The Tiger Stripes of Cuba - A Workshop Diary

Veröffentlicht am 16. September 2019

"Now we have gathered here a Latin American summit in Bielefeld."

:: Guest contribution ::

by Lasse Bjoern Lassen

Group photo during the Workshop. Photo: BGHS

In July the workshop "From Bolívar to UNASUR - 200 Years of Latin American Political Integration" took place in BGHS. We use the summer break to take another look at it. Lasse Bjoern Lassen organized the event and recorded the experiences in an exciting diary format. Particular focus is placed on Santiago Pérez, Cuban historian and deputy director of the Center for International Policy Research in Havana.

Impressions of the workshop Photo: BGHS

What tiger stripes have to do with Cuba and whether the Left of Latin America is really wasting away - read it in the entertaining workshop report!

An animated discussion in the workshop Photo: BGHS

Diary of a workshop:
Complete version as PDF
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About the future of graduate schools: Interview with Sabine Schäfer

Veröffentlicht am 5. September 2019

"Supporting young scientists is a permanent task!"

For Deutschlandfunk Dr. Sabine Schäfer gave an interview about the future of graduate schools.

What does it mean if this form of promotion of young researchers is removed from the programmes of the Excellence Initiatives? What possibilities are there outside of state top-level funding? And what is the value of graduate schools?

Here you will find Sabine Schäfer's answers: Link Interview (german)

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Final report 2019: Linie 4

Veröffentlicht am 2. September 2019
Final report 2019: Linie 4

:: Guest contribution ::

by Daniele Toro

From 19 March to 25 June 2019 the lecture series Line 4 under the title "Dealing with Discrimination" took place, which was jointly organised by the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS) and the Volkshochschule Bielefeld (VHS). In the VHS rooms of the Ravensberger Spinnerei, six doctoral students of the BGHS presented their own research to the Bielefeld audience.

The lectures looked from different disciplines at how individuals, groups and institutions can fight discrimination or resist it.


Impressions: Zeynep Demir and Hannah Grüneberg; Malika Mansouri; Carla Thiele and Daniele Toro Photos: BGHS

Through a variety of topics and approaches, the framework conditions and causes of discrimination phenomena as well as how to deal with them were dealt with: From the UN Convention against Racism to the 1966 Tricontinental Conference, from the Yezidis to the health policies for refugees, from the commitment of Bosnian genocide survivors to Erika Mann's intellectual exile activities in the 1920s and 1930s - the audience always actively discussed the various lectures from history, sociology, jurisprudence and psychology.


Lecturers and organisers of Line 4 from left to right: Lasse Bjoern Lassen, Malika Mansouri, Carla Thiele, Anja Henkel, Daniele Toro(fehlt: Johanna Paul) Photo: Hannah Grüneberg

The fact that the audience and speakers have to benefit from the mutual exchange was the aim of the lecture series Line 4 from the very beginning. The intensive discussions were particularly interesting this year because the audience regularly made its own experiences and knowledge available. This proved to be extremely productive for the speakers: All participating doctoral students did indeed report on the exciting and useful impulses, stimulating questions and comments. With their active, communicative participation, the numerous visitors showed that the focus of the lecture series had met with lively public interest.

A particularly exciting, interdisciplinary contribution was the art installation that accompanied Johanna Paul's lecture:

From left to right: artist Anita Zečić and moderator Daniele Toro, the art exhibition from outside and inside, as well as lecturer Johanna Paul

Thanks to all speakers and guests of line 4!

Further Info about Linie 4:

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Report Annual Seminar 2019

Veröffentlicht am 27. August 2019

 Annual Seminar 2019: „The Making of Mankind: Tracing Race & Racism“

:: Guest contribution ::

by Lena Gumpert and Malin Wilckens

Group photo on the second day of the Annual Seminar 2019. Photo: Simon Grunert

Some time after the end of this year's Annual Seminar we would like to share our impressions with you here. As members of the organizing team, we were looking forward to the conference with both joy and excitement. In retrospect, we can say that the Annual Seminar was distinguished by a friendly atmosphere and an in-depth discussion. For us, all the work in the run-up to the seminar has paid off.

