Uni-Tübingen

Project Areas

Cluster E: Diagnosis - Crisis Management

E01 (Schmidt-Hofner/Weisweiler): Ordo renascens – Threat und re-ordering in the Roman Senate: Roman aristocracy under challenge in the 5th century C.E.

Project E01 studies how the Roman Senate aristocracy succeeded in checking the multiple threats posed by the 5th century collapse of the Western Empire – threats not only to the economic and intellectual foundations of this imperial elite, but also to the sources of its political and social power. The project pursues a broad-based approach receptive to the various re-orderings undergone by this elite – in its socio-economic power base, its self-image and worldview, its cultural practices and representation strategies. The objective is a comprehensive picture of continuities but also of changes arising from this process of re-ordering, during which the aristocracy was placed on a new footing.

E02 (Meier/Patzold/Schmidt-Hofner): Human resources: Propping up agrarian labor and threatened ruling orders between 300 und 900 C.E.

Project E02 studies how elites in late antiquity and the early middle ages managed the threat (some­times latent, more often real enough) to their socio-economic power base posed by a paucity of agra­rian labor. Central to this project is the traditionally accessible instrument of re-ordering, i.e. recourse to regulations designed to inhibit the social and spatial mobility of agrarian labor. The project will undertake a comparative study of three phases in which this phenomenon underwent signi­fi­cant aggravation, to the point of generating a threat discourse along with attendant practices of re-ordering in the form of new legal institutes, administrative measures, and administrative correspondence.

E04 (Dürr/Menning): After the stockmarket crash of 1720 – threat diagnosis and crisis management in Paris and London

Project E04 takes its point of departure from the effects of the 1720 stockmarket collapse in London and Paris, studying the interplay of threat diagnoses and coping strategies. The loss of trust in the credit-based economic order, caused by the dramatic slide in share value, is the point from which this study proceeds. Core aspects treated are the loss of trust and how trust was restored in a re-ordering process against a backdrop of urban ̔face-to-face societies’. While not omitting the economic and the political dimensions, the chief focus is on the cultural practices involved in restoring trust.

E05 (Féaux de la Croix/Frie/Gestwa): Salinization and soil degradation as threats to the agrarian orders in Russia, Kazakhstan/Tajikistan and Australia since 1945

Project E05 examines three historical and anthropological cases, taken respectively from Russia, Kazakhstan/Tajikistan and Australia. The aim is to show how large-scale salinization processes, caused by an irrigation-based agricultural regime strongly ascendant since the 1950s, have given rise first to threat diagnoses and then to coping strategies. The challenge will be to harness the assemblage approach to the task of analyzing a) the multidimensional interplay of forces (operant on a variety of levels: regional, national, transnational) and b) the manner in which ecological processes interact with technical methods, administrative practices, and cultural interpretations.

E06 (Nieswand): Threat and diversity in urban contexts – a cross-border comparison of ethnically heterogeneous and unequal neighborhoods

Project E06 studies the response to ethnic and social heterogeneity in Frankfurt (Germany) and Murcia (Spain) in respect of the relevance and effect of threat diagnoses associated with everyday conflicts and problems. It is assumed that whenever diversification processes generally or segments of diverse populations are perceived as posing a threat, the coping strategy will be to re-order neighborhoods. Particular attention is paid to the relevance of red lines drawn between groups for the dynamics of threat diagnosis and devising coping strategies.

E07 (Alex): Re-ordering processes in humanitarian emergency response: local and global negotiation strategies

Project E07 examines re-ordering processes generated in the context of humanitarian emergencies; the focus is on medical relief dispensed by first responders. This phenomenon is studied from three separate angles: 1) different notions of order plus the strategies, materials, and resources actually deployed; 2) different categories and concepts evoked in this connection; 3) how such processes are imbedded in, and how they impact on, what Fassin has called the “moral economy.” This ethnological project will add to what is known about the intricate web of two-way processes that occur between diagnosis, operationalization, and eventual containment of a threat to an established order.

