Funded projects in 2016

The following projects have been selected for funding through Creating Opportunities in 2016.

The Urban Trickster. A Concept of Antique, Medieval and Early Modern Literature Between Religion and Knowledge

The Urban Trickster. A Concept of Antique, Medieval and Early Modern Literature Between Religion and Knowledge

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Prof. Dr. Hans Jürgen Scheuer

The monography focuses on the reinterpretation of the trickster as a hybrid of divine being and jester in antique, medieval and early modern texts. In the context of urban life practices, the borderline between human knowledge and religion becomes obvious. Scheuer’s study accesses findings of different disciplines about the cultural status of the trickster and develops the specific form of “urban trickster” from detailed reading of selected texts.

Beyond the Mirror. Seeing in Art History and Visual Culture Studies

Beyond the Mirror. Seeing in Art History and Visual Culture Studies

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Prof. Dr. Susanne von Falkenhausen

Susanne von Falkenhausen’s book “Jenseits des Spiegels. Das Sehen in Kunstgeschichte und Visual Culture Studies” was the first study to draw a connection between the fields of history of art and visual culture studies, resulting in a comparative analyses on how vision is understood as a scientific act (in those two disciplines). The study focuses on visual orders, vision as foreignness and visibility as a political resource. All these aspects unite in the fundamental search for an ethics of vision. The study was published in 2015 and is now being translated into English.

Photo: Barbara Herrenkind

"Like Bird's nests in the Trees..." Walled High-Altitude Settlements in Antique Southern Italy as an Expression of Local Self-Conception Against the Background of Roman Expansion

"Like Bird's nests in the Trees..." Walled High-Altitude Settlements in Antique Southern Italy as an Expression of Local Self-Conception Against the Background of Roman Expansion

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Dr. Susanne Henning

Agnes Henning’s archaeological project addresses high-altitude settlements surrounded by defensive walls in Southern Italy in the 4th and 3rd century B.C. For the first time, these settlements will be examine comprehensively and put into context with the expansion of Rome. Attention will be given particularly to the defining defence walls which are still preserved in a large number, but however, have not been given much consideration in academic research so far and being wrongly reconstructed and misinterpreted at the same time.

Pornography: A Philosophical Investigation

Pornography: A Philosophical Investigation

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Prof. Dr. Mari Mikkola

The debate on pornography is politically loaded. The antagonistic discussion between anti- und pro-pornography is exacerbated by a missing definition of pornography. Mari Mikkola wants to rectify this situation with a philosophical approach. Therefore, she will develop theoretical and conceptual tools, thus allowing an informed debate on the key issues of pornography.

Language Change: A Constructional Approach

Language Change: A Constructional Approach

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Prof. Dr. Muriel Norde

Muriel Norde's book “Language Change: A Constructional Approach” is a text/study book especially intended for advanced under-graduates and post-graduates in historical linguistics. Conceptualized as an introduction into the field of Diachronic Construction Grammar, the book aims to put constructions (symbolic pairings of form and meaning at various levels of complexity and schematicity) at the centre of an analysis of language change. Norde understands language as a network of constructions and will show how language change can be understood through the changes of this network.

Measuring, Comparing, Quantifying. The New Regime of Quantification of Social Ranks

Measuring, Comparing, Quantifying. The New Regime of Quantification of Social Ranks

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Prof. Dr. Steffen Mau

In a world of growing and comprehensive data capture and analysis, there are always new comparison and control processes that determine our view of the world and of ourselves. The project aim is to examine the influence of these processes on social hierarchies. Who are the drivers of this “measuring of the social world”? The overall question is, whether this form of social scaling promotes a new culture of inequality.

Faces of Job - The Different Forms of the Book of Job in the Antique Aramaic, Greek, Latin and Syrian Bible Translations

Faces of Job - The Different Forms of the Book of Job in the Antique Aramaic, Greek, Latin and Syrian Bible Translations

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Prof. Dr. Markus Witte

The project is dedicated to the translations of the biblical Book of Job into Aramaic, Greek, Latin and Syriac, which were created between the second century BCE and the fourth century CE. The focus is on a literary historical and religious-historical appreciation of these translations as genuine literary works with their own image of God and their own conception of man as well as their own intertextual references and reception histories. The reception is considered in particular as the depiction of Job in the entire Christian art from antiquity to the early modern period is largely based on the Greek and Latin versions of the Book of Job.

