Transforming Infrastructure – Cultural Perspectives

Initiative for a cluster of excellence »Transforming Infrastructure – Cultural Perspectives« at the University of Konstanz.

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CRC 1482 »Studies in Human Categorisation«

The Collaborative Research Center 1482 »Studies in Human Categorization« is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), starting July 2021. The research network involves projects from the cultural and social sciences of the Johannes Gutenberg University as well as the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG). Spokesperson of the CRC is Prof. Dr. Stefan Hirschauer, deputy spokesperson is Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schabacher.

The CRC focuses on the research question of how societies differentiate their members and thus assign social affiliations and identities to them. Human differentiation refers to the distinction of humans from animals and artifacts such as robots, the division of people into categories and groups such as ethnicities, nations, linguistic, and religious communities, and finally the differentiation based on characteristics such as age, gender, disability, or achievement. The aim of the CRC is to develop a general theory of human differentiation and thus to systematically and historically explore the relationships and interactions between these different types of categorization and differentiation.

The media and culture studies project C04 »Urban Control Regimes. Railway Stations as Infrastructure of Human Categorization« (Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schabacher, Postdoctoral and Doctoral Researchers: Tom Ullrich M.A., Sophie Spallinger, M.A.) explores how transport infrastructures sort and classify people. As public places and intersections of different traffic flows, train stations have an increased need for crowd regulation. Based on a cultural and media studies analysis of infrastructure, the project contrasts the control regimes of Parisian railway stations in the 19th century with living labs and trials of digital surveillance technologies in the 21st century. The main question is how the train station socio-technically produces and operationally stabilizes human differentiations (such as class, gender, and deviance).


GNK Research Training Group

»Witnessing. Episteme of a Media and Cultural Practice«

The Research Training Group is dedicated to the topic of witnessing and asks in what ways the epistemic conditions of witnessing are currently changing and have changed historically. Witnessing is understood as a media and cultural practice that authenticates and legitimates knowledge, but can equally select and manipulate this knowledge.

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