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Posts Tagged ‘Freiburg’

On September 29 and 30, I organize a workshop in Freiburgs Liefmann-Haus (Goethestraße 33-35) under the title

In/Action: Socio-Political Practices of Non-Participation in European Modernity

Nicht/Handeln: Sozio-politische Praktiken der Partizipationsunterlassung in der europäischen Moderne

In contexts in which specific forms of participation are expected, remaining inactive can itself be considered a type of action. Their paradoxical nature notwithstanding, such instances of in/action can produce significant effects, both in terms of symbolic and of practical impact. On the basis of case studies from the European history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the workshop discusses the specific nature and significance of non-participation in a variety of contexts. Engaging with modes of in/action as a specific variety of passive activity, it seeks to understand a type of social and political practices that has hitherto received scant scholarly attention.

Besides opening up new vistas of research, the study of in/action also promises to shed new light on structures of participation in modern societies and their historical development. For what it means not to do something is inseparably linked to current expectations with regard to ‘normal’ or ‘normative’ behavior in a given context. As such, the conflicts and controversies surrounding the failure to participate point beyond themselves to the expectations and constraints of action in various historical constellations.

All are welcome.

Nicht.Handeln.Poster

The preliminary program (in German) is as follows (download it here):

Freitag, 29. September 2017

9:30 – 10:00

Ankunft und Begrüßung

10:00 – 10:30

Einführung – Theo Jung (Freiburg)

10:30 – 12:30

Sektion I: Konflikt ohne Widerspruch: Politisches Handeln durch Auslassung und Unterlassung

  • Das Desinteresse an politischen Wahlen im 19. Jahrhundert – Hedwig Richter (Hamburg)
  • Conspicuous Non-Consumption. Konsumboykotts als politische Proteststrategie im 20. Jahrhundert – Benjamin Möckel (Köln)
  • Beharren und Verweigerung als Formen des politisch abweichenden Verhaltens in der DDR – Christian Halbrock (Berlin)
  • Kommentar – Michael Freeden (Oxford/London)

12:45 – 14:00

Mittagspause

14:15 – 16:15

Sektion II: Einstieg und Ausstieg: Teilhabe und die Konturen der modernen Gesellschaft

  • Aussteiger. Überlegungen zu einer Figur des 20. Jahrhunderts – Tobias Weidner (Göttingen)
  • Aufrufe und Anleitungen zum Nichtstun seit den 1950er Jahren – Yvonne Robel (Hamburg)
  • Ausstieg vom Ausstieg. Die westdeutsche ‘Jobber-Bewegung’ der 1980er Jahre als doppelte Verweigerung gegen bürgerliches Arbeitsethos und alternative Lebens- und Arbeitsideale – Jörg Neuheiser (Tübingen)
  • Kommentar – Thomas Welskopp (Bielefeld)

16:15 – 16:45

Pause

16:45 – 18:45

Paneldiskussion: Grenzen der Leistungsgesellschaft? Aktuelle Perspektiven

  • Achim Lenz (Haus Bartleby)
  • Jochen Gimmel (Freiburg)

Samstag, 30. September 2017

9:30 – 11:15

Sektion III: ‘… that no matter how one may try, one cannot not communicate.’ Kommunikation und ihr Gegenteil

  • Ausbleibender Applaus: Akklamationsverweigerung als Form öffentlichen Protests in Frankreich (c. 1780-1848) – Theo Jung (Freiburg)
  • ‘Mon affliction filiale’: Dynastie und Völkerrecht im 19. Jahrhundert – Torsten Riotte (Frankfurt a. M.)
  • ‘The End of Conversation’? Debatten über das Schweigen in politischer Face-to-Face-Kommunikation in Deutschland und den USA (1960-2010) – Armin Owzar (Paris)
  • Kommentar – Kerstin Brückweh (Potsdam)

11:30 – 12:30

Schlussdiskussion und Verabschiedung


Mit freundlicher Unterstützung von:

Gerda Henkel Stiftung
Frankreich-Zentrum der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
SFB 1015 Muße. Grenzen, Raumzeitlichkeit, Praktiken
Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte Westeuropas, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

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In January of 2014, a group of colleagues from the Freiburg history department and I founded the ‘Reading Workshop History and Theory’ (Lektürewerkstatt Geschichte und Theorie). Its aim is to bring together scholars and students from all disciplines of the humanities with an interest in the theoretical basis of their respective fields.

Starting point was the observation that although the necessity to coordinate theoretical reflection and empirical research is often stressed, in practice the links between the two aspects are often neglected. The reading workshop confronts this weakness by providing an informal forum for rigorous discussion of the theoretical foundations of research in the humanities.

Two years onward, we have been discussing a wide variety of themes, such as:

  • Postcolonialism
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Niklas Luhmann
  • Spatial turn
  • Carl Schmitt
  • Actor-Network-Theory
  • Paul Ricœur
  • Max Weber
  • Michel Foucault
  • … and many others

Since this is a self-organized group and not an official teaching course, we are flexible with regard to themes, dates as well as to the form of discussion.