Flyer and lists of participants – the conference begins Photo: Rebecca Moltmann

Nikita Dhawan opened with an impressive keynote speech and it was immediately clear to us: This was the right start for the conference. Her critical examination of both the German Enlightenment and the German university system sparked a fiery discussion. Directly in the first panel, the topic of knowledge production in the Enlightenment was taken up and expanded with a perspective on modern Brazil. It also dealt with the scientific construction of 'race'.

Den Abend rundete Demetrius Eudell rounded off the evening with a comparison: How do 'caste' and 'race' relate to each other? Through his knowledgeable lecture he was able to extend the conference by a further perspective. We like to quote Mark B. Brown, political scientist at California State University, Sacramento: "This was a very rich talk. „This was a very rich talk.“ (Memory Protocol)

The conference dinner in the late evening offered the opportunity to get to know each other better and to fill the empty stomachs. The participants* were able to get to know each other and their projects better in an informal atmosphere and exchanged ideas with each other even apart from conference-related topics.

Nikita Dhawan during her keynote; Discussion before the lecture: Demetrius Eudell with Eleonora Roland and Ulrike Davy; Manuela Boatcă during her keynote (from left to right) Photos: Rebecca Moltmann

The next day Manuela Boatcă opened with her contribution to a current research discussion. She asked the question which mutual influences the worldwide distribution of wealth and the sale of citizenships and 'race' have. For many of us this was a new perspective.

The following two panels showed the closeness to the co-organising SFB: It was about the connection between 'race' and comparative practices. There was literally interdisciplinary discussion - from anthropology, sociology and law to literary studies.

Afterwards, the topicality of our conference topic was again clearly emphasized by means of educational institutions. The focus was on the one hand on how racism should be discussed in (German) schools, and on the other hand on the experiences of racism that students at German universities experience.

A personal highlight of the two authors of this article was the evening event in the Ulmenwall bunker. We wanted to bring the socially relevant topic of the conference into the urban public and to extend it by an artistic perspective in order to represent the diversity of the confrontation with 'race' and racism. We had the great good fortune to experience the perspectives of performance artist Taiwo Jacob Ojudun and graphic artist Diana Ejaita .

The presenter of the evening Ouassima Laabich in front of an excerpt of the video installation by Taiwo Jacob Ojudun Taiwo Jacob Ojudun during the performance. Fotos: Corinna Mehl

In his performance and video installation entitled WHAT IF?, Taiwo Jacob Ojudun presented in particular the brute violence of the colonial division of Africa by the Berlin Conference (1884-85) and its aftermath.

Diana Ejaita (Bild 2) introduces her work. Photos: Corinna Mehl

Diana Ejaita has pointed to a specifically European racism experience in her prints, in which she deals with May Ayim's blues in black and white. The series is entitled To May Ayim.

Discussion at the last panel Photo: Rebecca Moltmann

In the last panel the connection of space and race was discussed along different disciplines. The Annual Seminar came to a successful end with a stimulating reflection on the past days in the final discussion moderated by Sabine Schäfer

Our conclusion: High level, broad content and emotional experiences. All the work was worth it.

It was also nice to experience how productive working in a team can be. We are both writing this article, but the organization and planning was a joint task. That is why we would like to list the names of all team members: Lisa Baßenhoff, Andreas Becker, Ina Kiel, Julian Gärtner, Lena Gumpert, Malika Mansouri und Malin Sonja Wilckens.

