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Here you can find all the keynote lecture videos since 2011.

Flight, Expulsion and Forced Migration

17th July 2015
In public discourse, the topic of "Flight and Expulsion," that is, the forced migration of millions of ethnic Germans at the end of the Second World War, continues to be politically highly sensitive (see the recent controversies surrounding the foundation Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung). There is consensus that post-war German history cannot be adequately understood without consideration of the influx of millions of Germans from the Eastern territories (who made up 20% to 25% of the post-war population in East and West Germany). However, attention to flight and expulsion and to the attendant victimization of Germans is often viewed as being at odds with the recognition of Germany's responsibility for WWII and the Holocaust. As a result, scholars have largely shied away from examining the momentous events of forced migration and their lasting effects on subsequent generations, -- a situation that has changed only in the past two decades. Writers, on the other hand, began to address these issues in the post-war period and continue to do so to the present day. The lecture will discuss recent developments in both scholarship and in literature. Special attention will be given to the concept of (forced) migration, the role of postmemory, generational changes, and changing notions of place and belonging.

Prof. Dr. Friederike Eigler

Professor of German and Chair of the German Department at Georgetown University

Publications (selected)

  • Heimat, Space, Narrative: Toward a Transnational Approach to Flight and Expulsion. Rochester N.Y.: Camden House, 2014.
  • With Jens Kugele: Heimat at the Intersection of Memory and Space. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012.
  • Gedächtnis und Geschichte in Generationenromanen seit der Wende. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2005. 



Archipelago Europe: On Creolizing Conviviality

26th May, 2015

In 2011, in an interview with the journalist Fréderic Joignot, Édouard Glissant commented on the Archipelagean Becoming of Europe. Bringing Europe closer to the epistemic grounds of „Antilleneaty“, Glissant discussed the epistemic implications of the translation of this Caribbean concept to the European context. From this angle the world can be thought in the Gestalt of creolization. This understanding of creolization introduces a notion of “living together” departing from a critical race and decolonial perspective. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Manchester (UK) on Spanish and Latin American diasporic networks between 2010 and 2013, this paper looks at the strategies of “making homes” resonating or contesting the epistemological framework of creolization.


Prof. Dr. Encarnación Gutiérrez- Rodríguez

Professor of Social Studies at Justus-Liebig-University Gießen

Main Research Interests

  • Transcultural Studies
  • Post/Marxist and Decolonial Perspectives on Feminist and Queer Epistemology and Their Application to the Field of Migration, Labour and Culture

Publications (selected)

  • Migration, Domestic Work and Affect.: A Decolonial Approach on Value and the Feminization of Labor. London, New York: Routledge, 2010.
  • With Manuela Boatcă, Sérgio Costa: Decolonizing European Sociology.  Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.
  • With Hito Steyerl: Spricht die Subalterne Deutsch? Migration und Postkoloniale Kritik. Münster: Unrast Verlag, 2003.
  • Intellektuelle Migrantinnen - Subjektivitäten im Zeitalter von Globalisierung. Eine postkoloniale dekonstruktive Analyse von Biographien im Spannungsverhältnis von Ethnisierung und Vergeschlechtlichung. Opladen: Leske & Budrich, 1999.

German-Jewish Humanists in Turkish Exile

30th June, 2015

Kader Konuk follows the plight of German-Jewish humanists who escaped Nazi persecution by seeking exile in a Muslim-dominated society. Konuk asks why philologists like Leo Spitzer and Erich Auerbach found humanism at home in Istanbul at the very moment it was banished from Europe. She challenges the notion of exile as synonymous with intellectual isolation and shows the reciprocal effects of German émigrés on Turkey's humanist reform movement. By making literary critical concepts productive for our understanding of Turkish cultural history, Konuk provides a new approach to the study of exile. Central to the lecture is Erich Auerbach's Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, written in Istanbul after he fled Germany in 1936. Konuk draws on some of Auerbach's key concepts—figura as a way of conceptualizing history and mimesis as a means of representing reality—to show how Istanbul shaped Mimesis and to understand Turkey's humanist reform movement as a type of cultural mimesis.

Prof. Dr. Kader Konuk

Professor for Turkish Studies, Turkish Literature and Cultural Studies at University of Duisburg-Essen

Main Research Interests

  • Migration
  • German-Jewish and Turkish-Jewish Literature
  • East West Mimesis
  • Secularism
  • Exile Studies

Publications (selected)

  • East West Mimesis: Auerbach in Turkey. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010.
  • Identitäten im Prozeß: Literatur von Autorinnen aus und in der Türkei in deutscher, englischer und türkischer Sprache. Essen: Blaue Eule, 2001.
  • With Cathy Gelbin and Peggy Piesche: AufBrüche: Kulturelle Produktionen von Migrantinnen, Schwarzen und jüdischen Frauen in Deutschland. Sulzbach/Taunus: Ulrike Helmer, 2000.

Religion, Collective Identity and the Public Sphere After Socialism

21st January, 2015

The burgeoning international social science literature on public religion and secularization has paid less attention than it might have to recent developments in postsocialist societies, though these are extremely interesting theoretically as well as empirically. In some countries where religion was formerly repressed severely, it now approximates the role (de facto if not de jure) of a state religion. Some churches seem to be entering into compromises with the new state power reminiscent of those they reached with atheist Marxist-Leninists in the last decades of socialism. Some secular identities conflict with constitutional guarantees and international standards for religious human rights. How should academic analysts approach these issues? The lecture will draw on results of recent projects at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, as well as other recent anthropological projects in Russia, Poland and Hungary.


Chriss Hann

Professor of Social Anthropology and director of the Max-Planck Institute for Social Anthropology at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.

Main Research:

  • economic organization

  • property relations

  • religion

  • civil society

  • ethnicity

  • nationalism

Publications (selection):

  • Renleixue de quewei (The Theft of Anthropology. Selected contributions on postsocialist transformation from anthropological perspectives). Beijing: Minzu University Press, 2014.

  • with Keith Hart: Economic Anthropology; History, Ethnography, Critique. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011.

  • with the "Civil Religion" group: The Postsocialist Religious Question: faith and power in Central Asia and East-Central Europe. Münster: LIT, 2006.

  • Not the Horse We Wanted! Postsocialism, Neoliberalism and Eurasia. Münster: LIT, 2006.

  • with the “Property Relations” Group: The Postsocialist Agrarian Question: Property Relations and the Rural Condition. Münster: LIT, 2003.

Standardisierte Textaufbereitung für die Geisteswissenschaften

16th December, 2014

This lecture is an introduction to standards for textual data. Although there is growing awareness about standards for text data and funding for research increasingly requires the use of standardized formats, research projects often quickly discover that the general landscape of text data standards can be quite confusing.

Andreas Witt

Leiter des Programmbereichs Forschungsinfrastrukturen des IDS Mannheim; Honorarprofessor für Digital Humanities an der Universität Heidelberg.Witt

Main Research:

  • Texttechnologie
  • Digital Humanities
  • Informationsmodellierung

  • Korpuslinguistik

  • Auszeichnungssprachen

Publications (selection):

  • mit Nils Diewald: Texttechnologie an der Universität Bielefeld. In: Jahrbuch für Computerphilologie (7). Paderborn : Mentis-Verlag, 2006.

  • Multiple Informationsstrukturierung mit Auszeichnungssprachen. XML-basierte Methoden und deren Nutzen für die Sprachtechnologie. Dissertation. Bielefeld, 2002.

  • Sprachverarbeitung mit getypten Attribut-Wert-Matrizen. Dependenzgrammatik und Konzeptuelle Semantik. Magisterarbeit. Bielefeld, 1996.