"Extra-territorial" Europe: Challenging the "spatial turn"

"Extra-territorial" Europe: Challenging the "spatial turn"

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Prof. Dr. Liliana Ruth Feierstein

The study aims to question key concepts in the prevailing discourse on the idea of Europe and elaborate concepts that put temporal interpretations more into the focus. The project will examine the history and the self-concept of Europe from two points of view: the perspectives of the Jews and the Sinti and Roma, both as “extra-territorial European groups” and the history of European cultures in exile, in the sense of an “extra-territorial Europe”, based on case studies of German-speaking Jewish expatriates and the Spanish-Republican Exile in Latin America.

The (Preliminary) History of European Criminal Law

The (Preliminary) History of European Criminal Law

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Prof. Dr. Martin Heger

Since the 1990s, the Europeanisation of Criminal Law in the European Union is advancing. However, an academic retrospect on the preliminary history from the territorialisation of criminal law in early modern times, the nationalisation in the 19th century to the contemporary tendencies of denationalisation remains a desideratum. This preliminary history of European criminal law will be drawn out as a first chapter of a bigger monograph over the course of the 2016-17 winter semester by Prof. Martin Heger.

Nemesis. A Peotology of Measurement

Nemesis. A Peotology of Measurement

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Dr. Hendrik Blumentrath

The project of Hendrik Blumentrath focuses on one of the central categories of literature: the measure(ment). In the early 1800s, the standardization of measuring procedures and instruments started to interact with antique cosmological measurements. This project aims at making the category of measurement readable, in particular in the entanglement of different forms of measurements.

Transcodings. Romanticism and Comic in East-Central Europe

Transcodings. Romanticism and Comic in East-Central Europe

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Prof. Dr. Alfrun Kliems

The book showcases an aesthetic and ideational affinity between romanticism and pop. In its centre lies the pop cultural treatment of East-Central European romanticism, the re-localisation and re-evaluation of the "classic" proto world. It primarily focuses on methods of rewriting of classic nationalising sujets, topoi and themes of romanticism, as these are of continued virulence towards national identity and literary self-assurance in the region. The book will be a hybrid between comic research and comic art, since it will implement comics from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic that will be translated into German for that purpose.

Practices of reading and subjects of reading in German classes since 1800

Practices of reading and subjects of reading in German classes since 1800

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Prof. Dr. Sabine Reh

Under the title: "Practices of reading and subjects of reading in German classes since 1800", a virulent narrative of a currently increasing "Entfachlichung“ (‚despecialisation') of modern class instruction will be taken up and challenged. A retrospective view onto the ever changing practices of reading in German classes allows to demonstrate how they - at a time - represented legitimate prevailing ‚school knowledge’ as well as which ideas of subjects of reading emerged and how students experienced themselves within this process - as those which at first had to learn about their inability to easily and autonomously understand literature.

The Century of Politics. On the Change of the Concept of Policy in the 20th Century

The Century of Politics. On the Change of the Concept of Policy in the 20th Century

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Prof. Dr. Friedbert W. Rüb

This project aims to reconstruct the change in the understanding of politics in the 20th century in both its positive as well as decidedly negative forms. It will close a desideratum in humanities and socials scientific research alike. The study assumes that politics has changed from target and future oriented rationality to a time oriented reactivity at the end of the century, in which it hold power only inside but not over the conditions of society.

Language as a Binding Power

Language as a Binding Power

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Holger Grefrath, M. Jur. (Oxon.)

