Diversity and Participation
This research area, which is framed by a Cultural Studies-oriented perspective, examines forms of diversity (cultural, social, religious, gender, etc.) in a variety of contemporary and historical contexts. It analyzes the processes of establishing historically and culturally specific orders of belonging and difference through cultural practices and forms of expression in pluralized societies. Apart from analyzing the culturally and historically different aesthetics of these practices and forms of expression, the research area also sheds light on the modes of their distribution as well as on their potential functions in processes of individual and collective identity formation within (and as a transgression of) these orders of belonging and difference. Moreover, in close connection to this perspective on diversity, the research area also focuses on the preconditions, media, and technologies of societal participation, particularly addressing both the normative dimension and the historicity of the concept of participation.
A range of third party-funded projects is situated in this research area (e.g. the PhD Program „Cultures of Participation“; two Helene-Lange PhD Programs, i.e. „Identity Constructions of Adolescents in a Post-Socialist Society of Transformation: The Case of Belarus“ and „Queer Studies and Intermediality“; research projects e.g. on „Gender Knowledge in and between the Disciplines“, on „Freiheitsraum Reformation“, on the history of ideas, and on editing the works of Karl Jaspers). Moreover, the research area is characterized by an dense international network of partners, e.g. through the cooperation with the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (BKGE), or through the activities of DIVERSITAS network (with India and South Africa). In the future, these networking activities as well as joint research initiatives within the research area should be further encouraged and extended.