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Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC)

Research Area 7: Political and Transnational Cultures

Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture

The Giessen Graduate School for the Humanities (GGK) / International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) is a centre at Justus Liebig University Giessen which is committed to providing optimum conditions for PhD candidates in the humanities and social sciences.


Beteiligte Forscher der Neueren Geschichte

  • Jan Philipp Altenburg, M.A.
  • Thorsten Gudewitz, M.A.
  • Prof. Dr. Friedrich Lenger
  • Florian Schnürer
  • Prof. Winfried Speitkamp

Research Area 7: Political and Transnational Cultures

This research area focuses on the effect the concept of transnationalisation has had on the historical and heuristic reconfiguration of culture, society, and the polity. The notion of transnationalisation challenges established concepts denoting modern collectivities, such as the nation-state and the polity. At the same time, it draws attention to the interconnections between polity, nation, and culture in its various manifestations as represented by language, memory, identity, and media, thus establishing links to other research areas, especially areas 1 (Memory Cultures), 5 (Culture, Language and the New Media) and 6 (Culture and Identities). The notion of ‘political culture’ lends itself particularly well to a description of the cultural processes through which a collectivity constitutes itself within history. The concept of transnationalisation is a key for the analysis of phenomena such as the transition of the former socialist countries, the emergence of the EU as a cultural and political entity and the use of major European languages as transnational ‘link languages’. In sociology and cultural anthropology transnationalisation is conceived of as redefining the mechanisms of cultural integration. In political science it is treated as a major challenge to commonly held concepts of (national) sovereignty. In history it has directed attention to the long-term dimension of globalisation (reaching back at least to the fifteenth century), thus contributing to an historicisation of the nation-state as an institution located in time and space rather than as a pre-existing object of research. In postcolonial studies it is seen as an epistemic fissure in the fundamentals of the Western study of culture.

Arbeitsgruppen und Gesprächskreise

  • Kulturgeschichte des Politischen
  • AG Urban Cultures & Structures