The DFG research training group “Self-Making. Practices of Subjectivation in Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspective” was founded on October 1st, 2010 at Oldenburg University. With the participation of the disciplines history, German studies, art history, philosophy, sport science/ sociology, and protestant theology the training group combines perspectives of both the humanities and social sciences.
The fundamental aim that the research group is built around is to inquire from an interdisciplinary and praxeological-historical perspective how individuals become subjects of specific practices in diverse contexts and, conversely and perhaps more importantly, how they actively shape themselves into subjects and become recognizable and, moreover, gain recognition as subjects in and of practice. Our focus during these investigations is twofold: Firstly, we aim to clarify how language, images, material artefacts, and (human) bodies with their incorporated habitus participate in the process of subjectivation. Secondly, we strive to combat a certain bias of subjectivation theory towards modern times by testing its fruitfulness for the description of historical ‘selves in the making’. In our understanding, the explicitly active process of ‘doing subjects’ automatically implies the complementary activity of ‘doing culture’ and especially the historical perspective is central to the important task of clarifying how and when the participants of subjectivation processes contribute to the reproduction, shaping, and change of the social world in which their (self-)making takes place.