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:

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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"

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#Talk 1: Non-academic careers

Veröffentlicht am 25. April 2019

Non-academic careers: Doctoral students in conversation - Part 1

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. Susanne Schultz spoke to us about her work for the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

In conversation: Ulf Ortmann (project coordinator) and Susanne Schultz (doctoral student in sociology) Photo: Hannah Grüneberg

Susanne, where do you work at the Bertelsmann Stiftung now?

Susanne Schultz: I'm in the Integration and Education program area. I'm doing research on "Migration Partnerships and Africa" with two young scientists who are working with me. The results will be incorporated into the development of a follow-up project within the foundation.

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

Susanne Schultz: I have been working for the Foundation since November 2018 and, for example, organised a technical discussion on migration partnerships last month: with academics as well as with representatives from civil society and political institutions. The two researchers are currently conducting research on migration partnerships, and on this basis I will then write an internal paper that will give recommendations on how the Foundation can take action on this topic, for example: Should we promote education systems on the ground? Or support specific educational migration? This project application process: these are exciting and open discussions.

What are the main tasks you have at work?

Susanne Schultz: In addition to my dissertation for the Foundation, I work two days in Gütersloh and a few hours a week from home. During this time, in addition to being responsible for the project development process, I am currently a participant in an introductory program for new Foundation employees. All departments introduce themselves there. Of course, I also have internal meetings, such as with the responsible board member. For me, this is a new world into which I enter: with my own literature, with my own language and with my own actors who are all active in the field between science and political consulting.

Impressions of the workplace Photo: Susanne Schultz

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

Susanne Schultz: On the one hand, this is knowledge of content and, on the other hand, methodological knowledge that I bring back from university in order, for example, to design a study. I am happy to see that I can also use the knowledge I have acquired over the years in this work - and that it is highly appreciated. And I try to integrate my contacts from science into my work.

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

Susanne Schultz: It certainly makes sense to gain practical experience. But it's also possible to stay in a foundation if you've only worked at university before. In this case, it makes sense to demonstrate various activities at the interface with politics: To have organised workshops in which politicians were involved, or to have published in places other than scientific journals. Of course, the most important thing is to have specific knowledge for the position.

Susanne, thank you very much for the interview!

You can find the complete interview as PDF here (english version soon available):

Komplettversion als PDF


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

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"How to doctorate"

Veröffentlicht am 17. April 2019

"How to doctorate" - Welcome Day Extra Event

Writing a dissertation: How does that actually work? Who pays me? And what if I want to go abroad? Especially at the beginning of a doctorate, many young researchers ask themselves such questions. And they also appear again and again in the further work process. How good if there are experts who can help.

To answer these questions, representatives of three institutions of the University of Bielefeld presented such support services in the BGHS on Wednesday, 10 April. Following the Welcome Day, at which the new BGHS PhD students were first welcomed, Swantje Lahm from the writing laboratory gave insights into the highs and lows of writing a dissertation, which not only concern the concrete formulation of texts, but also the complete development process in the doctoral phase. Annika Schmidtpeter from the Service Center for Young Scientists provided information about various scholarship providers and gave tips for applications. And Karin Kruse from the International Office presented funding opportunities for shorter and longer stays abroad during doctoral studies.

For the first time, this inter-institutional event took place in the BGHS. The great interest shown by the doctoral candidates, who took part, but above all the comprehensive, concrete and competent information from the various service facilities at the University of Bielefeld make it clear that it was an all-round success. And it wasn't the last time!

Thanks to:

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Welcome Day Summer Term 2019

Veröffentlicht am 11. April 2019

On Wednesday, 10 April the BGHS Welcome Day in summer term 2019 took place. Ursula Mense-Petermann, Director of the BGHS, welcomed the new colleagues. Following this Sabine Schäfer (Executive Management of the BGHS) and Bettina Brandt (Scientific Management of the Department of History) informed the new doctoral researcher about the BGHS, the Faculty of Sociology and the Department of History. After that the doctoral representatives and Ulf Ortmann, coordinator of the project "Non-university careers for scholars in humanities and social sciences", introduced themselves. At the following coffee break in the BGHS-Lounge the doctoral researchers and guests had the chance to get to know each other better.

