Head of Department for Research and Transfer, N.N.



Prof. Dr. Thomas Alkemeyer

Prof. Dr. Dagmar Freist

Social Tranformation and Subjectivation

Social Transformation and Subjectivation

Social transformation and subjectivation are at the centre of this research focus, and they are being explored praxeologically, historically and genealogically as mutually dependent processes. This approach is based on an understanding that considers social interrelations to be the changeable products of the practical interplay between different ‘agents’ – people, bodies, things, artefacts and discourses. The tensions arising from this interplay point to the contingency of social practices, the interconnectedness of routines and reflexivity, of conformity and criticism, of permanence and creativity – the drivers of social change. On the basis of this methodological and theoretical perspective, the individual projects interrogate which conditions led to specific (historical) realities as the having-become. In this regard, the way societies describe themselves, the way they interpret the past and sketch out a future, plays a significant role. This topic is being investigated, for instance, in an upcoming coordinated research programme of archives and museums, the humanities and social sciences, IT and AI, based on the case of Digital Cultural Heritage, as well as in (coordinated) research activities about the digital transformation of the social sphere. Currently in progress is an application for a DFG research network titled “Diagnosing (in) Modern Times”, which in the longer term is intended to result in another joint project. The research focus has solid and sustainable foundations within the university, in terms of research, teaching and transfer, through the Scientific Centre Genealogy of the Present (WiZeGG) and the Academy Project Prize Papers, which has a duration of twenty years. One structural element is formed by the transfer of knowledge into the scientific community by means of various national and international collaborations and networks, as well as into the realms of politics and society at large. Further main pillars are the interconnecting of research and teaching through different forms of research-oriented teaching as well as the development of specific study and certification programmes. The thematic orientation of the research focus is already finding its expression in the participating faculties’ BA and MA degree courses as well as in interdisciplinary and international lecture series (e.g. Prize Papers Lunch Talk; HERA seminar series What's Your Poison, both in the winter semester 2020/21) and workshop series (e.g. “Brave New World”, together with 3GO, winter semester 2019/20). The research focus attracted interdisciplinary and international (joint) scientific projects facilitated by third-party funds. In addition to freestanding research it encompasses the following doctoral programmes, research associations and knowledge transfer that closely collaborate with the local region while also having an international orientation:

  • Prize Papers – Digitisation and Research Project of Early Modern Global Migration and Social Transformation, supported by the Union of Academies of Sciences as a project of the Academy of Sciences Göttingen, 2018-2037; knowledge transfer via an open access data portal and the website; crowd sourcing; events e.g. with NDR Kultur, contributions on radio and TV; social media; international online lecture series; projects with the “Innovative Hochschule”.
  • Intoxicating Spaces – coordinated research programme, Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA), supported as part of the European Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020 and the BMBF, 2019-2021; knowledge transfer via stakeholders in six high schools and four museums; NGO Mainline; UN-Habitat; webinars; Fast-Talk; analogue and digital exhibitions, blogs, videos, online lecture series.
  • Transformation by Community. Processes of Collective Subjectivation in the Context of Sustainable Development – joint project as part of the grant scheme “Science for Sustainable Development”, supported by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture and Volkswagen Foundation, 2019-2022; knowledge transfer via interaction with the local public (through workshops, discussions, etc.).
  • Shaping the Future: Transformation of the Present through Scenarios of Digitisation; doctoral programme, supported by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, 2019-2024 (in cooperation with Jade University Wilhelmshaven-Oldenburg-Elsfleth and the Institute for Advanced Study in Delmenhorst); planned knowledge transfer using a digital Innovation Laboratory, ScienceBlog, Lab on the Web, presentations and workshops at “Schlaues Haus” and “Haus der Wissenschaften”.
  • Diagnosing (in) the Present; focus group at the Institute for Advanced Study in Delmenhorst from 2019 onwards; simultaneously also “Cooperation with a Focus in the North-West”; knowledge transfer via workshops, lecture series, blog.
(Changed: 2021-12-16)