Dr. Luisa Conti (Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany), PD Dr. Fergal Lenehan (Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany), Dr. Roman Lietz (Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany)
June 23, 16-17.30 (CET)
"Like air and drinking water, being digital will be noticed only by its absence, not its presence". Nicholas Negroponte‘s memorable statement, written in a future-oriented article for Wired magazine in 1998, has never been more real than amidst the present pandemic.
Our research group on Digital Interculturality would like to discuss cultural hybridity within the framework of post-digitality, understood here with Cramer (2014: 13) – echoing ideas of post-feminism, post-punk or post-communism – as a state of fuzzy, revised intensification of the digital; “the state of affairs after the initial upheaval”. Similar to and interwoven with the dynamics of “post-migrant” societies (cf. Foroutan 2019), the boundaries between the digital and the material, old and new media blur within the everyday human agency, interweaving intensely our life-worlds with capital-inflating big-data machines (cf. Anderson/Cox/Papadopoulos 2014).
Leading from these media and aesthetic theoretical positions, we would like to open up a dialogic space surrounding the following question: To what extent can post-digitality be understood as “life-world hybridity”?
Using a variety of participatory methods and digital tools we would like to engage with the participants of our workshop in a 90 minute long research project, a space to evaluate possible fruitful meanings of hybridity which may help in the understanding and describing of specific dynamics within post-digital societies. Every 15 minutes we will shift further from the tangible, individual self-experience of post-digitality and into the abstract dimension of intersubjective conceptual significance. The workshop will consist of an introduction to the theoretical framework, to the activities intended as well as a final presentation of the results, which will then complete the session. By applying the dialogic approach we expect to stimulate a multifaceted and polyphonic answer to the initial question, in which the fuzziness of post- digitality and the contradictory heritage of the hybridity concept may indeed mirror one another.
Dr. Luisa Conti, PD Dr. Fergal Lenehan and Dr. Roman Lietz are members of the research group financed by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) “ReDICo: Researching Digital Interculturality Co-operatively”. Their collaboration makes meaningful use of of their differing backgrounds: Luisa Conti - intercultural communication and pedagogy, particularly interested in the interrelation among the concepts of dialogue, identity and culture; Fergal Lenehan - cultural and intellectual history, at present with a particular interest in theories of cosmopolitanism, cyber-utopianism and post-digitality; and Roman Lietz - migration and participation/integration in its various guises, structural, social, cultural or identificatory.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Langenohl (International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany)
June 23, 18-20 (CET)
The concept of hybridity has opened up debates in the study of culture regarding the interrelation between different cultures and in particular the work of cultural formation in the interstices between those cultures. At the same time, the concept has been met with criticism, in particular regarding the paradox that, in order to think cultural dynamics beyond essentialism, it presupposes the existence of homogeneous and essential cultures that engage in hybridization. The purpose of this lecture is to approach this paradox through a discussion of economic dimensions of hybridization, which have often been lacking in discussions about cultural hybridization, in order to demonstrate that those economic dimensions might be capable of rescuing the concept of hybridity for analysis despite its critiques. It does so by way of addressing the conceptual meanings and significance of the economic dimension of the constitution of culture in Fernando Ortiz’s analysis of “Cuban counterpoint” (1940), in particular with regard to his notion of ‘transculturation’ which prefigured that of hybridity. Ortiz chose the entry point of the economy, in particular, the formation of colonial and postcolonial Cuba out of two quite distinct modalities of agriculture, botanical transplantation, cultivation, and marketing – namely, sugar cane and tobacco. The lecture discusses the conceptual contributions of Ortiz’s economic take on culture formation for the contemporary study of cultural hybridity.
Andreas Langenohl is professor of Sociology and Head of Graduate Studies at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) at Justus Liebig University Giessen. Before, he directed a research group on “Idioms of Social Analysis” at Konstanz University. He held research fellowships at Cornell, Konstanz, and Freiburg University. His fields of research and teaching include economic sociology and the sociology of finance, social and cultural theory, transnationalism, and the epistemology of the social sciences. Apart from four monographs and several co-edited volumes, his work has appeared in the journals Economy & Society, Cultural Critique, Security Dialogue, Finance & Society, Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies and several European social science journals. .
Senior Prof. Anthropology & Translation R. Daniel Shaw (Fuller Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, USA)
June 24, 16.15-18.15 (CET)
Hybridity assumes a blending. It merges separate elements to create a mix that exhibits new vigour inherent in, but not expressed by, either donor. While this has implications for biology as well as any socio-political and cognitive environment, it also applies spiritually. When socio-religious realities are critiqued by God’s reality (as reflected in the Bible) new expressions emerge. This creates a new space that is authentic to the human as well as the divine. Furthermore, it reflects relevance within a particularity while allowing recognition of others who are not like them. Hybridity reveals new realities waiting to be discovered. Hybridity enhances individual and collective identity that is authentic. Hybridity is a third space that recognizes both diversity and universality.
Dr. Shaw conducted fieldwork among the Tohono O'otham of southwestern Arizona (1967-68) and the Samo of Papua New Guinea (1969-1981) where he served as a Bible translator. Dan has been at Fuller where he has taught in his discipline and chaired numerous committees and programs since 1982. He currently directs the Doctorate in Intercultural Studies Program in the Pacific. He has authored numerous books and articles including three ethnographies of the Samo (1990 U. Michigan, 1996 Harcourt Brace, 2021 Caroline Academic), and Socio-Religion (1999, Baker Academic, 2018 Orbis Press). His current interest in hybridity draws anthropology and missiology into close interaction (2010 & 2019 International Bulletin of Mission Research, and the new book from Carolina Academic). He and his wife make their home in Alhambra, Ca. .