A critical discussion did not only take place before in our team and during the conference, but continues. It is not only for this reason that we are planning a publication that makes these critical thoughts transparent. This also includes a critical examination of the title "The Making of Mankind". In the meantime, it has become increasingly clear to us that the title opens up a problematic perspective and we are grateful that it has been addressed several times. On the one hand, the title seems to refer only to men and, on the other hand, it possibly also refers to a very specific period of time: the emergence of scientific racism in the course of the enlightenment epoch. We explicitly wanted to go beyond the historical location and under no circumstances reproduce racist or gender-discriminatory assumptions. All this is not reflected in the title. We gladly accept this criticism and will work on a revised title for publication. So it remains productively exciting!

Many thanks for the Feedback!

Lena Gumpert & Malin Wilckens


More info about presenters and places:

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#Talk 3: Non academic careers

Veröffentlicht am 29. Juli 2019

Non-academic careers: Doctoral students in conversation - Part 3

There are many ways out of the BGHS. But where do postdoctoral paths lead? In the summer semester, we talk to doctoral students who are already gaining professional experience outside the university while working on their dissertation. Tabea Koepp talked to us about her work for the organisational consultancy "Metaplan".

Impressions of Tabea’s working place Photo: Tabea Koepp

Tabea, you are working forMetaplan. Where are you working at exactly?

Tabea Koepp: Metaplan is a consulting agency that offers Structure & Strategy Consulting on the one hand and advises executives of companies on the other hand. On the other hand, there is the Leadership & Organization Academy with a wide range of seminars and training courses for managers and consultants. I have already worked in both areas, but I am currently more strongly employed in the Academy. Because that can be better combined with a doctorate at the same time.

In structural and strategy consulting, you have to be relatively spontaneous and available. That's not possible in a small position like the one I have now. At the Academy, I can also work with a smaller proportion of the staff. There, for example, it is my job to help develop new seminar content, such as a module on "Organizational Culture". The aim of this work is to develop sociological concepts that can be intuitively applied by practitioners.

What does your work - status: now - look like?

Tabea Koepp: When developing seminar contents, for example, I first consider together with my colleagues which contents are important. Then I research and develop the content and prepare the poster sets. Metaplan always works with a poster presentation method they invented: the Metaplan method. Occasionally I am also a speaker for these modules.

The picture shows a seminar structure with the Metaplan method. Typical for this is the visualization by means of large-format posters. On the right side of the picture you can see the corresponding partitions and materials. Photo: Tabea Koepp

What are the main tasks you have at work?

Tabea Koepp: At the moment I have two main tasks. On the one hand I'm in charge of the editorial side of Metaplan's customer magazine: the "Versus". The consultants publish texts there that are sociologically informed and at the same time relevant to practice. I edit these texts and work together with a graphic designer on the layout. I also write shorter texts myself. On the other hand, I am in charge of project management for a small English-language self-publishing publishing house that I founded for Metaplan: "Organizational Dialogue Press". Some of our consultants write books in German. I coordinate all the steps on the way from the German manuscript to the finished English book, e.g. translation, editing, typesetting or the development of a new book cover. These are tasks that I am now taking on for Metaplan in addition to my doctorate and my position here at the university. übernehme.

What knowledge and skills do you bring to your work as a sociologist?

Tabea Koepp: Dadurch, dass Metaplan eine dezidiert soziologisch arbeitende Beratung ist, ist mein Fachwissen eine Kernkompetenz. Das Qualifizierungsprogramm der Academy ist zu einem guten Teil im Prinzip eine anwendungsorientierte Einführung in Organisationssoziologie für Praktiker*innen – dort geht es um zentrale soziologische Konzepte wie etwa die „Entscheidungsprämissen“ nach Niklas Luhmann. In den Beratungsprojekten sprechen wir vielleicht nicht von „Entscheidungsprämissen“, sondern übersetzen das in die Sprache der Welt, in der wir uns jeweils bewegen. Wir sagen dann zum Beispiel „robuste Regeln“ – nutzen aber unser analytisches Know How über die Funktionsweise organisationaler Strukturen, um den Anliegen unserer Kund*innen auf die Spur zu kommen.

