A warm welcome to our new guest Arnab Dey who joins the Kolleg in early February.
Currently an associate professor of history at the State University of New York at Binghamton, Arnab is a historian of modern India and the British Empire, with research interests centred around questions of law, labour and the environment. Arnab’s first monograph, Tea Environments and Plantation Culture looked at the monoculture tea enterprise of British east India. This study brought the plant and the plantation together in analysing the praxis and politics of commodity capitalism. His associated research agendas and publications have similarly involved tracing imperial capital, legal regimes and environmental transformations in the British colonial world and the Indian subcontinent. Continue Reading
A warm welcome to our new guest Katharina Wilkens who joins the Kolleg in early February.
Katharina Wilkens is a scholar of religion with a wide range of interests, particularly in the fields of African religions and aesthetics of religion. After graduating in the study of religion, anthropology and Islamic studies at the University of Bayreuth, she taught at the universities of Heidelberg, Munich, Bayreuth, Zurich, Salzburg and Leipzig. Her PhD project was a case study of Catholic exorcism and healing in Tanzania. She has published on religious healing, spirit possession, the practice of drinking the Quran, travelogues written by Africans and the aesthetics of material texts.
A warm welcome to our new guest Jeanno Gaussi who joins the Kolleg in early February.
Born in Kabul, and growing up in Kabul, Delhi and Berlin, Jeanno’s interests transcend national borders and genres. Initially focused on film and video art, her work now transcends genre boundaries. Starting from a narrative concept, she creates installations that include video, photography, objects and texts. Her art explores the places where she’s worked, travelled and had meaningful encounters. It engages with remembrance, identity and the social and cultural processes associated with them. She develops projects in relation to the place of their creation, examining the unique aspects of her surroundings.
A warm welcome to our new guest Camille Serchuk who joins the Kolleg in early January.
Camille is professor of art history at Southern Connecticut State University. She received her doctorate in art history from Yale in 1997, where she focused on images of medieval Paris. Since then, her research has focused primarily on the relationship between painting and mapmaking in late medieval and early modern Europe, with particular attention to the ways that artistic techniques and practices both enhanced and undermined the authority of cartography. The links between cartography and painting in 16th century France are also the subject of her recently completed book manuscript.
A warm welcome to our new guest Andrea Frohne who joins the Kolleg in early January.
Andrea is professor of African art history and Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts at Ohio University, with a joint appointment in the School of Art + Design and of African studies. Her first book is The African Burial Ground in New York City: Memory, Spirituality, and Space. Her second book titled Contemporary Arts from the Horn of Africa: Encounters Beyond Borders through Conflict, Colonialism, and Modernity is forthcoming. She earned her PhD from Binghamton University (State University of New York). She has taught at Cornell University, Pennsylvania State and Dickinson College.
The first annual conference of global dis:connect, entitled Dis:connectivity in processes of globalisation: theories, methodologies and explorations, took place in Munich on 20-21 October. As the title indicated, the conference aimed to ground the vast field of research on global dis:connectivity by probing what theories and methodologies might be fruitful. The conference sought to start the discussion rather than to formulate definitive answers, laying the groundwork for further reflections on these issues over the coming years in conversation with our current and future fellows at the centre.
This international conference brought together different disciplines: historians, art historians, theatre scholars and others in conjunction with creative professionals from the arts, including architecture, design and theatre. The dialogue between theory and practice, each with its own distinctive approaches, induced productive friction. Artistic and philosophical approaches showed their potential to offer new modes of studying a phenomenon as complex as global dis:connectivity.
The conference featured three panels: interruptions, absences and detours. The presentations revealed how researching these modes of dis:connectivity can mean very different things. Such research can mean asking about tradition and modernity and their relation to globalisation; it meant looking at the interplay of nationalism and globalisation in societies marked by stringent national, ethnic and religious demarcations; it meant searching for connections and disconnections simultaneously in such bounded contexts such as the global interactions of the Cold War era. Many papers also looked at how individuals negotiate global connections and disconnections in their own personal biographies, revealing the affective attributions, emotions and ideological influences that make globalisation processes significant in the first place. Such research also entails recovering the agents and groups that were effaced by later hegemonic narratives. Some participants even sought to understand experiences of dis:connectivity beyond our conventional Western understandings of linear time and Euclidian space in ways that might enable more personalised modes of dealing with forced or trauma-induced immobility.
Dis:connectivity is an expansive research object and always threatens to elude us. The papers and unconventional presentations of this conference emphasised both the need to refine the term and the extent to which unconventional methodologies and theories allow us to approach dis:connectivity.
The complexity of globalisation processes that the conference sought to explore affect our present in dramatic ways. As was highlighted in the conference’s wrap-up, seeking to better understand this complexity can tangibly affect society.
The original announcement and the full programme of the conference can be found here. Continue Reading
A warm welcome to our new guest Yolanda Gutiérrez who joins the Kolleg in early November.