Above: Executive Manager of the BGHS Sabine Schäfer; Left: Director of the BGHS Ursula Mense-Petermann; Right: Scientific Management of the Department of History Bettina Brandt

The new doctoral researchers at the BGHS

18 new colleagues are starting their dissertaion projects this winter term: Six Historians (5 female, 1 male) and twelve Sociologists (6 female, 6 male).

The new doctoral researchers at the BGHS

18 new colleagues are starting their dissertaion projects this winter term: Six Historians (5 female, 1 male) and twelve Sociologists (6 female, 6 male).

The new doctoral researchers and their projects:

  • Paulina Sophie Gennermann (History): The invisible Industry of Flavours and Fragrances between Innovation and Regulation
  • Anna Grotegut (History):Taxation of urban real estate. Valuation and Comparative Practices in Germany and Great Britain 1870-1950
  • Olga Olkheft (History): Re-conception of Russian Avant-Garde art in the context of Cultural Cold War (1960s - 1980s)
  • Helene Schlicht (History): „California Dreamin'“. Counterculture, Cyberculture and the Role of Regional Networks in the Digital Age
  • Filip Vukusa (History): (Re)Constructing Urban Medieval Social Networks: A Comparative Study of 14th Century Populations of Zadar and Rab
  • Anastasia Zaplatina (History): Venereal Diseases in the Red Army: moral standards, sexuality and gender order during 1941-1945
  • Oluwasinmisade Akin-Aina (Sociology): Claiming ‘gray space’, re-framing rights: Citizenship, Securitization and Urban Refugees in Nairobi
  • Lisa Bonfert (Sociology): Social positions and social change in transnational South-North migration
  • Priska Cimbal (Sociology): Transformation of action spaces
  • Daniel Cuty Ninahualpa (Sociology): A Gap in the Andes
  • Alice Farneti (Sociology): Punitive approaches versus survivor-centered approaches to sexual violence in higher education: an ethnography of the Quebecer movement against sexual assault on campus
  • Ivan Logunov (Sociology): The Challenging Break with Conversational Conventions - A Study on Flirting
  • Aziz Mensah (Sociology):Work-life balance, health and gender disparities among working adults in western Europe and the US
  • Aristeidis Myriskos (Sociology):From inclusice to equal european public spheres bringing the theories of Feminism and Agonistic Pluralism back in
  • Atefeh Ramsari (Sociology): Comparative study of experiencing citizenship regimes of Syria and Iraq by Kurdish ethnic people
  • Abdul Rauf (Sociology): Boundary (un)making by youth refugees in urban spaces
  • Miriam Kathleen Schütte (Sociology): The influence of international organisations on child-related policies in Romania
  • Matthias Weber (Sociology): Police and authority. A sociological study on police knowledge of authority
For further information about the research projects of the new doctoral researcher and an overview about all doctoral researchers at the BGHS and their projects, please see:
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Linie 4 Lecture - Travelling Memorial

Veröffentlicht am 26. März 2019
Update from 04 April 2019

On 2 April 2019 the lecture The White Armband Day – Cross-boarder remembrance to the genocide in Prijedor (Bosnia-Herzegovina) by Johanna Paul took place. After an introduction by Daniele Toro, the artist Anita Zečić spoke about her exhibition and her own ties with the genozid in Prijedor. Afterwards the audience was lead through the exhibition. This was followed by doctoral researcher Johanna Pauls presentation and a discussion.

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

The next lecture on 7 May by Zeynep Demir will be about „The Mental Health of Young Migrants in the (Post)Migration Society“.

Everyone is cordially invited. Entrace is free of charge.

Further information about the lecture series:

Original post from 26 March 2019:

On 2 April from 1 to 8 pm an exhibition of the travelling memorial "Prijedor '92" by artist Anita Zečić takes place at Ravensberger Park in front of the Volkshochschule Bielefeld. The installation is a dedication for all civilian casualties of Prijedors of the war in Bosnien-Herzegowina (1992–95). Despite struggeling for many years, a memorial does not exist in Prijedor. This exhibition supports the demand of the survivors and makes a first step toward a permanent memorial. The intent of the installation is to facilitate the sense of fear in closed and narrow spaces without the option to escape. This is only a part of the emotions the captives of the concentration camps had to endure.