What tips do you have for colleagues who are looking to get started in your industry?

Tabea Koepp: In any case: do an internship. If you come from university and have no work experience outside of science, in principle you have no other option for starting a career. Some of the interns at Metaplan already have a doctorate. And of course it is extremely useful to gain work experience outside the university and to work in an organisation - no matter what kind. Even if you've only taken on small temporary jobs: For example, you know how meetings work and have practical work experience in organisations. If you want to start at Metaplan not as an intern but as a consultant, you have to have leadership experience in at least one company and be able to work in at least two languages.

Tabea, thanks for talking!

You can find the complete interview as PDF (german) here:

Komplettversion als PDF


Further information on the project "Non-academic careers"

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Science meets Art: ABC-Sculptures as door openers

Veröffentlicht am 17. Juli 2019

Thomas Abel (l.) conceived the exhibition "The ABC of History and Sociology". The research projects of the BGHS are presented - for example by Aanor Roland (m.) or Marcus Carrier (r.). Photo: University of Bielefeld

 The ABC of the BGHS - Door opener into the world of sociology and history

Striking letters between the buildings of the University of Bielefeld have triggered a great riddle in recent weeks: What do they mean, who is behind them and what do restored doors have to do with the BGHS?

Now the university is unveiling the secret behind the project, which was developed by Thomas Abel to provide insights into the worlds of sociology and history. Each letter stands for a doctoral project by BGHS PhD students. Aanor Roland's letter "N", for example, stands for the term "Not", Marcus Carrier got the "Z" as in "Zeuge".

Thomas, Aanor and Marcus explain exactly what this means here:

Blogpost by Uni Bielefeld (german)

Aanor Roland (l.) and Marcus Carrier(r.). Photo: Universität Bielefeld

26 sculptures - 26 research projects. Photo: Universität Bielefeld

Have fun discovering!

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#Talk 2: Non-academic careers

Veröffentlicht am 4. Juli 2019

Non-academic careers: Doctoral students in conversation - Part 2

There are many ways out of the BGHS. But where do postdoctoral paths lead? In the summer semester, we talk to doctoral students who are already gaining professional experience outside the university during their time at the BGHS. Stefanie Haupt talked to us about her work for the edition "Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das Nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 - 1945".

Talking: Ulf Ortmann (project coordinator) and Stefanie Haupt Photo: BGHS

Stefanie, you are working for the edition „Judenverfolgung 1933 – 1945“. Where are you working at exactly?

Stefanie Haupt: This is a project that publishes a 16-volume source edition on the Holocaust. This long-term project has been funded by the DFG since 2005 and is based at the University of Freiburg and the Institute of Contemporary History. The institute has its headquarters in Munich and two departments in Berlin. I work in one of these departments, in Lichterfelde in the project office of the Edition. This is a collection of sources that uses contemporary documents to illustrate the Europe-wide dimension of the Holocaust: Over 200 archives are represented with documents in the edition.

For the different geographical and temporal focal points, there are tape editors* - mostly freelance historians* - who search for sources in the various archives and comment on them. In addition, there are translators spread across Europe, scientific editors, translation editors, proofreaders and graphic artists. These different stakeholders are coordinated from the project office.

What does your work - status: now - look like?

Stefanie Haupt: Well, I've worked as a student assistant for the edition before. And now, as a scientific project assistant, I'm actually doing less research than I did as a student assistant back then: At that time I concentrated on a single volume and, for example, researched documents in archives or worked on footnote commentaries. Now, as a scientific project assistant, I coordinate the work on the overall project together with my colleague: for example, we network the translators with the translation editors and the tape editors. Or we take care of the contracts of the student assistants and the finances. I'm doing a lot more administrative work now.

What are the main tasks you have at work?

