The proposed doctoral thesis aims to investigate S. M. Eisenstein’s theory project Method. Grundproblem (1932-1948), which has only recently been published in its entirety. Einstein’s concept of “sensorial thinking” as elaborated in this work is to be elucidated along three perspectives:
1. by means of a reconstruction of the central categories, their work-immanent significance and their historical implications for the work (e.g. "pathos formula", "psychic gesture", "image"/"obraz", "montage", "metaphoric movement of expression" etc.);
2. through the analysis of their interrelations to the scientific institutions of contemporary Russian anthropology and psychology that have not been granted much attention to date (e.g. GAChN, School of Cultural History, Institute for Psychology);
3. in contrast to comparable projects in cultural science (e.g. Benjamin, Warburg) that Eisenstein was not aware of.
Eisenstein's aesthetic concept is finally to be analyzed in regard to it's valence for today's psychological approaches in aesthetics and art history. My research will also consider the question of the genre and poetological character of Method: what epistemological model – as a model for explaining and representing knowledge – does Eisenstein’s Method suggest?
Prof. Dr. Georg Witte