The exhibition accompanies the lecture The White Armband Day – Cross-boarder remembrance to the genocide in Prijedor (Bosnia-Herzegovina) by Johanna Paul (2 April, 6-8 pm, vhs). Both events are a part of the public lecture series Linie 4 "About the Dealing with Discrimination: News From Social Sciences and History" which takes place from 19 March to 25 June and offers various presentations by members of the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS).

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Linie 4 Opening and Dates

Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2019

Linie 4 - Start of events

About the Dealing with Discrimination: News from Social Sciences and History, is the title of the lecture series Linie 4 in the VHS, which has opened on 19 March by Malika Mansouri.
She talked about the topic "50 Years of ICERD - The United Nations on Racial Discrimination in and by Germany". The well-attended lecture invited with exciting input to discussion and questions.

We talked to Malika about her lecture.

Malika, how was the event for you?

MM: It was definitely a positive and rewarding experience. I found the questions and the discussion afterwards very interesting and fruitful. You could see that the participants were very interested and reflected on the topic. As you know, this is not always the case with this topic.

What did you particularly enjoy about the format?

MM: I was surprised that some of the participants came from more distant cities. This perhaps shows how important it is and how rarely such themes - racism from a critical legal perspective - are addressed. This makes it all the more important that the BGHS together with the VHS provides a forum for that topic.

On 02 April Johanna Paul will give her lecture on "The White Armband Day – Cross-boarder remembrance to the genocide in Prijedor (Bosnia-Herzegovina)".

All dates and descriptions of the events can be found here: Linie 4

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Linie 4 - Start of events

Veröffentlicht am 6. März 2019

Linie 4 - Start of events

"Vom Umgang mit Diskriminierung: Neues aus der historischen und sozialwissenschaftlichen Forschung"(On Dealing with Discrimination: News from Historical and Social Science Research), under this title BGHS members will publicly present their current research projects in the VHS from March 19 - June 25. With the lecture series Line 4, junior research will be made accessible to a broad audience and illustrated in concrete examples. In addition, the diversity of research projects carried out by doctoral students at the BGHS becomes visible.

All dates and descriptions of the events can be found here: Linie 4

On March 19 Malika Mansouri opens the series with her lecture on "50 Years of the UN Convention against Racism".


Lecturers and organisers of Line 4 2019 from left to right: Lasse Bjoern Lassen, Malika Mansouri, Carla Thiele, Anja Henkel, Daniele Toro(except: Johanna Paul) Photo: Hannah Grüneberg


With Daniele Toro , the coordinator of this year's series, we talked about the background of the series.

How did you come up with the subject?

The fourth series of lectures of the line4 was first announced without a specific main topic. The main topic for the lecture series then de facto arose by itself as a clear common denominator between the six lectures. The fact that all six lectures and speakers had a clear reference to discrimination in their own contributions and research topics, and that this appeared without prior notice, showed us a clear professional interest. We therefore considered it important to address the public relevance of the topic of "discrimination" through subject-based expertise.

How is the main topic reflected in the individual lectures?

Some speakers already refer to the handling of discrimination as a focus of their own lectures. Others, on the other hand, take the main topic as a guideline, in order to thematise important case studies from their own research. Others will only reveal the closer relationship to the topic more explicitly in the course of reading.

What is special about this series of events as an organizer? What are you looking forward to?

I am very excited about the exchange with the audience! Line 4 has become Since its foundation a few years ago - and already by its name - it has been understood as an exchange platform to make technical expertise available to civil society. Nevertheless, this does not only mean pure mediation, but also open exchange with a non-academic audience. This challenges the speakers both in their ability to communicate and in their role as technical experts, because it is a real art to treat a complex phenomenon so precisely and clearly that even non-specialists can take part in the discussion. It is not enough just to master a topic linguistically and professionally. Rather, it is necessary to look far beyond one's own experience and disciplinary boundaries. In view of the broad range of topics covered by the six lectures, I am therefore very much looking forward to the discussion.

