Dr. phil. Jörg Lehmann

University Tübingen

Porträt Jörg Lehmann

The tragedy of the cultural commons

This research project looks at the use of digitised cultural heritage by private companies. It starts from the observation that the public sector invests considerable amounts of taxpayers’ money in digitisation, while private companies exploit these digital assets to maximise profits. This situation is called the “tragedy of the cultural commons”, as its cultural legitimacy is being questioned, even though it meets valid legal standards. The knowledge gained from this data as well as possible interventions in the cultural sector are at the centre of the study. The self-evident handling of data that enables such exploitation is not appropriate. An understanding of cultural heritage as cultural commons, on the other hand, represents an appropriate form of governance. The research project aims to make a realistic assessment of the impact of big tech companies on the cultural sector and to present the legal situation in which cultural heritage institutions involved in digitisation currently find themselves.

Research focus

  • Digitisation
  • Cultural heritage
  • Exploitation
  • Case law
  • Copyright

Curriculum Vitae

  • Until 07/2003 studies of history and general and comparative literature at the FU Berlin, degree: Dr. phil.
  • 2011-2014 wiss. Assistant at the University of Stuttgart, Department of History
  • 2015-2016 wiss. FU Berlin, Department of History, CENDARI project
  • 2017-2018 research assistant FU Berlin, Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, project CENDARI. FU Berlin, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, EU project KPLEX
  • since 2018 researcher at the Assistant, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Tübingen, Digital Humanities Coordinator

Lectures and publications


La Débâcle. War Literature in the Third French Republic and the Autonomisation of the Literary Field, Stuttgart 2014. DOI: 10.18419/opus-5393.
Imaginary Battlefields. War Literature in the Weimar Republic. Eine literatursoziologische Untersuchung, Phil. Diss. FU Berlin 2003,


Editors of the German version of: Dan Bar-On, Sami Adwan, Eyal Naveh / Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (eds.), Die Geschichte des Anderen kennen lernen. Israel und Palästina im 20. Jahrhundert, Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag 2015.
Editor together with Wolfram Pyta, Krieg erzählen – Raconter la guerre. Frahling procedures in literature and historiography after the wars of 1870/71 and 1914/18 (= Schriftenreihe des Internationalen Zentrums für Kultur- und Technikforschung (IZKT) der Universität Stuttgart, Bd.26), Berlin: LIT-Verlag 2014


Together with Jennifer Edmond, Digital humanities, knowledge complexity, and the five ‘aporias’ of digital research, in: Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 05 June 2021. DOI: 10.1093/llc/fqab031.
Together with Hanno Ehrlicher, La recolección de datos como laboratorio epistemológico. Algunas reflexiones acerca del entorno virtual de investigación Revistas culturales 2.0, in: Dolores Romero López (ed.), Archivos, repositorios y bibliotecas digitales de la Edad de Plata. Signa. Revista de la Asociación Española de Semiótica, 30 (2021), pp. 59-81. DOI: 10.5944/signa.vol30.2021.29298.

Dr. phil. Jörg Lehmann

University Tübingen

Fellow at CAIS from October 2021 until March 2022