Boundary Experiences of Human Life between Biomedical Explanation and Lived Experience

The DFG research training group "Life Sciences - Life Writing" is a joint research project by the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz and the University Medical Center Mainz. It aims at establishing mutually shared methodological pathways to topics in life sciences and life writing related to boundary experiences of human life. It proceeds from the hypothesis that life sciences and biomedicine on the one hand and the humanities and cultural sciences on the other hand approach the same subject of man in his life-world from different angles. If we assume that life sciences and life writing can each be understood as a specific set of narrative practices, in which the significance of explanations and models depend to a large degree on the ways in which empirical data, explanations, and experiences are narrativized, what emerges then is an approach for establishing common methodological perspectives on man in his life-world.


Current Research Projects



March 2022: Best Presentation Award for GRK-Fellow Jasmin Glock

Jasmin Glock received the Best Presentation Award by the XVI. International Conference on Disability and Media in Miami. Her presentation "Disability Representation in Children's Programs: A Critical Analysis of Nickolodeon's Avatar" convinced the jury who praised it as an "outstanding work". The conference presentation is part of Jasmin Glock's PhD research on "Diseases and Disabilities in North-American Gothic Fiction". Congratulations, Jasmin!

Read more about her work.

February 2022: Postdoctoral Fellow Junior Scholar Award for GRK-Fellow Fabian Hennig

Fabian Hennig received the Postdoctoral Fellow Junior Scholar Award for his presentation at Reproductive Ethics Conference in Texas.
His conference paper on "Thermic Male Contraception – History, Recent Challenges, and Ethical Implications" convinced the jury and was praised as outstanding among a number of excellent talks by junior scholars. Congratulations, Fabian!

Read more about his research.

December 2021: JGU Magazine features GRK-Alumna Dr. Davina Höll on occasion of receiving the prestigeuous "Deutsche Studienpreis 2021" by the Körber Foundation for her outstandin research

Last July, the Körber Foundation awarded Dr. Davina Höll the "Deutsche Studienpreis 2021" for her extraordinary work on the role of the Cholera in 19th century literature.

Just in time for the official award ceremony, JGU Magazine features Dr. Davina Höll in an in-depth article giving us insight both in her outstanding research and in her thoughts on the applicability of literary studies and on building bridges between the Humanities and Life Sciences.

Read the full article at JGU Magazine.

July 2021: GRK-Alumna Dr. Davina Höll receives prestigeous "Deutsche Studienpreis 2021" by the Körber Foundation

GRK-Alumna Dr. Davina Höll has been awarded the prestigeous "Deutsche Studienpreis 2021" for her outstanding dissertation on the role of the Cholera in 19th century literature. In her research, Dr. Davina Höll explores what literature can contribute to the process of making sense of and coping with a worldwide pandemic. Literature, as Davina Höll suggests, does not only provide a way to process the hardship and horror of a pandemic, but contributes to this processing in a unique way by creating its own knowledge about plagues and diseases. In this sense, literature in itself can be a "powerful instrument" in coping with one's own powerlessness. A research, that started well before the current Covid pandemic, but couldn't have been more timely and much needed.

We congratulate Dr. Davina Höll very much for this outstanding award and well-earned praise of her excellent work!

Read the full press release by the Körber Foundation.

June 2021: Interview by the RBB with GRK-fellow Fabian Hennig about (in)equality regarding contraceptives

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Pill, the RBB talked with GRK-fellow Fabian Henning about the reasons why there is still no equality with regard to contraceptives.

January 2021: New joint publication on the Opioid Crisis

New joint publication by GRK-Fellow Roxana Damiescu and faculty members Prof. Thomas Efferth, Prof. Mita Banerjee, Prof. Norbert W. Paul as well as Dr. David Yue-Wei Lee. The researchers take a closer look on the current Opioid Crisis: "Health(care) in the Crisis: Reflections in Science and Society on Opioid Addiction", published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Read the full article.

13.10.2020: "Giving more attention to neglected tropical diseases"

JGU Magazine featured the work of Prof. Ute Hellmich and Eric Schwegler on neglected tropical illnesses.

Read the full article.