Desk Exchange 2019 - Report

Veröffentlicht am 14. November 2019

2019 Doctoral Researcher Desk Exchange

:: Lund / York / Bielefeld ::

Peter Eriksson and Cheng Li during the library tour. Photo Hannah Grüneberg (BGHS).

From November 4 to 15, 2019, the BGHS and the Department of History host two PhD students at the Desk Exchange with our partner universities Lund and York: Cheng Li from York and Peter Eriksson from the University of Malmö in cooperation with Lund University. In his dissertation project, Cheng Li is studying how Jeremy Bentham became the intellectual leader of British reformers. Peter Eriksson researches integration concepts for foreigners in 20th century Swedish society, focusing empirically on schools.

The participants of the colloquium. Photo Hannah Grüneberg (BGHS).

The theoretical framework and empirical peculiarities of the dissertation projects were discussed in depth in individual discussions with experienced scientists. The available discussion partners were Bettina Brandt, Lars Deile, Kay Junge, Martina Kessel, Jörg van Norden and Willibald Steinmetz. Also the discussions with doctoral students enriched the stay, especially the colloquium organized by the doctoral students Theresa Hornischer and Sisay Megersa, which took place on November 8th. Here, exciting perspectives on content and the methodological approach to the respective dissertation projects were discussed.

Accompanying leisure activities were not neglected either: One highlight was the Sparrenburg excursion on Sunday followed by dinner in a German brewery.

Peter Eriksson and Cheng Li in front of the Sparrenburg. Photo Theresa Hornischer (BGHS).

About the program:

The Desk Exchange is part of the trilateral cooperation between the Bielefeld Department of History and the BGHS with the National Graduate School of History at the University of Lund and the PhD Program in History at the University of York. It enables doctoral students from Lund, York and Bielefeld to get to know the other university over a longer period of time, to exchange ideas with local colleagues and to network internationally. During their stays in Lund, York and Bielefeld, participants have the opportunity to attend seminars and present their dissertation projects. In addition, they are given the opportunity to exchange ideas and ideas with teachers at their host university in one-on-one discussions.

The trilateral cooperation of Bielefeld History and BGHS with the National Graduate School of History at Lund University and the PhD Program in History at the University of York promotes the European networking of young scholars and the exchange of various research traditions and theoretical perspectives in history. Since 2016, the partners have also organized an annual International PhD Conference Lund/York/Bielefeld, which takes place alternately at one of the three universities.

The Participants and their Projects:

Peter Eriksson: "Social categories and the integration of foreigners in Swedish society during the 20th century with a particular focus on the link between governmental policy and school practice".

Cheng Li: "Jeremy Bentham and his lawyer friends in changing public attitude towards law reform, 1807-1832".

Other info:

About the Desk Exchange from the past year

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Let's talk!: Non-academic careers #1

Veröffentlicht am 24. Oktober 2019

 :: Non-Academic Careers ::

  Practitioners in talk #Part 1

We start the winter semester with new perspectives from practitioners who are also historians or sociologists. The range is wide - from publishing work to communication design to European trade union activities. Every month we publish a new interview.

You can read our last series of BGHS members' reports about their activities outside the university here:

Complete version as PDF

Enjoy reading!

Many paths lead out of the BGHS. But where do postdoctoral paths lead concretely? In the winter semester, we talk to historians and sociologists who have taken up their profession outside the university. Peter Scherrer spoke to us about his role as Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation.

Mr Scherrer, until May 2019 you were Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). What were perhaps the three most important tasks for you?

Peter Scherrer: The most important task is to introduce the position of trade unions into European legislation. That is quite central: just before the European elections this summer, the Commission took a number of legislative initiatives that it absolutely wanted to implement before Parliament split up. There have been several legislative initiatives related to the so-called European Pillar of Social Rights. The second task is to develop positions supported by all ETUC member organisations: European Trade Unions speak with one voice. This is not automatically the case. There are major differences of opinion on trade issues, for example: TTIP has not only met with rejection. Or differences in energy policy: Polish miners see coal renunciation differently from civil servants in Luxembourg.

