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Posts Tagged ‘Cultural Criticism’

Daß die Welt im Argen liege: ist eine Klage, die so alt ist, als die Geschichte, selbst als die noch ältere Dichtkunst, ja gleich alt mit der ältesten unter allen Dichtungen, die Priesterreligion. Alle lassen gleich wohl die Welt vom Guten anfangen: vom goldenen Zeitalter, vom Leben im Paradiese, oder von einem noch glücklichern, in Gemeinschaft mit himmlischen Wesen. Aber dieses Glück lasen sie bald wie einen Traum verschwinden; und nun den Verfall ins Böse […] zum Aergern mit accelerirtem Falle eilen so daß wir jetzt (dieses Jetzt aber ist so alt, als die Geschichte) in der letzten Zeit leben, der jüngste Tag der Welt Untergang vor der Thür ist […].

Immanuel Kant: Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der bloßen Vernunft, 2nd enl. ed., Königsberg 1794, p. 3-4.

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The proceedings of a conference I attended two years ago in Heidelberg have been published as volume 18 in the series Schriften zur politischen Kultur der Weimarer Republik by Peter Lang.

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My own contribution, titled

Eine “Klage, die so alt ist, als die Geschichte”? Dimensionen des Wandels im Diskurs der modernen Kulturkritik

(A “Complaint as old as History itself”? Dimensions of Change in the Discourse of Modern Cultural Criticism)

develops an analytical model to describe four dimensions of change in the modern discourse of cultural criticism since the late eighteenth century.

Click here for the volume’s contents, a short introductory text, part of the introduction and the publisher’s page.

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In the new year, I will be presenting my research in various contexts.

On January 16, I will present my current research project (Habilitation) in the research colloquium of Prof. Dr. Paul Nolte at the Freie Universität Berlin. The title of my presentation will be:

Politisches Schweigen: Sprachspiele an den Grenzen politischer Kommunikation, ca. 1815–1920.
(Political Silence: Language Games on the Edges of Political Communication, ca. 1815-1920).

One week later, on the 24th and 25th of January, I will participate in a workshop titled Kulturkritik zwischen Frankreich und Deutschland (1860-1933): Schreibweisen zwischen Wissenschaft und Dichtung organized by Prof. Dr. Barbara Beßlich, PD Dr. Olivier Agard and Prof. Dr. Gérard Raulet at Heidelberg University. My presentation (to be held on Friday, January 24 at 10:15) will be titled:

Eine ‘Klage, die so alt ist, als die Geschichte’? Kulturkritik um 1800 und 1900 im diachronen Vergleich.
(A ‘Complaint, as Old as History Itself’? Kulturkritik Around 1800 and 1900 Compared).

Finally, I will participate in a conference titled Die Geschichtlichkeit kollektiver Vorstellungen: Historische Semantik und Soziologie, to be held in Lüneburg from 13 to 15 February, organized by the section Sociology of Culture of the German Society for Sociology. My paper (to be held on Saturday at 11:45) is titled:

Beschleunigung: theoretische und empirische Perspektiven auf eine Kategorie der Moderne.
(Acceleration: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on a Category of Modernity).

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My dissertation has been published as volume 18 of the series ‘Historische Semantik‘ by Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht.

For more information, click here. For ordering from within Germany, click here.

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I’m honoured to announce that after the Fazit-Stiftung, now the Geschwister Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung für Geisteswissenschaften has also generously awarded me a grant towards the printing costs of my dissertation, to be published this year under the title “Zeichen des Verfalls. Semantische Studien zur Entstehung der Kulturkritik im 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert”.

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I just received confirmation that the manuscript of my dissertation has been approved by the board of editors of the book series ‘Historische Semantik‘. This means that if all formalities add up, the final version of the text may appear in this prestigious series published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, a publishing house with a tradition going back more than 275 years. Though the process of editing will take some time, a publication date in 2012 seems feasible.

The editorial board consisted of Prof. Dr. Bernhard Jussen (Frankfurt / M), Prof. Dr. Christien Kiening (Zürich), Prof. Dr. Klaus Krüger (Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Willibald Steinmetz (Bielefeld).

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Ph.D. Exam

Last week, on December 15th, I had my Ph.D. exam (‘Disputation’). After a short presentation, a wide range of questions was posed to me by my supervisors (Prof. Steinmetz of the University of Bielefeld and Prof. Den Boer of the University of Amsterdam) and the other members of the committee (Prof. Papenheim and Prof. Epple). Some of the issues we spoke about were:

– is cultural criticism political or unpolitical in nature?

– is cultural criticism mainly a transnational, Western-European discourse? What role is played by national or language specific differences?

– should the discourse of cultural criticism be interpreted as the linguistic form of a particular social group? How should its intperpretation as ‘instrument’ in the hands of language users be weighed against its semantical properties that may – at least in part unconsciously – influence the actors understanding of themselves and the world?

The results were very satisfying (summa cum laude).

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