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InterDisciplines - Summary of a dialogue

Veröffentlicht am 5. März 2019

InterDisciplines - Summary of a dialogue

Since 2010, InterDisciplines has stood for a supporting pillar of the BGHS, the interdisciplinary and international exchange between social and historical sciences. After 17 successful editions, the last edition 2/2018 "Social History - Historical Sociology: On Interdisciplinary Research" for the time being now takes us back to the beginnings of this idea.

The current issue contains exciting articles by Agnes Piekacz, Chris Thornhill, Felix M. Bathon, Heidemarie Winkel, Laura Benítez Cojulún and Sebastian M. Schlerka.

With the end of funding by the Excellence Initiative, editorial work will cease with the publication of the last issue.

That is why we have taken stock and are happy to take a look at the past and present of InterDisciplines with Prof. Dr. Thomas Welskopp and Sebastian Schlerka


Left: Sebastian M. Schlerka.
Right: Prof. Dr. Thomas Welskopp. Photo: Hannah Grüneberg


"A relevant scientific journal and not only an internal magazine."

Thomas Welskopp is Deputy Director of the BGHS and Professor of the Department of History of Modern Societies (18th-20th centuries). Since the first issue he has been editor of the InterDisciplines.

Thomas, how did the idea of publishing a journal come up?

TW : "Our intention was to identify the BGHS as an innovative research context, to offer doctoral students' results a forum that is truly perceived and recognized in the professional world even before they complete their dissertations. And to create an experimental field for interdisciplinary debates that enriches research in all the disciplines involved and has a voice in the international research community."

What is the concept of InterDisciplines?

TW : In our opinion, the above objectives could be achieved best with a well-done online journal (although there were limited print editions). The main criteria of interdisciplinarity and internationality were implemented with themed issues that were of interest to all disciplines and with an openness to contributions from external sources as well as from all academic career levels.

How does quality assurance work at InterDisciplines?

TW : The InterDisciplines were supposed to be a real professional journal, not a BGHS house internal magazine and more than a "grey" working paper series for doctoral students. Therefore, we have installed an elaborate quality assurance procedure, with a two-stage peer review process (double blind) and professional (mainly foreign-language) editing.

What gave you the most pleasure?

TW: The InterDisciplines were an exciting intellectual project in which many interesting discussions about disciplinary boundaries actually took place. The cooperation of the editors, especially with Kathleen Thelen and Peter Jelavich, was also gratifying, as was the commitment of our reviewers. The appearance of each issue was a joyful event. And to be completely honest, I really enjoyed the choice of motifs for the covers.

"It's exciting to experience the process of a publication"

As a valuable and sustainable link between various offers and initiatives of the BGHS, InterDisciplines enabled doctoral students to try their hand both as an author and as a guest editor.

Sebastian M. Schlerka is doing his doctorate at the BGHS under the working title "More than secularism: Islam and Muslims in German parliamentary debates" and has worked as guest editor of the current InterDisciplines.

Sebastian, how did you come to work as a guest editor?

SMS: I was part of the organizing team for the Annual Seminar in 2017. There I had already expressed interest quite early to participate in the publication of some contributions, which has always happened in the InterDisciplines so far.

What was that experience like for you?

SMS: Hard working, but exciting. Of course it was a lot of work, especially because I published an article in the magazine myself, which had to be revised several times and I had to deal with a source that was not easy to interpret for the Diss at that time. Nevertheless, I found it exciting to experience the process of a journal publication first hand, from the completion of the call to the search for reviewers and the selection of contributions to the publication of the issue.

What interested you in the topic of the current issue?

SMS: Since my bachelor's degree in both subjects, sociology and history, I have felt a great closeness between the two subjects and have therefore already worked interdisciplinary in my bachelor's thesis. It dealt with the conflicts within the republican camp in the Spanish Civil War from Bourdieu's perspective. All in all, I think that both disciplines with their common object - human societies that have "become and are always becoming" (Norbert Elias) - can only benefit from cooperation.

Numbers, please!

In addition to the BGHS internal work on the magazine, the question arises as to how far InterDisciplines could reach. The reception data indicate a high benefit. In 2017, approximately 35,000 different visitors* were registered on the homepage with a total of about 437,000 accesses. A new edition generates more hits. In November 2017, for example, the number of visits to the "Postcolonialism and China" edition rose from 37,000 to 61,000.

