Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften

Working Paper

2010 3
Working Paper 1/2013
 
Melanie Krebs, Madlen Pilz

Anthropological Urban Transect: A Methodology to Study Urban Enviroment

This paper presents the application of a methodological approach originally developed for urban planning to urban anthropology. This research approach focuses on different materialities in order to analyze functional zones, special areas and several categories of markers of up- and downgrading processes within a city. This focus on materialities and their integration patterns into urban space enables to make systematic comparisons between different areas within a city as well as between different cities. Using examples of transects carried out in two Southern Caucasian capitals – Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tbilisi (Georgia) – different ways of implementing a transect, collecting and recording the data are discussed.

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2012 4
 
Working Paper 4/2012
 
Daniel Tödt

»Les Noirs Perfectionnés« - Cultural Embourgeoisement in Belgian Congo during the 1940s and 1950s

The working paper deals with the making of the African elite in late colonial Belgian Congo and the role of cultural embourgeoisement in negotiating its place in the social order. It follows the premise that the discourse on social categories and the political attempts to invent, maintain and transform the colonial order has to be combined with what the actors made of it. By investigating the discussion and politics of officially recognizing the African elite as well as their medial, social and private spaces, it argues that by playing out their ascribed intermediary position between colonizers and colonized, the évolués strived for a better place in the social order. The main argument is that cultural embourgeoisement was crucial to the making of the African elite. Cultural embourgeoisement will be analyzed as both an empowerment strategy of colonial subjects for upward mobility, and the colonial state’s policy to assert difference and maintain social order in times of crisis. The African elite were thus representations of a two-folded and highly ambivalent colonial change.

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2012 3
 
Working Paper 3/2012
 
Sebastian Kraffzig

Instrumentelle Macht und Repräsentationen

Das Working Paper analysiert das Verhältnis von Instrumenteller Macht und Strategien der Repräsentation am Beispiel russischer Gouverneure im späten Zarenreich. Es belegt anhand zweier Fallbeispiele aus den Krisenjahren 1903 bis 1906, dass in revolutionären und gewaltbezogenen Situationen gewaltfreie Strategien der Repräsentation funktionierten, und dass die untersuchten Gouverneure gewaltfreie Handlungsoptionen und Instrumentelle Macht dem Einsatz von Gewalt vorzogen.

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2012 2
 
Working Paper 2/2012
 
Adolf Muschg, Sebastian Pflugbeil, Stefan Reinecke, Philipp Baur,
Nadin Heé, Daniel Hedinger, Matthias Braun

Atom global

The workshop »Global Atoms«, held at the Collaborative Research Centre »Representations« at Humboldt University in Berlin in November 2011, intended to open threads into a global history of the »nuclear age«. The participants discussed the history of the civil and military use of nuclear technologies and mapped out social and political developments after the Second World War. They presented a wide range of case studies from Europe, Eastern Europe, and East Asia. During the discussion, participants sought to investigate cultural differences and similarities in dealing with the risks of nuclear technologies. They discussed possible perspectives of a global historiography of the »nuclear age«. The first panel, »Cultures«, focused on how nuclear technologies changed the everyday life of people. The second panel, »Crises«, revolved around the question of how different societies reacted to nuclear disaster. After the workshop, the Swiss writer Adolf Muschg and the German human rights campaigner Sebastian Pflugbeil met for a panel discussion in the premises of the Berlin-based newspaper »Die Tageszeitung«. Muschg and Pflugbeil expressed their pessimism regarding the ability of mankind to draw lessons from nuclear catastrophes like Chernobyl or Fukushima. The workshop and the panel discussion were organized by Nadin Heé, Daniel Hedinger, and Matthias Braun.

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2012 1
 
Working Paper 1/2012
 
Anna Harutyunyan

Challenging the Theory of Diaspora from the Field

This paper argues that the theoretical categories, descriptive and analytical frameworks applied to the phenomenon of Diasporas have become overused, overtheorized, yet at the same time uncontested and taken for granted in the scholarly discussion. In most cases, the classical Diaspora theoretical framework focuses on ethnic representations, the reasons and conditions of dispersal, traumatic pasts and connections with the homeland. It also concentrates on integration issues in host societies, but not on where and how these people lived before actual migration to their current place of residence and, most importantly, what cultural baggage (symbolic or otherwise) they continue to bring with them from their countries of (re-)migration to a concrete local community.

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2011 4
 
Working Paper 4/2011
 
Sebastian Klöß

Savoir et ordre social: Une critique de la société du savoir

The concept of knowledge society has been invented by the social sciences in order to describe perspectives of modern societies. Nowadays the concept circulates increasingly in the political, educational, and economic field and in the media and has already crossed-over the geographical boundaries to which it had been applied first. Taking knowledge society as a representation serving to interpret and shape social practices, the paper outlines from an interdisciplinary perspective academic debates on the concepts and on notions of knowledge. The paper argues that certain paradigms of social progress and of science as inherent in knowledge society prevent « users » of the concept from considering contesting notions of knowledge, increasing forms of incoherent knowledge, and the accelerating devaluation of knowledge.