Born in Mexico City and living in Hamburg, Yolanda Gutiérrez is a choreographer, video artist, curator and producer whose projects have appeared in a number of international festivals. She has worked with dancers, actors, wrestlers, musicians, DJs, composers, laypeople, children, costume designers and set designers throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America, the USA and Africa. Since 2017, she has choreographed the URBAN BODIES PROJECT and DECOLONYCITIES, consisting of decolonising audio walks with dance interventions.
Continuing her investigations into the connections between colonial pasts, architecture and the body, her work at global dis:connect, comprises three modules: a research phase, a period of reflection and a concluding project in Munich. Gutiérrez is looking forward to having the time to reflect and write about her five-year journey of dance interventions in urban spaces.
A warm welcome to our new guest Lachlan Fleetwood who joins the Kolleg in early November.
Lachlan Fleetwood is historian of science, empire, geography and the environment. He completed a PhD at Cambridge and subsequently held fellowships at University College Dublin and Yale. He comes to LMU as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow. His work focuses on the uneven imposition of ostensibly global environmental categories by empires in the long nineteenth century. His research also investigates how geographical features like mountains and deserts can serve as scales for new global histories of science, empire and labour. His first book, Science on the Roof of the World: Empire and the Remaking of the Himalaya, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.
At global dis:connect, Lachlan is completing a project titled Imperial science and the habitability of Central Asia and Mesopotamia, 1815-1914: a history of the societal consequences of changing limits. This history of environmental sciences examines ideas of habitability, uninhabitability and climatic determinism in relation to empire, and it traces their postcolonial legacies in the age of climate crisis.
A warm welcome to our new fellow Franziska Windolf who joined the Kolleg in recent days.
Franziska Windolf is a visual artist currently exploring the performative potential of patchwork. She deconstructs the patchwork into ‘patch’ and ‘work’, understanding these terms as fragments and action in public or gallery spaces. For her, the artwork is a catalyst, a method of investigation, a means of connecting to people and a way to explore exile and commemoration. By contesting prevalent relationships and hierarchies, and by reassembling research findings, Franziska conceives the artwork as inconsistent, absurd and yet within reach.
While at global dis:connect, Franziska is working with diverse portable sculptures, whose forms emerge through encounters in public spaces. She creates an imaginary space of remembrance and reflection in which fragmented memories of exiled artists in the city as well as history of Munich find a poetic presence.Continue Reading
Nomadic Camera. Photography, Displacement and Dis:connectivities
Workshop at the Käte Hamburger Research Centre Dis:connectivity in Processes of Globalisation (global dis:connect), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
13–15 June 2023
Organisers: Burcu Dogramaci (Käte Hamburger Research Centre, LMU Munich), Winfried Gerling (European Media Studies – University of Applied Sciences Potsdam/University Potsdam and Brandenburg Centre for Media Studies (ZeM), Potsdam), Jens Jäger (University of Cologne) and Birgit Mersmann (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Processes of migration and flight after 2015 and their depiction, perception and distribution through photography form the initial point of the workshop and subsequent publication Nomadic Camera. The research project seeks to investigate the technical, medial and aesthetic relationship of photography and contemporary migration, historical exile and flight as the pivotal discursive setting in which specific forms of mobility extending from the mid-nineteenth century to today have been negotiated.
The concept adapts the term ‘nomadic’ — a transitory form of existence — beyond static concepts of being and national boundaries (Demos 2017). ‘Nomadic’ refers to a form of mobility that establishes continuities and discontinuities with other terms, such as ‘travel’, ‘displacement’ and ‘exile’ (Kaplan 1996). At the same time, displacements are intrinsically related to experiences of connectivities and disconnectivities, including place-making and belonging, ruptures between life and work in the past and present, experiences of loss and challenges of beginnings.
Viewing photography as a formative part of this history of mobility and migration, we will examine the interconnection between the concepts of ‘nomadic’ and ‘camera’. From its introduction in the early-nineteenth century and throughout numerous technical developments and innovations, photography has been a mobile medium closely tied to equipment, social conditions and cultural framings. Setting out from this hypothesis, the workshop and publication “Nomadic Camera” will centre around the following questions: how are dislocations interconnected with the technical evolutions of the mobile medium of photography? In which way do camera technologies presuppose and affect the visual formulation of exile, migration and flight experiences? What modifications in aesthetics and style, methods and practices of photography do temporary mobility, geographical relocation and resettlement imply?
The workshop organisers seek contributions that analyse the interrelation of photography and displacement from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives and diverse methodologies, theoretical approaches and thematical framings. The workshop and the resulting publication will be arranged into four main sections:
Section A: Techniques, technologies
Section B: Body, agents, performativity
Section C: Media narrations, narratives
Section D: Circulation, archive, memory.
We invite also artistic visual essays in addition to scholarly contributions.
The Käte Hamburger Research Centre will cover hotel and return travel costs within Europe or, for those coming from other continents, a significant portion of return flights (details determined after acceptance) for those invited to present. The workshop will be in English. Presentations should be 30 minutes in length. Remote participation will be possible, as the workshop will be held in hybrid form.
Expanded, elaborated contributions based on selected talks from the workshop will be published in an edited volume. Final drafts must be submitted by 15 November 2023. Applicants should note the turn-around time between the workshop and the final submission date.