Stefanie Haupt: The aim is to coordinate the project: to ensure that project plans are adhered to; that texts go from A to B; that invoices from freelancers are paid; or that contracts are concluded with the translators. We also organise book presentations: For each volume of the edition there is at least one event after its publication in which the book is presented to the public. Twelve of 16 volumes have now been published - and four volumes still have to be published until the end of the project in April 2020.

Stefanie at her working space Photo: Stefanie Haupt

What knowledge and skills do you bring to your work as a historian?

Stefanie Haupt: On the one hand, these are all contemporary sources, which are edited, commented on and made accessible to a larger audience through the edition. This is the core competence of historians: that you can work critically with historical sources and classify them. On the other hand, through my studies and my activities during my studies, I know the subject of "National Socialism" and the archive landscape.

When a document facsimile goes through my hand and "NARA" is written on my back and nobody knows: Where did this come from? Then I can say: This is the National Archives and Records Administration, the US Federal Archives. Or, to give another example: We create the registers for the edition, and the institutional register, for example, is very complex. It helps if I know what an extermination camp is and what a concentration camp is. So what is the difference; which camps I classify into which categories; and how the register is then structured.

What I lack for my job, however, is that I didn't learn how to file. That's a challenge when so much writing accumulates: How I file and structure it so that I can still find the information after two years. I don't bring that with me as a historian, and that's learning by doing.

What tips do you have for colleagues who are looking to get started in your industry?

Stefanie Haupt: So, on the one hand, practical experience is useful in archival work. I'm working at a non-university research institute where I worked as an assistant during my studies. And at that time, for example, I was entrusted with archive research or inventory listing. When I took up my position, I didn't need a long familiarization period: neither in the archive nor in the institute, nor in the editing project. For those who are interested in working at non-university research institutions, I recommend looking at the job portals of the umbrella organisations, such as the Leibniz Association. There are always job offers to be found.

Stefanie, thank you very much for the interview!

You can find the complete interview as PDF (german) here:

Komplettversion als PDF


Further information on the project "Non-academic careers":

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Report: Lund-York Conference

Veröffentlicht am 2. Juli 2019

Participants of the conference. Photo: Greta Darkow

Lund York Bielefeld - Conference report:

At the BGHS there are many possibilities for transnational work. An example of this is the Bielefeld-Lund-York conference, which took place this year from 11 to 13 June. Here you can read what it is all about and how participants experienced the conference.

Since 2016 the Department of History and the BGHS cooperate with the National Graduate School of History at Lund University, Sweden, and the PhD Program in History at the University of York, United Kingdom, in doctoral training. A joint PhD conference is held every year and hosted by the partner institutions in turn.

Within the conference the partners aim to support PhD students in creating and sustaining cross-border networks, and to foster commu-nication between young researchers in Europe. The goal of the conference is to practice the short and precise oral presentation of projects in English.

Mehran Haji Mohammadian tells us how he remembers the conference:

"The conference was great! Absolutely! As a student of sociology, I was really excited by the numerous details that historians discussed. The doctoral projects that for at least three years focus on Medals, Intarsia or under the microscope in the seventeenth century! Research about sleep! Or Social Networks in an Early Modern Town. All of them! Before the conference, I had thought historians and sociologists do the same research. But not actually! We normally do not go into this level of details. Many thanks historians."

Maja-Lisa Müller reports positive impressions as well:

"The PhD-Conference Lund/York/Bielefeld has been an overall great experience. As a PhD student in the newly established study programme "Image Science and Art History" it was exciting to connect with other doctoral students in the field and learn about differences and similarities in academic culture. I have profited a lot from the exchange of ideas among the students as well as the valuable advice given by the professors and I'm looking forward to future projects with our partner universities Lund and York."

And Anastasia Zaplatina adds:

"The conference exceeded all my expectations. I have learned a lot from each panel and received a lot of inspiration from each presentation. In particular, I want to notice the workshop prepared by Dr. Chris Renwick which was dedicated to the interdisciplinary approach in social sciences. During the workshop we discussed the ongoing process of changing of borders between disciplines, the impact of interdisciplinary approach on publishing and searching for funding. I am very grateful to all the organizers and participants for the amazing experience."

