Project Division C

Project Division C. VALUATIONS

Resources and the Symbolic Dimensions of Cultures

The projects of division C. VALUATIONS are treating the aspect of value creation by resources.

The central topic of the studies will be about valuation, meaning and use of resources in different contexts. The different kinds, media and contents of cultural representations of resources and resource dynamics will be addressed and the social effectiveness of the symbolic dimension of resources will be discussed.

Additionally the projects will examine how reassessments, symbolisations and conversions account for the contextual change of meaning of resources, thus allowing different kinds of value creation.

C 02 Männlein-Robert/Stanzel/Meier: Resources and their (Re-) Construction in Literature during the 4th Century BC. The Past as Resource Knowledge

The project studies the literal and rhetoric (re-) construction of resource knowledge about the past and of the past as a resource. 4th century BC Athens is especially suited for this because the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War saw a re-arrangement of social and political conditions and the discourses resulting from this are well documented. The study will centre on Platon’s Politeia and Nomoi as well as about one hundred other speeches from politics and judicature. The project will include two doctoral theses, one philological ‘The Ideal State: Knowledge as a Resource – Platon’s Knowledge about Resources (from Politeia and Nomoi)’ and another one from Ancient and Classical Studies ‘Ancient Athens and Democracy – An Imagined Order? Resource Knowledge in Political Discourses during the 4th Century BC’. More

C 03 Schäfer: Resources and the Formation of Societies, Settlement Areas and Cultural Identities on the Italian Peninsula during the 1st Millenium BC

The project studies the cultural, symbolic and memorial dimensions of resources and their importance for the formation of social and cultural identities.

The approach to understand symbolic orders, representations and evaluations of resources is conducted by a contextual analysis of objects and monuments in specifically public spaces: cemeteries, sanctuaries, centres of settlement.

Chronologically following up the projects work of the first phase of funding, this case study will analyse the continuity of settlements and the changing use of monuments of cultural memory during the 5th and 4th cent. BC, a time of ‘crises’ and new actors. More

C 04 Hardenberg/Conrad: Religious Speech as a Resource in South and Central Asia. Indoctrination, Medialisation and Commercialisation

Seen as a resource, because of its transforming effect, religious speech plays a decisive role in the creation, the maintenance and the change of religious institutions.

One case study will analyse especially speeches of Imams in the mosques of the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, two more will study the speeches of officials of various religious institutions in Odisha/India.

The medialisation of religious speech has started to play an increasingly important role, thus bringing commodification as well as commercialisation in real and virtual markets into the focus of interest. More

C 05 Bartelheim/Dürr: Island Economies. A Comparative Study of Island Communities during the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period

Most often the study of island communities during the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period concentrates on the character of islands as a place of passage and meeting of foreign cultures. On the other hand the particularities and differences to the mainland, internal dynamics, social cohesion, internal cultural development and the creative role of islanders is rarely appreciated, less so in interdisciplinary studies. Project C05 scrutinises the specifics of a selected number of island communities in Sweden and Spain in order to shed light how physical and intellectual resources are used, negotiated and maintained. More

C 06 Alex: The ResourceComplex Health and Body using the Example of Unani Medicine in South India

Are medical resources pure raw materials, or are substances such as amber and mercury constitutive for the understanding of bodies and health, and at the same time influenced by cultural understanding? The project C06 takes up theoretical approaches which complement human actions with the agency of non-human actors in order to investigate the mutual constitution of humans, knowledge and resources in society, using indigenous medicine in South India as an example. The study asks the following questions: What specific uses of resources do Indian medicines such as Siddha or Yunani medicine reveal? What is the relationship between resources and value systems, cosmologies and the experience of bodies, health and disease in South India? And what influence do economic and technological developments have on resources and the associated patterns of meaning? More

C 07 Thiemeyer/Bartelheim : Authenticity as a Resource

What makes objects ‘authentic’ and thus turns them into a cultural resource: their material, their use or their history? How is value assigned to them, for example by staging them as sources for national identity creation or by emphasising their originality?

Project C07 uses historic ships, displayed in major museums – like the Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum (RGZM) in Mainz – to examine these questions. Its structure consists of two parallel studies: ‘Practices of Valuations in the RGZM and ‘Finding, Symbol, Replica – forms and meanings of ‘authenitcities’ of archaeological objects’. Both studies start with the assumption that authenticity is closely related to valuation processes of culture: it is something man-made, not naturally given. It is the aim of the project to analyse such processes of valuation with the help of case studies in order to reconstruct the cultural logic of authenticity as a resource. More