Cluster F: Mobilization

F01: Fight for survival: The threatening of the Byzantine Empire under Heraclius and the restoring of its political, social, and religious order (ca. 610-630 C.E.)

Project F01 has selected what may be described as a re-ordering phase in the Eastern/Early Byzantine Empire – the period in question is 610-630 C.E. The goal is to analyze the (power) political, economic, administrative, cultural, religious, and communicative processes that enabled a hitherto unprecedented mobilization of human and other resources for purposes of restoring an existentially threatened order. Here two issues are of particular interest: a) contemporaneous changes in and to the emperor’s image (the poetry of Georgios Pisides is a chief witness here); and b) the function of the great restitution act passed in 630 C.E.

F02: From Carolingian order to société féodale? Threatened order and re-ordering around 900 C.E.

Project F02 studies the threatened order of the crumbling Carolingian Empire around the year 900, showing how actors in three of the Empire’s regions were able to mobilize legal texts of both worldly and ecclesiastical provenance and historical memory itself as re-ordering resources. The operant assumption is that although legal texts and historical memory were essential for practicing crisis management, such was the manuscript culture by then (900 C.E.) that their availability could no longer be assumed. This first had to be secured by a process of excerption, compilation, etc., from extant manuscripts, before actors could be mobilized for such purposes.

 

F03: Threat discourse in sermons and plays of the late middle ages and the early modern era

Project F03 sets out to examine such sermons and plays as were accorded a wide reception spanning the better part of three centuries (14 -17th). These sources are assessed in terms of their status as threat discourses. Three threat scenarios are treated: 'Eternal damnation at the Last Judgment', 'Jewish conspiracies’, and ‘Expo­sure of confessional heresy.' The issue to be clarified, in light of the above, is the extent to which diverse schemata (linguistic-textual, rhetorical-theatrical, and religious-social) are discernibly at work in the construction first of a threat per se, then of strategies of mobilization designed to counter the threat.

F04: Re-ordering in the aftermath of the Darién Scheme, a failed Scottish colonial project (1697/98-1700)

Project F04 studies re-ordering scenarios inside Spain’s colonial empire, with especial reference to the Panama region in the aftermath of the Darién Scheme, a failed Scottish colonial project (1697-1700). The focus of interest is twofold: 1) on what levels (local-global) and 2) by means of what mechanisms and communication strategies were resources mobilized. The project also attempts to clarify the extent to which other factors (the interests of local indigenous actors, time and resource shortages, structure of the Spanish colonial empire) impacted on these mobilization processes.

F06: Humor in social movements (1975-86): Dis-ordering und re-ordering by affective strategies of diagnosis and mobilization

Project F06 investigates two pivotal protest movements from the 1970s/1980s (the peace and anti-nuclear movement, feminism) with a particular question in mind: what role did humor play? Chief among the objects of investigation is the relationship between two of humor’s functions qua social cement: one is outwardly directed, i.e. subversive; the other acts inwardly. Light will additionally be shed on the role of emotions in mobilization performances and mobilization strategies.

F07: Local orders under threat from land grabbing – Global civil society and international law as curse or blessing?

Project F07 examines, on the basis of concrete case studies from Peru, the Philippines, Senegal and Sierra Leone, the following issues:

  1. under what circumstances do local groups threatened by ‘land grabbing’ mobilize against the predations of globally operating firms, deploying more or less violent means in their defense?;
  2. what, in this connection, is the role of a) the transnational movement opposed to land grabbing and b) the dominant semantics of international law (as applicable from case to case)?; and
  3. how do local orders change as a result of protest as well as local-transnational cooperation?

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.

G03 (Johler): Istria: a cultural experiment? – Hybridity: a (threatened) order?

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).

G04 (Frie): End of empire – Re-ordering in Australia, New Zealand and Canada (1960-1980)

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.

G06 (Franke): Drugs, power, and marginalization – Cultural reflections of dependence in the U.S.

