As a nationally and internationally prominent location of humanities research, the Centre will enable the humanities to impart, to interpret, and to communicate the complex mechanisms and social significance of past and present globalisation processes beyond the boundaries of particular academic disciplines and in easily accessible terms.
By investigating global dis:connections, the Centre is inaugurating a new field of research. It emphasises the role of delays and detours, of interruptions and resistances, of the active absence of connections in global contexts and investigates their social significance.
We are convinced that past and present dynamics of globalisation cannot adequately be understood without taking account of the disconnective qualities that inhere in them, which is an approach that has yet to be pursued systematically.
The work of the Centre’s staff and fellows broadens the prevailing perspective on global interdependencies and contributes to the appreciation and — in the final analysis — the malleability of globalisation, which is long overdue. To this end, the Centre productively combines the analytical approaches of the humanities and the arts to fully mobilise their explanatory and constructive potential.
The Käte Hamburger Research Centre Dis:Connectivity in Processes of Globalisation (global dis:connect) examines the relationship of global integration and disintegration in current and historical processes of globalisation. The Centre emphasises the indispensability of the humanities in globalisation research.
The cornerstone of the Centre is the international fellowship programme, in which approximately ten scholars and artists will be invited to Munich every twelve months.
The Centre includes an in-house TransferLab, where new forms of disseminating knowledge and scholarship are developed and tested. The Centre innovates and demonstrates means and forms cooperation among the arts, culture, and politics.
To demarcate the field, we initially distinguish three basic forms of dis:connection that play a crucial role in historical and current processes of globalisation and that structure the Centre’s work in the first phase:
It requires a particular methodological approach that combines a range of methods from the humanities with those from arts studies and practice, bringing these into dialogue with each other.
Hardly any global connection is continuously, uniformly enduring. Most processes of integration are cyclical, sometimes gathering momentum rapidly, sometimes slowly, and sometimes losing momentum entirely.
Absence marks processes of globalisation as much as presence, invisibility as much as visibility. As the connections that drive technological and economic globalisation become tighter and more diverse, they broaden the resulting gaps and marginalisations.
A detour is an undesired, often unintended, longer and usually more arduous route to a destination. Detours coincide with stagnation, delay and waiting. They come into sharp relief in the history of migration, which shows that detours and the impeded mobility they induce inhere in all migratory movements of the past and present.
Together, Christopher Balme, Burcu Dogramaci, and Roland Wenzlhuemer lead the Käte Hamburger Research Centre Dis:connectivity in Processes of Globalisation. The three directors come from the disciplines of theatre studies, art history and history, respectively. This combination reflects the Centre’s methodological approach and underscores its transdisciplinary ambition.