The envisioned publication “Sprache als bindende Kraft: Die Genealogie einer verfassungsrechtlichen Denkform” by Holger Grefrath is concerned with the language of law. By picking up the fashionable topic of “law and language” in both theoretical and practical intention, as well as making the unusual recurrence to Roman Law, the monograph enters new territory in more ways than one. The linguisticality of law as a central research topic searches an interdisciplinary opening to the humanities both in methodology and in regards to content. The project is understood as a contribution to an internationalisation of the German jurisprudence, being purposefully injected into the international discourses of the theory of law and political thought.

Documentation and Analysis of Linguistic Mediation in Teaching French

Documentation and Analysis of Linguistic Mediation in Teaching French

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Dr. Katharina Wieland

Said mediation, meaning the transfer of texts into or from a foreign language based on the communicative needs of a partner, is one of the core elements of language teaching. In her project, Katharina Wieland will elaborate an empirically founded concept of said mediation and propose new strategies in the field.

Between Tradition and Modernity. Mennonites, Amish and Hutterites in the Industrial Society of the USA 1865-1970

Between Tradition and Modernity. Mennonites, Amish and Hutterites in the Industrial Society of the USA 1865-1970

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Dr. Martin Lutz

The research project explores the question how Mennonites, Amish and Hutterites with their specific way to economize stayed competitive in the industrial society of the United States. The longitudinal study analyses how the three religious communities emerged from the Anabaptist movement, before they distanced and adapted themselves to the majority society from the end of the civil war in 1865 up till the 1970s. Underlying the study is the hypothesis that religious values as well as the self- and outside perception as ethnic communities influenced the economic strategies of the Anabaptist groups. Case studies will show and explain long-term development contexts.

Water and Electricity. Infrastructural Every-Day Life in Zürich and Los Angeles, 1860-1930

Water and Electricity. Infrastructural Every-Day Life in Zürich and Los Angeles, 1860-1930

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Dr. Jan Hansen

The habilitation project by Jan Hansen analyses the normalization process of infrastructure in urban areas based on the examples of the energy and water supply in Zurich (Switzerland) and Los Angeles (USA) from 1860 to 1930. With these two cities the focus is on two contrasting types of city and society. In this context, Hansen pursues the following two questions: How are fair infrastructural behavioural regimes constructed through political, economic and scientific actors? And how do people learn the specific adapted behaviour to their surroundings?

Trailblazers. Agonal Sport Cultures of the 15th Century in Italian and Upper-German Palio and Scarlet Horse Races

Trailblazers. Agonal Sport Cultures of the 15th Century in Italian and Upper-German Palio and Scarlet Horse Races

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Dr. Christian Jaser

In his habilitation thesis Christian Jaser researches horse races in Italy and Upper Germany in the 15th century which had as trophies valuable scarves (ital.: palio, en.: scarlet). These Palio or Scarlet Races can be traced back in Italy to the 13th century and in Upper Germany to the late 14th century. The races are the first post-ancient example of agonal sports culture which can be analysed on the basis of reliable sources. Christian Jaser can substantiate that guiding motives are found during the races which up to now were only attributed to motives during the beginning of the modern sports culture of industrialization. Based on this findings Jaser writes a transalpine comparing cultural history which will not only contend the analysis of the “specific competitive performance” of these races, but will draw conclusions on the social structures in the towns examined.

Alban Berg's String Quartet Opus 3. Genesis - Openness - Orientation

Alban Berg's String Quartet Opus 3. Genesis - Openness - Orientation

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Dr. Ullrich Scheideler

The string quartet Opus 3 by Alban Berg was composed in 1910 at an important time from a music-historic perspective - the transition to "free Atonality" and to New Music in connection with an aesthetics of radical expression. In contrast to compositions by his teacher Arnold Schoenberg, which marked a sharp turning away from tradition, the continuities in Berg's Opus 3 cannot overheard, because features like an extended form or developing variation are still present. Ullrich Scheideler approaches one of the key works of Viennese modernity from side of the genesis and a deep musical analysis. He asks whether by analyzing the sketches and drafts as well as the musical texture it will come out, that the boundaries between tonality and atonality are somewhat less strict than normally assumed. Therefore, a broader concept of tonality might be useful in order to make the connections to tonal harmony around 1900 more visible.