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SFB 1070 ResourceCultures: Interdisciplinary DFG Network on ‘Insular Dynamics’ is Founded

Laura Dierksmeier and Frerich Schön, both members of SFB 1070 ResourceCultures at the University of Tübingen, were recently granted funding for the DFG Network entitled ‘Insular Dynamics: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Island Exchanges, Environments, and Perceptions’. It involves 15 researchers and six guest speakers from nine different countries. The network corresponds with the DFG funding goal to promote early career researchers and sponsor innovative research fields that are distinguished by their interdisciplinary as well as international approach.

The young field of island studies, to which the network aims to contribute, has gained importance on an international level over the past two decades. In Germany, however, it has still little represention up to present. Studying islands between geographical isolation and cultural connectivity can contribute to current debates in and beyond academia. Island studies provide insight into a long history of migrations and adaptations to climate and environmental changes, as well as the spread of ideas, technology, and also epidemics. Due to their locations along transregional trade routes, island communities reveal practices of exchange, social integration, and intercultural communication. Islands can also be places where old customs, laws, or languages have been preserved. Thus, islands can be studied as both models for the future and as depositories of the past.

Within the network are researchers from the disciplines of history, archaeology, anthropology, digital humanities, geography, literary studies, and philology. Through the integration of leading experts in the field, such as Godfrey Baldacchino from the University of Malta, the members of the network are able to learn from established island studies departments whilst connecting to current international debates. To implement their goal to serve as a multiplication platform for island research, the network plans to hold three meetings in Tübingen, Hamburg, and Malta and to organize a panel for the 2022 conference of the International Small Island Studies Association. The network aims to publish results on three thematic clusters: exchanges, environments, and perceptions, topics with also present-day relevance. 

SFB 1070 ResourceCultures