- Start date: 2014
- End date: 2019
- Funder: The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (German Research Foundation)
- Co-investigators: Dr Melanie Brunner
- External co-investigators: Professor Andreas Bihrer, Dr Andreas Büttner, Dr Eva Elm, Professor Michael Grünbart,
Imitation: Mechanisms of a Cultural Principle in the Middle Ages (http://netzwerk-imitation.de/projekt.htm ) is a 3-year collaborative project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, exploring the significance of imitation for medieval social, cultural and religious history.
In light of recent plagiarism scandals in German politics, the project also addresses the tension between originality and tradition, innovation and imitation in the Middle Ages and beyond. Project members are drawn from universities in Germany, Switzerland and Russia, with Melanie Brunner as the only UK-based member of the initiative.
The network addresses imitation in the sense of an act of deliberate imitation of persons and objects, actions and ideas as omnipresent patterns of orientation, behavior and education in the Christian Middle Ages, and thus understands them as a cultural principle of European society.
Through the joint analysis of the manifestations and effects of this principle, the network combines current research projects with programmatic conceptual imitations in architecture, text and ritual. The result is a dynamic, multidisciplinary research network whose method makes it possible to empirically raise not only the tangible quality of imitations in their moral, social, legal, political, theological and artistic-creative dimensions through their own and external perceptions.