Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
Research Centre
Genealogy of the Present
Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118
26129 Oldenburg


Prof. Dr. Thomas Alkemeyer

+49 441/798-4622


Dr. Nikolaus Buschmann

+49 441/798-4849

Focus group “Diagnosing (in) the present”

The focus group at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Delmenhorst pursues the overarching goal of focusing on diagnoses of contemporary issues – for example, bodies, psyches, social events, environments – as a historically contingent cultural form in which modern societies thematise, present, and problematise themselves in relation to an imagined future.

In doing so, it takes into account the fact that the temporal order and dynamics of modernity are characterised by orienting the thinking and acting, perceptions and feelings of individual and collective actors towards fictional expectations, imaginations, narratives, and drafts of what the future will bring. Thereby, the focus group aims to highlight drafts and scenarios of the future as an important fuel for the transformation dynamics of modern society.

If it is true that imagined futures are regarded, especially in economics, as those conditions that call for a certain behaviour and action of the actors in the present, the enforcement and dissemination of a diagnostic world- and self-relationship throughout society would, at the same time, be a form of implementation of the economisation of the social as a characteristic of modernity. In this way, the project contributes to research on the cultural self-constitution of modern societies.

(Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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