Cluster G: Reflection
G01 (Drecoll/Männlein-Robert): Platonism and Christianity in late antiquity – Porphyryʼs interpretation, defense and re-ordering of pagan cultic practice: A threat to the Christian order?
Project G01 studies the religious-philosophical writings of the Platonist Porphyrios and the politician Sossianos Hierocles. These writings were directed against the threat posed (in the authors’ eyes) by contemporary Christians. The goal is to analyze the strategies recommended therein for maintaining and reviving the old pagan order, both as a way of life and as a religion. These re-ordering strategies are, however, only known to us through the reception accorded them by the authors’ Christian adversaries (Eusebios, Augustine), whose Christian-motivated re-ordering strategies found inter al. an outlet in literary reflection.
G02 (Hirbodian): Female seminaries in the 15th and 16th centuries – Conceptions of order/threat discourses caught between (internal) reform and (Protestant) Reformation
Project G02 studies two kinds of female seminaries in South-West Germany during the 15/16th c.: the first case is that of Württemberg nuns of the Dominican order living in voluntary seclusion; the second concerns nuns not sworn to seclusion. The lens through which these seminaries are studied is that of existentially threatening demands for reform of external provenance. By dint of the fact that these religious communities were confronted with a reform agenda and/or a (Protestant-derived) questioning of their monastic lifestyle, they may be said to reflect their own inner order as threatened. The re-ordering strategies of these religious women can be studied here in almost laboratory precision.
Project G03 studies cultural hybridity in Istria from the late 19th into the 20th century. The goal is to analyze threat perceptions, describable from a variety of order perspectives, such as flared up repeatedly as a response to arbitrary and extreme ethnic and cultural heterogeneity. The analytic sweep also extends to 1) aspects of threat discourse, 2) perspectivally constrained modes of reflection, and 3) strategies of re-ordering – against the backdrop of a ‘multiculturality’ (an amalgamation of different cultures) discussed for Istria (qua ‘experimental station’ reclaimed from the Habsburgs).
Project G04 studies threat discourses that, with the fading of the British Empire during the 1960s and 1970s, became dominant in the former colonies of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The self-image of the white settlers and their sense of order, revolving around notions like ‘whiteness,’ ‘Britishness’ and ‘family values,’ were reflected as threatened by post-imperial Britain’s re-alignment toward Europe. The resultant re-ordering strategies are analyzed in light of the respective national and cultural identities.
G05 (Tümmers/Wiesing): Resistant microbes: The threatening and re-ordering of the ‘medical order’ by antibiotic resistance since the 1990s
Project G05 studies threat discourse in respect of antimicrobial resistance, which marked a caesura in a modernizing ‘medical order’ first established in the late 19th century. The project analyzes contrarian structural patterns manifested from the1990s on, in which a re-ordering of the medical order is being sought - with implications for research and clinical medicine but also for health policy. On one side, there has been a shoring up of the traditional order, in which microbes continue to be seen as ‘enemy aliens’; on the other, we have a revaluation of the man-environment interface, with microbes now assigned a positive function. Also studied is the practical fallout from such strategies.
Project G06 studies multiple threats in American race relations from the early 19th century to the present day. The ambivalence of drugs – ambivalent in their entanglement with the racial problematic, and in the way they both sustain and destroy order – conditions the differential functionalization of their (culturally constructed) threat potential. The goal is threefold: to analyze threatened power orders that elicit conflicting threat scenarios and diagnoses; to clarify the understandings underpinning such orders; and to shed light on multimedia-reflected re-ordering strategies.
G07 (Sachs-Hombach/Schild/Thon): Media reflections: Threat discourse and the American order since the attacks of September 11, 2001
Project G07 looks at the modes of threat discourse spawned by the events of September 11, 2001. Particular attention is given to the role the media played in diagnosing real or imagined threat scenarios in the context of the ‘War on Terror.’ Pivotal here are the modes of media reflection, observable in political-legal, artistic-esthetic and public-journalistic discourses, addressing a) the national and cultural self-image of the USA and b) the resultant possibilities for re-ordering.