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.

Project Areas

Project Areas

Cluster E: Diagnosis - Crisis Management

E01 (Schmidt-Hofner/Weisweiler): Ordo renascens – Threat und re-ordering in the Roman Senate: Roman aristocracy under challenge in the 5th century C.E.

Project E01 studies how the Roman Senate aristocracy succeeded in checking the multiple threats posed by the 5th century collapse of the Western Empire – threats not only to the economic and intellectual foundations of this imperial elite, but also to the sources of its political and social power. The project pursues a broad-based approach receptive to the various re-orderings undergone by this elite – in its socio-economic power base, its self-image and worldview, its cultural practices and representation strategies. The objective is a comprehensive picture of continuities but also of changes arising from this process of re-ordering, during which the aristocracy was placed on a new footing.

E02 (Meier/Patzold/Schmidt-Hofner): Human resources: Propping up agrarian labor and threatened ruling orders between 300 und 900 C.E.

Project E02 studies how elites in late antiquity and the early middle ages managed the threat (some­times latent, more often real enough) to their socio-economic power base posed by a paucity of agra­rian labor. Central to this project is the traditionally accessible instrument of re-ordering, i.e. recourse to regulations designed to inhibit the social and spatial mobility of agrarian labor. The project will undertake a comparative study of three phases in which this phenomenon underwent signi­fi­cant aggravation, to the point of generating a threat discourse along with attendant practices of re-ordering in the form of new legal institutes, administrative measures, and administrative correspondence.

E04 (Dürr/Menning): After the stockmarket crash of 1720 – threat diagnosis and crisis management in Paris and London

Project E04 takes its point of departure from the effects of the 1720 stockmarket collapse in London and Paris, studying the interplay of threat diagnoses and coping strategies. The loss of trust in the credit-based economic order, caused by the dramatic slide in share value, is the point from which this study proceeds. Core aspects treated are the loss of trust and how trust was restored in a re-ordering process against a backdrop of urban ̔face-to-face societies’. While not omitting the economic and the political dimensions, the chief focus is on the cultural practices involved in restoring trust.

E05 (Féaux de la Croix/Frie/Gestwa): Salinization and soil degradation as threats to the agrarian orders in Russia, Kazakhstan/Tajikistan and Australia since 1945

Project E05 examines three historical and anthropological cases, taken respectively from Russia, Kazakhstan/Tajikistan and Australia. The aim is to show how large-scale salinization processes, caused by an irrigation-based agricultural regime strongly ascendant since the 1950s, have given rise first to threat diagnoses and then to coping strategies. The challenge will be to harness the assemblage approach to the task of analyzing a) the multidimensional interplay of forces (operant on a variety of levels: regional, national, transnational) and b) the manner in which ecological processes interact with technical methods, administrative practices, and cultural interpretations.

E06 (Nieswand): Threat and diversity in urban contexts – a cross-border comparison of ethnically heterogeneous and unequal neighborhoods

Project E06 studies the response to ethnic and social heterogeneity in Frankfurt (Germany) and Murcia (Spain) in respect of the relevance and effect of threat diagnoses associated with everyday conflicts and problems. It is assumed that whenever diversification processes generally or segments of diverse populations are perceived as posing a threat, the coping strategy will be to re-order neighborhoods. Particular attention is paid to the relevance of red lines drawn between groups for the dynamics of threat diagnosis and devising coping strategies.

E07 (Alex): Re-ordering processes in humanitarian emergency response: local and global negotiation strategies

Project E07 examines re-ordering processes generated in the context of humanitarian emergencies; the focus is on medical relief dispensed by first responders. This phenomenon is studied from three separate angles: 1) different notions of order plus the strategies, materials, and resources actually deployed; 2) different categories and concepts evoked in this connection; 3) how such processes are imbedded in, and how they impact on, what Fassin has called the “moral economy.” This ethnological project will add to what is known about the intricate web of two-way processes that occur between diagnosis, operationalization, and eventual containment of a threat to an established order.