We thank everyone for joining!

Further Information:

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Annual Seminar 2019

Veröffentlicht am 1. Juli 2019
11th Annual Seminar of the BGHS: 4-6 July 2019

Programm als PDF

The Annual Seminar is a renowned three-day conference format of Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS) approaching 11 years in 2019. In cooperation with the collaborative research center (SFB 1288) on "Practices of Comparing", in this year's conference international researchers at an early point in their careers will present their work. The conference deals with the construction of race as well as structural and practical dimensions of racism in an interdisciplinary framework.

Whether in natural sciences, social and human sciences or humanities, race as a concept or central category has been widely contested and criticized. But the construction of race is a crucial part in the processes of making mankind and as an analytical category it is intertwined with the emergence of disciplines in their respective epistemological contexts (e.g. "scientific racism"). The interdisciplinary conference will discuss connections to related discourses such as astronomy, medicine and health as well as philosophy.

Furthermore, racism often finds its expression in a more complex set of practices by actors, institutions and structures that transverses and involves other categories and relations of (in-)equality such as gender and class. For this reason, the conference asks for the status of racism in the reproduction of power relations, processes of social differentiation and material inscriptions, e.g. in schools as institutions, memory culture, state formation or the literary canon.



Another highlight will be an experimental collage film by the artist Ojudun Taiwo Jacob and an exhibition of Diana Ejaita's art works - both related to the topic of the conference.

Location: Bunker Ulmenwall Date: Friday, 5 July, 7:30pm


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Lecture and debate: Daniel Graff

Veröffentlicht am 18. Juni 2019


On 24 June 2019 at 6 p.m. c.t. a "Public lecture and debate" will take place in the BGHS seminar room (X-B2-103) with Prof. Daniel Graff from the University of Notre Dame and Thomas Welskopp from University Bielefeld. The theme of the event is: "The Situation of Labor in the United States".

Daniel Graff is Professor for History at the University of Notre Dame and researches the history of work, race and citizenship. The switching of historical-scientific realizations to a broad public is to it a special request, which it pursues with Lunchtime laboratory RAPS, Blogs and similiar popular media formats.

We invite cordially to join the "Public lecture and debate" with Daniel Graff and Thomas Welskopp.

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Report: Conference Non-academic careers

Veröffentlicht am 18. Juni 2019

Welcoming by Ulf Ortmann (Projectcoordination) and Ursula Mense-Petermann (Director BGHS). Photos: Hannah Grüneberg

"Ein Leben nach der Uni ist möglich" - but how exactly can it look like?

With this question in mind, on 27 May, history and social scientists from public institutions and private companies discussed with us at the BGHS the requirements and working conditions that doctoral students face or offer outside the academic university service.

Guests at the BGHS: Historians and sociologists working outside the university

Photos: Hannah Grüneberg

Seven historians and social scientists working in a wide variety of professional fields were guests: Martin Griepentrog (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), Jochen Rath (Stadtarchiv und Landesgeschichtliche Bibliothek Bielefeld), Andreas Daniel (Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung), Andreas Marquet (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung), Miriam von Maydell (Verlag Barbara Budrich), Armando García Schmidt (Bertelsmann Stiftung) and Dirk Schlinkert (Kommunikationsagentur Birke und Partner).

Photos: Hannah Grüneberg

The event was the prelude to the project "Non-academic careers" , which started at the BGHS at the beginning of 2019.

From 2020, the BGHS will award 12 short-term scholarships for practical projects that doctoral students from sociology and history carry out in cooperation with private or public non-university institutions. On the other hand, the BGHS organises a mentoring programme for a total of ten doctoral students with mentors from non-university institutions.

