Diversity and Participation
Generally informed by cultural studies-oriented perspectives, the research cluster explores forms of (among others) cultural, linguistic, social, religious and gender diversity in varying contemporary and historical contexts. Central to this investigation is the interrogation of the processes involved in establishing historically and regionally specific orders of belonging and difference via cultural practices and forms of expressions in pluralized societies. Alongside the different aesthetics of these practices and forms of expressions, the research cluster is also examining the modes through which they are transmitted as well as their functional potential for the processes of developing individual and collective identities within (but also as a transgression of) those same orders of belonging and difference. A particular focus of the cluster lies in responding to a question closely tied to diversity perspectives, namely the prerequisites and conditions for social and cultural participation and its media and technologies, thus highlighting the normative dimension of the term participation and its historicity.
The research cluster is (and has been) home to both a broad spectrum of thematically relevant individual research and to a range of interdisciplinary joint projects – a partial list of the latter includes the doctoral programmes “Migrationsgesellschaftliche Grenzformationen” (Boundary Formation in Migration Societies) and “Kulturen der Partizipation” (Cultures of Participation); two Helene-Lange-Kollegs (research training groups): “Identitätskonstuktionen junger Erwachsener in einer postsozialistischen Transormationsgesellschaft: der Fall Belarus” (Identity Construction among Young Adults in a Post-Socialist Transforming Society: the Case of Belarus), and “Queer Studies und Intermedialität” (Queer Studies and Intermediality); research projects such as “Geschlechterwissen in und zwischen den Disziplinen” (Gender Knowledge in and between the Disciplines), “Religion und Kultur – Ökumene und interreligiöse Theologie” (Religion and Culture – Ecumenical and Interreligious Theology) and intellectual history, as well as the compilation of the collected works of Karl Jaspers. Apart from cross-cluster cooperation, particularly with the research cluster on “Social Transformation and Subjectivation” (which is visible, e.g., in the doctoral programme “Gestalten der Zukunft: Transformation der Gegenwart durch Szenarien der Digitalisierung” – Shapes of the Future: Transformation of the Present through Scenarios of Digitalization), the research cluster is characterized by the extent of its international networking, demonstrated by its cooperation with the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (BKGE) and the research activities of the network responsible for delivering the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree “Migration and Intercultural Relations” (EMMIR). In the medium term, the cluster plans to intensify the cooperation between (and indeed beyond) its members and to delineate shared areas of interests and research perspectives to more extensively with a view to applying for funding for larger-scale cooperative projects.