9th Grad-Conference: Critical Perspectives: Turns, Trends and Theories

9th Grad-Conference: Critical Perspectives: Turns, Trends and Theories

Carmen Dexl (Erlangen-Nürnberg), Katharina Gerund (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), Michael Gubo (Graduiertenkolleg Kulturhermeneutik im Zeichen von Differenz und Transdifferenz), Martin Kypta (Graduiertenkolleg Kulturhermeneutik im Zeichen von Differenz und Transdifferenz)
From - Until
20.11.2009 - 22.11.2009
Gubo, Michael

The turn is currently one of the dominant trends in the humanities and social sciences. But what exactly is it that we are turning to or from? Young scholars are grouped intra- and interdisciplinarily according to theories, methodology, and (seemingly) cutting-edge turns. How many new insights can be gained from work conducted in the light of potentially new paradigms and which mechanisms generate heightened attention for certain topics? To what degree do we as scholars depend on an academic culture or political and economic contexts? What is the critical potential of the academia and in how far does it need to be criticized?

The ninth Graduate Conference taking place at Erlangen University from 20-22 November 2009 offers young scholars an opportunity to present their own projects located within current turns, theories, and methodology. It provides a forum for all participants to discuss the substance, problems, and promises of topical scholarly developments with their peers in an interdisciplinary setting. What is the significance of turns and which of the already proclaimed or still to be discovered turns harbor the potential to conquer “new kingdoms of research” (Bachmann-Medick)? Do theories have to be ‘trendy’ as well? Can the ‘revival’ of the history of ideas compete against new and ‘postmodern’ theories? Which dynamics can be released by combining critical theory, discourse analysis or systems theory within (and beyond)hermeneutics? To what degree is it necessary and possible for these approaches to respond to current social questions and problems such as globalization, crises, and conflicting ideologies?

In addition to discussing current research projects, the conference attempts to stimulate reflections on the individual locatedness as well as the conditions and functions of the humanities and social sciences. This self-reflexive perspective suggests (re)negotiating the term ‘critique’ itself. A critical theory and research practice invites questioning the academic enterprise as such as well as the possibilities of social criticism and political intervention. Furthermore, the potentials of social critique and (pre)conditions of political intervention need to be addressed. Can academic turns be conceptualized as socio-critical praxis and to what end – if at all – are such potentials currently used? What are the interconnections between turns, trends, and paradigm shifts?

- Image/Art/Visual Culture and Perception (Iconic Turn)
- Ethics and Aesthetics/Recognition/Justice (Ethical Turn)
- Language/Culture/Social Subsystems (Translational Turn)
- Canon Revision and Cultural Critique/Hybridity/Glocality (Postcolonial Turn)
- Histories and Narratives/Memory/Knowledge (Mnemonic Turn)
- Nature and Culture/Mind and Brain/Free Will ((Neuro)-biological Turn)
- Politics and Religion/Faith and Beliefs/Rationality (Religious Turn)
- Other Turns: Spatial, Performative, Linguistic, Emotional, Mobility Turn, etc.

Theory and Methodology
- Topicality of Theories and Methods
- Theory as Discourse, Theory as System, Theory as Practice/Praxis
- History of Ideas, Conceptual History, Historical Semantics
- (Re-)Construction, Deconstruction, Interpretation
- Hybrid Theory Constructions
- (Critical) Social Theory, Theory and Normativity

Humanities, Society, and Intervention
- Market/Knowledge/Power
- Organization of Knowledge/(Re-)Organization of Universities
- Knowledge-based Society, Globalization, Crises
- Theorization and Social Movements
- Cultural Studies and Critique

The bilingual conference (English and German) invites applications by (Post )Graduates working in the fields of Linguistics, Literary and Cultural Studies, Political Science, Sociology, History, Philosophy, Pedagogics, Theology, Art History, and Theater and Media Studies. Applications by international participants are particularly welcomed. Selected contributions will be published in an essay collection.

Applications with abstract (max. 250 words) can be submitted via our website www.gradnet.de by September 1. Accepted papers have to be turned in by November 1. Registration is open until October 31. The conference fee is approximately 20 Euros (to be paid upon arrival). It includes a conference dinner as well as the conference party.

One of the keynote lectures will be held by Doris Bachmann-Medick (Gießen).


Contact (announcement)

nstitut für Soziologie
z. Hd. Michael Gubo
Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg
Kochstrasse 4
D-91054 Erlangen
Email: konferenz2009@gradnet.de

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