The doctoral candidates presented the results of the discussion rounds to each other. Photos: Hannah Grüneberg

Get more Details about the project „Non-academic careers“:


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PhD Conference: Lund-York-Bielefeld

Veröffentlicht am 6. Juni 2019

International PhD Conference in History Lund – York – Bielefeld 2019

The International PhD Conference in History will take place at the University of Bielefeld from 11th to 13th June 2019. During the three-day conference, doctoral students from the three universities will present and discuss their research projects in an international context. Part of the program: Six exciting panels, three workshops and an excursion to MARTA Herford.

Check out the detailled program here:

Program in PDF

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4th Interdisciplinary Dialogue

Veröffentlicht am 6. Juni 2019

4th Interdisciplinary Dialogue at the BGHS

On Wednesday, 3 July 2019, 6 pm in X-B2-103 the 4th Interdisciplinary Dialogue will take place at the BGHS. The topic is Tracing Racism: Insights from Postcolonial Studies, Global History, Gender Studies, and the Law. On the eve of this year's Annual Seminar on The Making of Mankind. Tracing Race and Racism, scholars from four different faculties of Bielefeld University will present their respective views on racism and discuss them with each other and with the audience. The discussants are: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Davy (Law), Prof. Dr. Angelika Epple (History), Prof. Dr. Julia Roth (American Studies) and Prof. Dr. Heidemarie Winkel (Sociology). Dr. Sabine Schäfer (BGHS) will moderate.

Everybody interested is cordially invited to the 4th Interdisciplinary Dialogue and the subsequent drink. The event will be held in English.

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Across the ocean – 10 Years Notre Dame Exchange

Veröffentlicht am 5. Juni 2019

Participants and organisers 2019; Photo: Bettina Brandt, Stephan Fasold

Across the ocean – 10 Years Notre Dame Exchange

This year our cooperation project Notre Dame - Bielefeld will be 10 years old. International perspectives on history and sociology, discussing research projects and being on the road in the "windy city". All of this makes our exchange so special.

According to this pleasant anniversary, we want to look back on exciting exchange years, present concepts of the workshop - and of course we are curious: How was 2019?

The idea of exchange

Since 2009, the Department of History of the University of Notre Dame (USA), the Department of History of the University of Bielefeld and the BGHS have been cooperating in doctoral training. Every year, a theory and method-oriented PhD workshop is held for the historians and sociologists, the venue of which changes every year: in one year at the University of Notre Dame and then again in Bielefeld.

The aims of the workshop are international networking, transcultural learning and intensive exchange between doctoral students and academics from both institutions.

What will be done?

The workshop focuses on the research papers with which the participants present a chapter, a methodologically interesting aspect or the analytical design of their doctoral project. Bettina Brandt, scientific director in the Department of History and organiser of the workshop on the Bielefeld side, explains the programme to us: "The participating doctoral candidates from both history departments and the BGHS exchange their research papers, and each paper receives a detailed commentary from a doctoral candidate from the partner institution during the workshop. Then follows a plenary discussion, in which experienced scientists from Notre Dame and Bielefeld also provide feedback."

Doctoral students practice formulating constructive, professional feedback and expand their English-language proficiency both orally and in writing. Bettina Brandt adds: "They learn from the peers in Notre Dame not only linguistically, but also with regard to different narrative and argumentative strategies. Conversely, the Bielefeld-based doctoral students' orientation towards theory ensures intensive discussions and new perspectives".

Theresa Hornischer has experienced this year what this can look like in concrete terms. She reports: "It was interesting for me to see how our American colleagues work as historians. One noticed the difference between the theoretically designed University of Bielefeld and the American Catholic Notre Dame University. The group from Bielefeld all had an analytical frame of reference in their projects - theory as an important tool of a historian - the doctoral students at Notre Dame University were more able to convince with the way of transforming their analyses in a narrative.”

