenplus

Possible topics for research in writing studies can be found here

The Institute for Writing Studies was founded by

Researchers in the field of writing studies from all disciplines of origin are welcome as additional members. (Further information and application form here).