In the 1970s, the field of Historical and Cultural Anthropology faced the challenge of redefining the field of “Folklore Studies” and engaging in new lines of research in the field; today the discipline confronts the task of understanding, describing and analyzing anew popular and everyday culture in a pluralized society that in the meantime has been shaped to a great extent by immigration. Within the field of Historical and Cultural Anthropology, therefore, (once again) an intensive, long-term process of reflection is taking place with regard to the question of what “culture” should mean, and how the relationship between culture and a (globalized) society could be understood. In this connection, the term “diversity” plays a central role: Cultural, ethnic, religious, sexual and bodily diversity and the socioeconomic inequalities that can be created out of those categories are topics that can be found all throughout the teaching and research that takes place at the Ludwig Uhland Institute (LUI).
Diversity is meant to refer to both differentiation within a society and on the international level within Europe: Discourses on integration are held on both levels (in different ways), and they are the subject of a number of study areas at LUI. In addition to European integration, ways of dealing with religious pluralism in an ostensibly secular society, and the cultural transformation associated with migration stories, the discussion of “diversity” in the economy is another key topic, especially in southwestern Germany.