Top-3 articles:

The evaluation is based on OJS views and AWStats from 2010-2018.

The BGHS would like to thank all editors, Sandra Lustig (editing), Anne Ware (layout), Melanie Eulitz (editorial manager) and Thomas Abel (cover-design) for their many years of cooperation. In addition, thanks go to all guest editors and reviewers as well as all editorial assistants.

We are happy to remain in touch with possible perspectives and would be pleased if the dialogue could be continued.

Our new InterDisciplines-Homepage:

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Interview to Dissertation Awards

Veröffentlicht am 6. Februar 2019

Left: Clemens Eisenmann. Photo: Oliver Wiegner,
Right: Zoltán Boldizsár Simon. Photo: Thomas Abel

Excellent papers: The BGHS congratulates the awardees of the dissertation prize 2018

Every year the Universitätsgesellschaft (University Society) awards the Dissertations Prize to doctoral theses completed at Bielefeld University with the distinction of summa cum laude. On 24 January two Alumni of the BGHS were awarded for their Dissertation projects in 2018, Clemens Eisenmann (Faculty of Sociology) and Zoltán Boldizsár Simon (Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology).

What were their theses about, how was the process behind and what does it mean to receive such an award? We asked Clemens and Zoltan:

How would you describe your Dissertation in one sentence?

CE: In my Dissertation I analyzed spirituality in Yoga as a social practice.

ZBS: It’s about a novel way we conceive ourselves and the world as historical today - this is what I try to capture by the notion of unprecedented change.

What does that mean exactly?

CE: Spirituality is mostly understood internally as something very subjective. In contrast to this, I asked about spirituality as a social practice. The book offers – for the first time – an encompassing ethnographic analysis of Yoga and describes Inwardness in the context of physical exercises, yoga philosophy and (everyday) rituals as a perceivable social activity. It is a contribution to sociology of religion and sociology of the body, a further development of qualitative methodology as well as a reflection on fundamental questions of social theory.

ZBS: I explore the transformation of our overall historical sensibility, ongoing since the middle of the last century, since Western societies conceive of themselves as facing previously unimaginable changes in the technological and ecological spheres as arising out of the workings of increased human powers.

What is it like to receive the Dissertation prize?

CE: I was very happy! When you work on a project for many years, forms of recognition are sometimes rare. So even bigger the joy, especially when you see that other people are also interested in the topic.

ZBS: For me it was a pleasure as well. Now I’m looking forward to the book version coming out with Bloomsbury in June.

How did you feel about the event?

CE: I think it was a really inspiring event, especially the interviews which showed the variety of fields of research, which fits to the values of ZiF (Center of Interdisciplinary Research). I also enjoyed the music and many talks afterwards.

How did being a part of BGHS help you during your Dissertation?

ZBS: I definitely benefited from being a part of BGHS. When I pulled together a project proposal for the BGHS 2013, I planned to focus on theoretical questions related to history understood as historical writing. I was of course aware that the conceptual work I was about to carry out would enable me to talk about history in the sense of human affairs, but I wasn't sure that I want to venture into that. The structures from BGHS enabled me to participate in lots of conferences where I shaped the core ideas of the project, just as well as in internal discussions within BGHS and faculty.
The result was a book which - unlike the original proposal - pays equal attention to questions of historical and historiographical change in providing an overall conceptualization of the altered historical condition of Western societies.

CE: The interdisciplinary BGHS was an ideal framework for my research. There was always an open and warm atmosphere (likewise during my work at the faculty), which made it possible to have an inspiring exchange with colleagues and students also from different faculties. Next to scholarly exchange and financial support, there are the little details, which sometimes are most important. Such as technical support, friendly interactions and helping out with administrative issues. This supported me a lot to succeed writing my theses.

Are there any advices you’d like to give other doctoral researchers?

CE: Oh, that’s a tough one. Every empiric phenomenon needs a different perspective, maybe a different attitude of research or even personality. There are a lot of blind alleys, but in fact I’m not sad about all of those detours, because some of them are just part of the process. Maybe it’s a helpful advice to keep in mind that I also know of no one, who didn’t struggle. Especially in this regard I’m full of gratitude for the support of my supervisors Bettina Heintz and Jörg Bergmann.

