Dr. Michaela Muylkens

+49 (0)441 798-4756


Prof. Dr. Thomas Alkemeyer


Prof. Dr. Dagmar Freist

Social Transformation and Subjectivation

The analytical premise of this research area is the observation that societies constantly redesign and conceive themselves through imaginary pasts and futures in a range of cultural media – in buildings, texts and images, rituals, practices, games and contests – both physically and digitally. This creates friction between competing designs, and conflicts regarding sovereignty of interpretation of social matters. In this research area, social transformations and subjectivation are approached as mutually constitutive from a practical-theoretical perspective. Practices of subjectivation constitute the social realm and bring about processes of social transformation, often through non-compliance and critique. Social transformations in turn create new reference contexts and (temporarily) conforming subjects. Our research focuses on these complex reference contexts of social transformations, interpretations, technologies and subjectivations, which are reconstructed using methods of historiography, cultural analysis, sociology and praxeology.

The institutional framework of this research area is provided by the Research Centre Genealogy of the Present (WiZeGG) and the Research Focus Group for Global Microhistory. The research area draws on extensive scientific projects and cooperation, maintains national and international networks, and junior researchers are actively promoted. In addition to externally funded individual research, this includes the following doctoral programmes,  and joint research programmes:


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