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Methodology Lab: “Spatialising Culture: Methods and Approaches to studying space”

When May 16, 2018 10:00 to
May 17, 2018 04:00
Where Phil I, GCSC, R.001
Contact Name
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In the last several decades, there has hardly been a concept that has penetrated social science and humanities in a more profound fashion than that of space. From a supposedly side-lined conceptual tool (Foucault), it came to be regarded as one of the most crucial features of human existence, prompting many scholars to subscribe to and to contest the advent of “spatial turn” (Döring and Thielmann, 2008).  At the most general level, space affects the ways we experience, navigate through, understand and recreate the world around us (Low, 2017). In more particular terms, it is implicated in a plethora of social issues: from conflicts over real and imagined spaces; through erecting physical and symbolical boundaries between individuals and groups; to multifaceted interaction of humans with their natural and man-made environments. Social production of space (Lefebvre, 1991) and construction of individual sense of place (Cresswell, 2014) are further intertwined with and affected by politics, economics, power-relations, knowledge, culture, globalisation of commerce, as well as by the technologies of communication and transportation. Overall, space and related concepts (i.e. place, territory, landscape) trail long histories and multiplicity of meanings and connotations which reflect different aspects of life (Massey, 2001).


While investigating production, negotiation and acquisition of tenuous and fungible spaces is an overarching goal of numerous researchers, the application of the ever-growing theoretical scholarship to the peculiarities of the selected case-studies remains rather a problem. The disciplinary differences and plurality of available methods pose often additional obstacles in approaching the seemingly intangible notion of space. This workshop, therefore, picks up precisely on these demands and intends to enable doctoral students to reflect on their own projects, the goals they pursue within research, and, above all, on the steps they take to explore how meaningful spaces are both created by people and embedded in wider social and economic structures.


 Spatialising Culture: Methods and Approaches to Studying Space offers interdisciplinary thematic workshops in which the participants will present their own dissertation material, while focusing on the following questions:

  • How to select appropriate methods to study particular research topics connected to the notion of space?
  • In what ways does the selected method affect research results and understanding of theoretical postulates?
  • What is the influence of disciplinary conventions on the ways in which space is approached, and how does interdisciplinarity broaden interpretational possibilities?
  • How can the rise of new technologies and digital humanities enhance the scholarly research of spatial processes?
  • What are the pitfalls and challenges of applying prominent theories on space on different kinds of empirical material?


Invited Scholars


Prof. Dr. Andreas Dittmann, Executive Director of the Geographical Institute (Justus

Liebig University, Giessen);

Dr. Mateusz Laszczkowski, Assistant Professor in Political and Economic Anthropology (University of Warsaw);

Dr. Steffi Marung, Senior Researcher at the Global and European Studies Institute (University of Leipzig);

Prof. Dr. Andreas Langenohl, Professor in Sociology (Justus Liebig University, Giessen





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