Further information:

The official reporting by Bielefeld University:
Awarded: The best dissertations of 2018

Book by Zoltán Boldizsár Simon:
History in Times of Unprecedented Change

The book by Clemens Eisenmann will be published this year in the series "Qualitative Soziologie" (Qualitative Sociology) by De Gruyter:
"Alles ist Yoga!" Die spirituelle Konstruktion von Wirklichkeit /

Reporting about DFG-prize awardee BGHS-alumnus Marius Meinhof:
Prize for dissertation by Marius Meinhof

Gesendet von MChrist in Allgemein

Report: Research Retreat 2018

Veröffentlicht am 13. Dezember 2018

Participants of the Research Retreat 2018 Photo: Sabine Schäfer

Research Retreat 2018

A weekend, secluded from the academic everyday work, to be able to focus on the presentation and discussion of new doctoral projects: That's the Research Retreat . The Research Retreat of 2018 took place from 23 to 24 december in Vlotho near Bielefeld. 13 doctoral researchers took the opportunity to present and discuss their dissertation projects. In addition to the new colleagues, Prof. Dr. Ursula Mense-Petermann and Prof. Dr. Oliver Flügel-Martinsen participated in the presentations and discussions of the projects.

Beyond the presentations, the participants of the research retreat had the opportunity to enter into an interdisciplinary dialogue. One of the doctoral researchers, Malin Sonja Wilckens, highlights the unique atmosphere: “We discussed scientific contents deeply and the exciting frame of different disciplines was therefor very fruitful. I also remember the nice talk inbetween, because it was a pleasure to get to know everyone better.”

The yearly research retreat invites first year BGHS doctoral researchers. Besides the presentation and discussion of their dissertation projects the new BGHS colleagues are also welcomed by their doctoral representatives.

For further information about the Research Retreat please see: Research Retreat
You can find an overview of current programmes here: BGHS Programme

The Dissertation Projects of the Participants

  • Paul Akuetteh Agoe (Soziologie): Transnational Influences on Clothing Practices of Second-Generation Ghanaian Immigrants in North-Rhine Westphalia

  • Kim Dang (Geschichte): Post-socialist Governance at Work:Urban Vietnamese Workers and Their Management

  • Álvaro Augusto Espinoza Rizo(Soziologie): Sacred Spaces in Managua: Approaches from Bourdieu and Lefebvre

  • Haikel Latiff Fansuri (Soziologie): Contested Masculinity in Southeast Asia - Social Media as a Canvas for Belonging

  • Marvin Bürmann (Soziologie): Formale Fehlqualifikationen in Zeiten von Migration und Digitalisierung

  • Jascha Nord(Soziologie): Nationen und Verfassungen: Eine historisch-soziologische Analyse zum Beitrag von Verfassungen bei der Entstehung von Nationalstaaten an den Beispielen USA, Frankreich und Haiti. (1776~1848)

  • Agnes Maria Piekacz(Geschichte): The Colonists‘ Old Clothes. Altkleiderhandel im British Empire, ca. 1850–1910

  • Robert Schmieder (Soziologie): Die sozialen Netzwerke der jüdischen Arbeiterbewegung Englands und ihre transnationalen Verbindungen nach Osteuropa und in die USA. Innere Dynamik und gesellschaftliche Bedingtheit einer sozialen Bewegung

  • Andrea Schwarz (Soziologie): Applying a Latent Class Framework to Explore Panel Attrition Processes in Criminological Studies: An Illustration Based on the Study Crime in the Modern City

  • Rebecca Knecht (Soziologie): Thinking Masculinity. Care Staff’s Ascriptions of Belonging in Working with Minor Refugees.

  • Yannick Schöpper (Soziologie): Erneuerbare Energien-Politik zwischen Kontinuität und Wandel. Die Regulierung der deutschen und britischen Elektrizitätswirtschaft im Vergleich

  • Malin Sonja Wilckens (Geschichte): Das große Köpfemessen – Eine Globalgeschichte der reisenden Schädel

  • Mira Claire Zadrozny (Geschichte):Ruinenbilder.(Neues) Vergleichendes Sehen im Paris der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts


Gesendet von HGrüneberg in Allgemein


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