The Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture (IMAREAL) is a cultural studies research institute of the University of Salzburg located in Krems/Danube. In our research we focus on subjects of material culture addressing the manifold interactions between people and the material world in a historical perspective (12th to 17th century).
Pursuing this profile, the IMAREAL has been the only academic facility of this kind ever since its foundation in 1969. Since 2012, the institute forms a part of the University of Salzburg. It is additionally financed through a basic funding of Lower Austria and Krems.
Our main focus is on things and their different contexts. We are interested in the practices in which they take part thus making sense to people.
It is only when using them that people experience the properties of materials. We investigate the knowledge about materials that was stored by choosing them, working on them and symbolising them.
Objects and materials were handed down as material objects, in texts, or in images. This is why our research involves many disciplines connecting the different perspectives and methods from archaeology, German studies, historical science and art history.
We develop digital technologies and methods and apply them to open up new ways for research and knowledge transfer in cultural studies.
The IMAREAL is part of the Interdisciplinary Centre for the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period of the University of Salzburg. We are in direct exchange with colleagues from different departments and integrate the latest research results on material culture in teaching. In addition to our international connections, we greatly benefit from our location in Krems and the research environment in Lower Austria where we put theories and methods to the test.