Anyone in the Freiburg area – from the first semester student up to the PhD and beyond – interested in joining is cordially invited to send an email to: geschichteundtheorie@gmail.com.

Our poster:

Poster1.LGT

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In the coming summer semester, I will be teaching two courses at Freiburg University.

 

One seminar course, titled:

Political Arenas: Parliamentary Cultures in the Long 19th Century in Comparison
(see the official website and the pearltree with links about this theme)

 

And a reading course:

A Small European Country: Introduction to Dutch History (1581-1914)
(see the official website and the pearltree with links about this theme)

Dutch History

 

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On the 8th of June, I will be presenting an ‘introductory lecture’ on problems of periodization within the framework of the student-organized conference

“Einschnitt – Einbruch – Einheit? Nachdenken über Zäsuren und Epochen”
(“Incision – Incursion – Unity? Thinking about Caesuras and Epochs”)

held at Freiburg University.

Taking the history of periodization as well as its current ‘state of the art’ within the humanities as my point of departure, I will try to give an overview over the major questions and controversies currently under discussion in this field.

For more information on this conference, please refer to the official website or the facebook page.

zaes

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This winter semester, I will again be teaching two courses.

The Salon: a Form of Enlightened Sociability
The social life of the Ancien Régime has never lost its fascination. In many books and movies, a world is evoked in which beautifully dressed gentlemen and ladies cultivate a witty and light-footed conversation. The central and most famous form of this type of elitist sociability was, without a doubt, the salon. In this setting, an exquisite circle of guests of all sorts met under the gentle guidance of an elegant hostess. Drawing upon French and ‘German’ cases from the 18th and 19th centuries, this seminar studies the social, cultural and gender dimensions of this social form in their historical development. Its focus will lie on several questions which have been the subject of heated historiographical debate. Were these salons hatcheries of Enlightenment thought, of emerging civil society or of women’s emancipation, or did they rather represent a late – and ultimately dying – branch of aristocratic (court) culture? In the conversations that built the central element of any salon, what was the relationship between serious discussion and lighthearted amusement? Were the salons able to adjust to the new political environment after the French Revolution, or did the rise of bourgeois society spell their end?

Enlightenment and Revolution: Reading Course on French Sources
The French Revolution is often thought of as the birthplace of European modernity. Contemporaries were already very aware of its significance and debated about its various causes. Central among these was a diffuse set of phenomena that would gradually come to be subsumed under the title of ‘Enlightenment’. In this context, a controversial debate about the relationship between ‘Enlightenment’ and ‘Revolution’ emerged that has not quieted down since. Reading French primary sources (pamphlets, theatre, speeches, lexicon articles, etc.), this course will trace the political dimension of the Enlightenment as it was understood before, during and after the French Revolution.

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Starting in Freiburg in the summer semester of 2011, I will be teaching two courses.

The Intellectual: Genesis of a Modern Social Type
The Dreyfus Affair is often viewed as the birth of the modern intellectual.  In fact, however, the origins of this important ‘persona’ are much older and reach into the Enlightenment period. Taking a series of case studies from France, England and the German lands as a starting point, this BA-Seminar from a comparative perspective traces the emergence and development of this figure during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Besides questions of social structure, finance, forms of communication and use of media, its focus will be on the problematic relation of the intellectual (and his locus naturalis, the public realm) with the political.

Zeitgeist: History and Impact of a Controversial Concept
The concept of ‘zeitgeist’ or ‘spirit of the age’ has all but disappeared from our vocabulary. If used at all it is usually employed in an ironic mode. Yet at one time, this was remarkably different. For a long time, zeitgeist was the central concept within Western discourses of historical reflexion. It expressed the reflexion upon the present as a changing form of life and thus built the center of a historical consciousness that emerged at the onset of the modern era. This reading course (Übung) will trace the history of this modern concept from its beginnings in the seventeenth up to his heyday in the first half of the nineteenth century. On the basis of source material (pamphlets, journal articles, poetry, theatre) from the German, French and English language areas several questions will be posed, i. e.: what meanings did the concept convey and how did these change over time? In what contexts and to what purposes was it used? How was it instrumentalized for political aims? Against which social background did it arise and how did it influence this in turn? Thus, on the basis of this example, general question are put forward about the history of concepts and its method.

More information about these courses may be found here.

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As of April first, I will be moving to the University of Freiburg to start a new job as a Hochschulassistent (‘assistant professor’). I will be working under Professor Jörn Leonhard and ‘Privatdozentin’ (Private Lecturer) Svenja Goltermann at the Lehrstuhl für die Geschichte des Romanischen Westeuropa (chair for the History of the Romanesque Western Europe).

Besides teaching and other academic activities, I will start work on a new project on the ‘history of silence‘ in the long nineteenth century.

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