Cluster F: Mobilization

F01: Fight for survival: The threatening of the Byzantine Empire under Heraclius and the restoring of its political, social, and religious order (ca. 610-630 C.E.)

Project F01 has selected what may be described as a re-ordering phase in the Eastern/Early Byzantine Empire – the period in question is 610-630 C.E. The goal is to analyze the (power) political, economic, administrative, cultural, religious, and communicative processes that enabled a hitherto unprecedented mobilization of human and other resources for purposes of restoring an existentially threatened order. Here two issues are of particular interest: a) contemporaneous changes in and to the emperor’s image (the poetry of Georgios Pisides is a chief witness here); and b) the function of the great restitution act passed in 630 C.E.

F02: From Carolingian order to société féodale? Threatened order and re-ordering around 900 C.E.

Project F02 studies the threatened order of the crumbling Carolingian Empire around the year 900, showing how actors in three of the Empire’s regions were able to mobilize legal texts of both worldly and ecclesiastical provenance and historical memory itself as re-ordering resources. The operant assumption is that although legal texts and historical memory were essential for practicing crisis management, such was the manuscript culture by then (900 C.E.) that their availability could no longer be assumed. This first had to be secured by a process of excerption, compilation, etc., from extant manuscripts, before actors could be mobilized for such purposes.

F03: Threat discourse in sermons and plays of the late middle ages and the early modern era

Project F03 sets out to examine such sermons and plays as were accorded a wide reception spanning the better part of three centuries (14 -17th). These sources are assessed in terms of their status as threat discourses. Three threat scenarios are treated: 'Eternal damnation at the Last Judgment', 'Jewish conspiracies’, and ‘Expo­sure of confessional heresy.' The issue to be clarified, in light of the above, is the extent to which diverse schemata (linguistic-textual, rhetorical-theatrical, and religious-social) are discernibly at work in the construction first of a threat per se, then of strategies of mobilization designed to counter the threat.

F04: Re-ordering in the aftermath of the Darién Scheme, a failed Scottish colonial project (1697/98-1700)

Project F04 studies re-ordering scenarios inside Spain’s colonial empire, with especial reference to the Panama region in the aftermath of the Darién Scheme, a failed Scottish colonial project (1697-1700). The focus of interest is twofold: 1) on what levels (local-global) and 2) by means of what mechanisms and communication strategies were resources mobilized. The project also attempts to clarify the extent to which other factors (the interests of local indigenous actors, time and resource shortages, structure of the Spanish colonial empire) impacted on these mobilization processes.

F06: Humor in social movements (1975-86): Dis-ordering und re-ordering by affective strategies of diagnosis and mobilization

Project F06 investigates two pivotal protest movements from the 1970s/1980s (the peace and anti-nuclear movement, feminism) with a particular question in mind: what role did humor play? Chief among the objects of investigation is the relationship between two of humor’s functions qua social cement: one is outwardly directed, i.e. subversive; the other acts inwardly. Light will additionally be shed on the role of emotions in mobilization performances and mobilization strategies.

F07: Local orders under threat from land grabbing – Global civil society and international law as curse or blessing?

Project F07 examines, on the basis of concrete case studies from Peru, the Philippines, Senegal and Sierra Leone, the following issues:

  1. under what circumstances do local groups threatened by ‘land grabbing’ mobilize against the predations of globally operating firms, deploying more or less violent means in their defense?;
  2. what, in this connection, is the role of a) the transnational movement opposed to land grabbing and b) the dominant semantics of international law (as applicable from case to case)?; and
  3. how do local orders change as a result of protest as well as local-transnational cooperation?

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.

G03 (Johler): Istria: a cultural experiment? – Hybridity: a (threatened) order?

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).

G04 (Frie): End of empire – Re-ordering in Australia, New Zealand and Canada (1960-1980)

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.

G06 (Franke): Drugs, power, and marginalization – Cultural reflections of dependence in the U.S.

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.