All are members of the ETUC though. The third most important task is to support our trade unions. In particular, member associations from countries where, for example, there is no functioning social dialogue and where trade unions are weak. In "Brussels Speak", this is called capacity building: helping trade unions and, depending on the situation, employers' associations to be strong. We also want employers' associations that are assertive. And we also have member organisations outside the EU, in the so-called candidate countries, such as Serbia, for example: there is a need to strengthen trade unions, some of which are not taken seriously by the respective governments. There, economic and social policies are made past the unions.

Peter Scherrer at a union demonstration.

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

Peter Scherrer: I would say: a good general education. But I think I could have also been a political scientist or a sociologist for the work I did there. What is important is the tool of scientific work: analysing, summarising or reproducing things. I have always written relatively much in my profession and have now, for example, co-edited a volume entitled "Jetzt für ein besseres Europa!" published by the European Trade Union Institute (EGI). I have to say that for me the study of history has always been very important. Now that I am out of the immediate office routine, books are piling up again that I absolutely have to read. I have time for that, because I will use the summer break to see how things will continue professionally.

What tips do you have for colleagues from sociology or history who are starting a career in your profession?

Peter Scherrer: First of all: write a lot and draw attention to yourself. So, for example, when someone writes a thesis on the history of agriculture: Agriculture is still the largest budget item in Brussels and there are many issues related to agriculture. As a graduate, I would take a look at the associations and their publications; I would research what is on the agenda in Parliament. And then I would look where freely accessible events are, make me a reasonable business card, talk to people and also apply unsolicited. If someone can say on an application: Here I have my focal points, then I find that more convincing than pumping up every detail of life experience.

When someone at the age of 26 applies with a Master's degree and a giant slat of experience, I always think: My God, you can just admit that this is your first work experience now. But that the topic is important to you and that you have been dealing with it for a long time: something like that convinces me. And another tip - I wouldn't have thought 35 years ago that I say something like this: Good manners are always appreciated!

I got that point. Mr. Scherrer, thank you for talking to us.

The talk was conducted by Ulf Ortmann.

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

Complete version as PDF

Further Details about the project "non-academic-careers":

  • Homepage
  • The conference on non-university career paths on 27.5.
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    Welcome Day 19/20

    Veröffentlicht am 14. Oktober 2019

    Welcome Day 19/20

    :: 22 doctoral students join the BGHS ::

    On Wednesday, 9 October, the Welcome Day took place at the BGHS in the winter semester 2019/20. Ursula Mense-Petermann, Director of the BGHS, welcomed the new PhD students. Afterwards Sabine Schäfer, academic director of the BGHS and Bettina Brandt (scientific director of the School of Historical Research) informed about the BGHS, the Faculty of Sociology and the Department of History. In addition, the Doctoral Representatives and the coordinator of the project "Extra-university Careers for Humanities and Social Sciences" introduced themselves Ulf Ortmann. At the subsequent coffee break in the BGHS lounge, all participants were able to talk to each other and get to know each other.

    Three contributions provided the doctoral students with knowledge for future challenges after the break: What opportunities are there for scholarships during the doctorate? How can I structure my writing process? And how can I integrate stays abroad into my work?

    We would like to thank the Service Center for Young Researchers, the Writing Centre and the International Office for their valuable input.

    Links above: Bettina Brandt; center: Stefanie Haacke; top right: Antonia Langhof. Photos: Hannah Grüneberg

    Links: Sabine Schäfer; right: Karin Kruse. Photos: Hannah Grüneberg

    The new doctoral candidates at BGHS

    22 new doctoral students started their dissertation projects at the BGHS in the winter semester 2019/2020: Four historians and 18 sociologists.