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2011 3
 
Working Paper 3/2011
 
Hartmut Kaelble

»The time has come when we have got to do something ourselves«: Spielplätze, Schweineköpfe und inszenierter Wandel in Notting Hill um 1970

Around 1970, the impression of being ignored by the authorities was widespread in London’s Notting Hill area. Therefore, actors from different fields decided that it was time to make a change and to take things into their own hands. This paper argues that practices of staging played a crucial role in initiating social change. According to the overall concept of the collaborative research centre, the practices of staging are understood as representations since they both revealed the actors’ conceptions of their being-in-the world and challenged the social order. In order to analyse these practices of staging and their effects, this paper starts with a short overview of the grievances that were identified by Notting Hill’s inhabitants around 1970 before presenting two different initiatives whith were intended to solve these grievances: Firstly, the struggle for more and better playspace; and secondly, the Afro-Caribbeans’ fight against the police and for equality during as well as after the so-called Mangrove demonstration.

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2011 2
 
Working Paper 2/2011
 
Grit Heidemann, Elisabetta Scirocco

Defense et illustration de la notion de représentation

By tracing connotations of the word « representation » in history, Roger Chartier elaborates on the word’s various meanings. On the one hand, representation refers to someone or something acting in place of an absent person or object. On the other hand, representation can also refer to public presence. Furthermore, Chartier describes how collective representations and social order are closely related. Finally, Chartier touches on the problem of historical representation itself. He suggests that historical discourse may be a mere representation of the past.

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2011 1
 
Working Paper 1/2011
 
Matthias Braun, Vincent Houben, Stefan Kirmse, Reet Tamme

Repräsentationen, représentations : le mot dans la recherche historique allemande

This Working Paper argues that German historians often regard the term « representation » as imported from France. Kaelble insists that the transfer led to a more restricted use of the term, which resulted from four obstacles encountered during the process. Nevertheless, Kaelble writes, research on representations is a developing field in German historical science. As contemporary historians tend to be increasingly interested in crises and global encounters the use of the concept of representations gains momentum.

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2010 3
 
Working Paper 3/2010
 
Johan Grußendorf, Andreas Weiß

Europarepräsentationen - Spanien, Frankreich und Deutschland im Vergleich

The geographical and cultural boundaries of Europe are constantly disputed. Especially in the debates regarding the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, politicians and experts in Spain, France, and Germany had to reflect about their images of Europe. The paper argues that in this context short-term interests conflicted with traditional self-concepts of the European Union. The paper analyses scientific and media statements of Spanish, French, and German politicians and experts in order to find representations of Europe inherent in their self-concepts and self-images.

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2010 2a
 
Working Paper 2/2010
 
Grit Heidemann, Elisabetta Scirocco

Die Kirchen Santa Chiara und Santa Maria di Monteoliveto als Bestattungsorte der Adligen in Neapel

The location of burial places within the sepulchral practice of the Neapolitan nobility of the 14th and 15th centuries throw light upon the structuring of the urban space of the city. Besides the big churches of the mendicant orders in the centre of Naples, the churches of Santa Chiara, San Giovanni a Carbonara and Santa Maria di Monteoliveto, which hosted the tombs of the dynasties, were used despite their peripheral location as prestigious burial places. This paper examines exemplarily the involvement of the Neapolitan nobleman in the decoration of the two dynastic sepulchral churches of Santa Chiara (Anjou) and Santa Maria di Monteoliveto (Aragon). Both churches reveal a continuity in the sepulchral practice of the Neapolitan nobility because of their status as "royal churches". This continuity was maintained through dynastic crises across the 14th and 15th centuries. Nevertheless, there was a formal and stylistic development in the tomb monuments of both churches. Santa Chiara houses the Gothic types that were typical for the 14th and the early 15th century, while in Santa Maria di Monteoliveto a variety of innovative types of the early Renaissance can be found.

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2010 1
 
Working Paper 1/2010
 
Christiane Reinecke, Jörg Feuchter, Regina Finsterhölzl, Andrea Fischer-Tahir, Friedhelm, Hoffmann, Johan Grußendorf, Simone Holzwarth, Maren Klotz, Michi Knecht, Verónica, Oelsner, Nurhak Polat & Reet Tamme

Wissen und soziale Ordnung - eine Kritik der Wissensgesellschaft. Mit einem Kommentar von Stefan Beck

The concept of knowledge society has been invented by the social sciences in order to describe perspectives of modern societies. Nowadays the concept circulates increasingly in the political, educational, and economical field and in the media and has already crossed-over the geographical boundaries to which it had been applied first. Taking knowledge society as a representation serving to interpret and shape social practice, the paper outlines from an interdisciplinary perspective academic debates on the concepts and on notions of knowledge. The paper argues that certain paradigms of social progress and of science as inherent in knowledge society prevent “users” of the concept from considering contesting notions of knowledge, increasing forms of incoherent knowledge, and the accelerating devaluation of knowledge.

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