Between Skyscrapers, Amish farmer's lifes and Sandwiches - The exchange from 5-10 May 2019

After two dense days of discussion in the midst of Notre Damer campus life, there was again a varied offer for doctoral students this year. Especially impressive was the excursion to Chicago with an Architecture Boat Tour and a visit to the Indiana Dunes. Theresa Hornischer likes to remember this highlight: "We were offered a spectacular skyline of different architectural styles with world-famous unusual skyscrapers. A world metropolis located directly on the shore of Lake Michigan; this connection between the element water and the modern skyscrapers impressed me. I can understand Frank Sinatra that he dedicated a song to this "windy city" and confessed his love for this giant city."

This year the group also travelled together to the historic Stahly-Nissley-Kuhns Farm in Nappanee, Elkhart County, Indiana. Theresa tells us: "Not only was I able to learn about the Amish farmer's life in stark contrast to the modern cosmopolitan city of Chicago, but I was also offered a culinary treat in the beautiful dreamy restaurant, far away from burgers and deep dish pizza: a toasted cheese chicken sandwich made from homemade bread with nuts and cranberries - what a treat!”

Many participants appreciate the great group feeling of the exchange and the shared experiences. Theresa agrees and sums it up personally: "For me it was an unforgettable, exciting and beautiful time and the opportunity to travel to the USA for the first time - and this is exactly what I appreciate about the BGHS: the international orientation and cooperation that we are offered as doctoral students. I am grateful to have been there."

Bettina Brandt was also impressed by the hospitable and inspiring atmosphere: "The conversation will be continued at dinner in the house of the event director there.”

What was developed as an idea 10 years ago still works today. “The direct conversation and experience of the different academic, social and political cultures are irreplaceable, and the fact that they are possible across the ocean is a peculiarity," says Bettina Brandt.

Participants from Bielefeld and their topics in 2019:

  • Lena Gumpert, “Me, Myself and Jerome: Practices of Self-Comparing in the Twelfth Century”
  • Simon Siemianowski, “Like Father, like Son? Generational Succession in 15th and 16th Century Italian Family Book Writing”
  • Stephan Fasold, “Auctions as Practices of Property Valuation and Pricing in Great Britain and German Territories Between 1750 and 1870”
  • Julian Gärtner, “On ‘L’homme’ and ‘Race’: Comparing in Alexis de Tocqueville’s Political Anthropology”
  • Gladys Vásquez Zevallos, “Sovereignty and Representation of Space after Hispanoamerican Independence: The Congress of Panama (1826)”
  • Theresa Hornischer, “‘I am Nonsense’: Maneuver and Intervention Strategies of Female Intellectuals—A Case Study of Léo Wanner”
  • Daniele Toro, “The Complexity of Transnational Fascism: Empirical Challenges and Theoretical-Methodological Responses”

Further information:

Gesendet von HGrüneberg in Allgemein

Conference on 27 May

Veröffentlicht am 21. Mai 2019
Conference on 27 May: Ein Leben nach der Uni ist möglich 

Under this heading social scientists from various public institutions and private companies will discuss with us on 27 May the requirements and working conditions that are offered to doctorate employees outside the academic university service.

Thomas Welskopp, deputy director of the BGHS, welcomes participants of an event on non-academic careers in spring 2018. Photo: Thomas Abel

As already in spring 2018, we have colleagues from non-university organisations as guests at the BGHS who discuss career paths for humanities scholars and social scientists with us.

This year's event offers not only the opportunity to exchange experiences but also to explore cooperation with colleagues: It is the prelude to the BGHS programme "Extramural Careers for Humanities and Social Sciences", which will offer doctoral students and associated members of the BGHS mentoring with colleagues in extramural institutions and scholarships for non-academic "practical projects" over the next two and a half years.

The programme of the workshop can be found here.

Komplettversion als PDF

Please register at bghs@uni-bielefeld.de.

Project Außeruniversitäre Karriere: Homepage

Unsere neue Interview-Reihe: "Promovierende im Gespräch"

Gesendet von HGrüneberg in Allgemein


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