    Photos: Hannah Grüneberg

    New BGHS PhD students and their research projects:

    • Lorena Albornoz Garrido (History): Developing a strategy to recover the parliaments ethnopolitical negotiations
    • Wojciech Wientzek (Story : "Silence but you can't!") Peter Weiss, Heiner Müller and Luigi Nono as "political brokers" and intellectual border crossers in the Cold War, 1960-
    • Simon Groß (History): Helmut Schelsky and the Sociological Field of the Federal Republic of Germany
    • Nicole Schwabe (History): The Own in the Stranger? Diachronic discourse analysis on historical-didactic world designs in the 20th century
    • Verena Stern (Sociology): "We're not Nazis." On the cooperation of 'concerned citizens' with right-wing extremists in protests against asylum accommodations in Germany
    • Valentina Francisca Rivera Toloza (Sociology): Female employment in Chile and Germany during 1990-2015: How public policies and cultural changes shape or un-shape gender equality?
    • Malin Houben (Sociology): Gynaecological Practice. An ethnographic investigation
    • Felix Maximilian Bathon (Sociology): Communication in small groups - Studies on small groups as a social system
    • Lisa De Vries (Sociology): The labour market situation of homosexuals: Disadvantage and discrimination in the course of employment
    • Özgür Salmanog (Sociology):Analyzing Nietzsche's and Foucault's Concept of Power from the Perspective of the Political
    • Emre Cakirdiken (Sociology): Political trends in transformation: the rise of populism and future of democracy
    • Cansu Erdogan (Sociology): ´Harmony´ between Actors in Long-Term Care Provision: Different Welfare Cultures Giving Rise to Different Modes of Regulation?
    • Nele Weiher (Sociology): Between Self-Determination and Self-Determination. To the identity production of Trans* in the context of escape.
    • Kristina Willjes (Sociology): Doing digitalization - The introduction of electronic file management in a local job center
    • Elisa Gensler (Sociology): The design and evaluation of digitised regulation in work organisations and its effects on the autonomy of employees
    • Stefan Wilbers (Sociology): "Historical Sociology of University Rankings. Institutionalization of a Modern Comparative Practice, 1900-1980"
    • Dorian Tsolak (Sociology): Explaining Female Migrants' Labour Force. Participation by Family and Cultural Heritage
    • Thi Dieu Hien Nguyen (Sociology): Social welfare for workers in Phu Bai industrial park, Huong Thuy district, Thua Thien Hue province, Vietnam: Actual situation, roles and challenges
    • Tipu Sultan (Sociology): Gender role and work life balance among dual earner couples
    • Janes Odongo (Sociology): Factoring Disaster Management into Regional Development Planning: A Study of Devolved Governance in Kenya
    • Md. Moynul Haque (Sociology): Civil resistance in Bangladesh: A study on student dimension of protest movements
    • Yueran Tian (Sociology): Restructuring Welfare and Care: An Ethnographic Study of Vocational Training and Migrant Factory Workers in Post-Socialist China
    • Abel Yonas Zekarias (Soziologie): Migrants' remittances and rural livelihood: concomitant considerately? Evidences from the rural Ethiopia.
    Further information on the new doctoral candidates at the BGHS and their research projects as well as on all doctoral candidates can be found at:
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    #Talk 4: Non-academic careers

    Veröffentlicht am 24. September 2019

    #Talk 4

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

    Many ways lead out of the BGHS. But where do pathways lead to after the doctorate? In the summer semester, we talk to doctoral students who are already gaining work experience outside the university while working on their dissertation. Filiz Kutluer talked to us about her work for the von Bodelschwinghschen Stiftungen in Bethel.

    Filiz Kutluer and Ulf Ortmann in conversation. Photo: Hannah Grüneberg

    Filiz, you work in an "expert office" of the von Bodelschwinghschen Stiftungen. Where exactly do you work?

