Working Groups are hybrid structures that collaborate with both the RAs and the sections. An AG can either serve as a forum or as a fixed time period for handling a topic. In contrast to the sections, which represent a longer-term organizational unit, AGs are dissolved after the completion of a project. An AG can, however, be the preliminary step toward a section. Should AG members work collaboratively over a longer time period and develop a productive discourse, there’s the potential to continue the exploration of the topic area within the framework of a section.
According to the interests of the members, the projects can evolve with an emphasis on either research or practice. The boundaries are fluid; museum excursions that introduce exhibition practices can just as easily take place as workshops organized on career relevant topics. When there’s a focus on topics salient to research, the GGK and GCSC support the collaboration with sections and/or RAs.
Overview of the current Working Groups
Film and film theory as subject-matter: analyzing moving images through a variety of frameworks, theories and (inter-)disciplinary approaches, we try not to limit our scope - whether in regard to methodology, primary sources or perspectives. This means that we are not only interested in classical film analysis, but that we are also working towards grasping the connection between audio-visual cultural production and the structures of power, positioning artefacts in their political context.
How can horror be experienced in video games? How do video games as narrative media differ from other media, such as literary texts? These issues center on questions regarding intermediality in the context of “game design” and “game play,” which the AG will approach this year from two angles: firstly, the group will engage with theoretical texts on the topic. Secondly, we intend to utilize the software “Game Maker” in order to (re-)create some key scenes, plots, and settings from the fictions of H. P. Lovecraft. Through this mixture of theory and practice, we will investigate how elements of Gothic horror, the Lovecraftian Cthulhu myth, as well as game design can fuse to make it possible to experience horror within the digital realm of video games.
We invite you to join our group of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers who are interested in the geographic and cultural areas commonly referred to as Eastern and South Eastern Europe. Our objective is to explore these regions from different approaches and disciplines, actively questioning and breaking with stereotypical images of “the East” and critically contributing to the academic discourse on “Eastern Europe”. Joining our ranks also entails affiliation with the institutional framework at JLU with focus on Eastern Europe, such as the Slavic Studies and Eastern European History Departments as well as the Giessen Centre for Eastern Europe (GiZo).
The AG Museum Culture is concerned with questions surrounding the work of archives, museums and exhibitions. It discusses theoretical perspectives of the field and organises various museum-related events. These include regular visits of museums which are then reviewed on the interactive website Museumsschwätzer. Moreover, the group organises public events such as the film series "Movie Meets Museum", which took place in the Oberhessischen Museum in winter 2015/2016, or the exhibition "Making a Home in Giessen", which was on view in the Giessen city hall in spring 2017. Focal topics of discussion and in expert meetings have hitherto encompassed participation and interactivity in museums as well as digitalisation.
Recent years have seen not only a 'return to aesthetics' in the humanities (e.g. Loesberg, Stanford UP 2005) and a move towards 'rhetorical criticism' (e.g. Jost/Olmsted, Blackwell 2004), but also an increase in the work being done in the philosophy of art. All of these developments represent attempts to arrive at a foundational theory of art; in practice, they reach different, if not sometimes diametrically opposed, answers to the question of what art is and how we should go about analysing it. Some theorists even go so far as to call for the dissolution of the aesthetic as such (e.g. Eagleton, The Ideology of the Aesthetic, Blackwell 1990). In light of these developments, the AG "Problems of Aesthetics" aims at a discussion of fundamental questions pertaining to art and its critical analysis.