    Filiz Kutluer: The "Special Office for Migration and Disability" is linked to the regional management and has a bridging function between grassroots staff and the clients*. This means, firstly, that I am responsible for advising and mediating. On the one hand, it is important to understand: What problems do people with disabilities from immigrant families have? What difficulties do their relatives have? Do they have access to the help system? If not, why is that? And if they are in the system: What problems do they have there? On the other hand, I also capture the perspective of the employees: What experiences do the employees* have with this target group? What problems do the employees report in this context? Secondly, I am working on the development of suitable concepts for my organisation: we have a target group that is difficult to reach and has difficulties in the help system - what can we do to solve or deal with these difficulties?

    How does your work look like?

    Filiz Kutluer: The work is varied. First of all, I am responsible for determining how employees*, clients* and relatives work together and what their needs are. Secondly, I network myself and try to keep up to date: How do other organisations and sponsors, such as the AWO or Caritas, etc. deal with this topic? What is being done about this in other cities in Germany or abroad? Thirdly, I draw up concepts for the intercultural opening of institutions and accompany their implementation in Bethel. This also includes staff training on intercultural competences. And fourthly, I take on the public relations work on this topic and give lectures or write articles for specialist journals. So, it may be that I am occupied on one day first with a client, then with an employee, then with the regional management and at the end of the day with a report.

    What are the two most important tasks you do?

    Filiz Kutluer: One of the most important tasks is: If there are difficulties in an institution between employees, clients* from a migrant background and their relatives that employees cannot cope with, then I am called. So, for example: relatives come to the institution without announcing their arrival beforehand. Then I try to grasp the problem first: How do the relatives understand the work being done in the institution? Do they know the rules on meal times or pick-up times? Do they know that they have to register as relatives before visiting the institution? And then it is my job to explain to the relatives how the institution works. For example: "Your daughter has a daily structure here; and if you arrive here unannounced, this structure is lost".

    The experience I gain in such case-related work I finally prepare and develop suitable concepts and recommendations that I present to my supervisor. In this context, it is important to strengthen intercultural competences. And that's where these concepts come in: For example, in the case of communication problems, as I have just described, there is no point in translating words alone. Rather, language mediators* need to know the institution and the help system before they can interpret. For example: Why is it important for a foster child to use a tricycle? From the perspective of relatives, the tricycle can be unimportant; but from the perspective of educators, it promotes development and is therefore very important.

    What knowledge and competences do you bring to your work as a social scientist?

    Filiz Kutluer: For one thing, my work is very much about structuring. Because problems are described to me from different perspectives and my task is to relate these perspectives to each other - and then to pass this on to those involved: I try, so to speak, to sort out the problem areas described by both sides (educators and relatives) and to give them a structure for a better understanding - I learned that during my studies and I still like to do that today.

    On the other hand, division of labour, for example, is a big issue when I mediate between employees* and relatives. Because division of labour is the be-all and end-all in Germany; in Turkey, for example, everyone knows everything about everything. For some, division of labour is a matter of course: "That's my job now; and if you need this or that, then go to someone else, and there! For the others, division of labour is a jungle in which they get lost: "I can't look right and left and I'm only responsible for this area here; if you need it, go somewhere else! And it is my job to make sure that the people involved get in touch with each other anyway. Without this dialogue, there is a danger that people with disabilities and migration backgrounds will not be able to access the help system.

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

    Filiz Kutluer: I think it makes sense to ask: What do those who work in organizations like the von Bodelschwingh foundations do? What are the different activities and occupational fields there? And which of these activities are what for me? There is, for example, an "information day for prospective students" at the Diakonie University of Applied Sciences in Bethel, and in this context the various professions and fields of work that exist in Bethel are presented. The central public relations department in Bethel is also available for information. You will always find people to talk to.

    Filiz, thanks for talking to us.

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

    Complete version as PDF


    Further information on the project "Extra-university career":

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    The Tiger Stripes of Cuba - A Workshop Diary

    Veröffentlicht am 20. 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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