Interdisciplinary “tandem collaborations” will be responsible for the contents and the organization of the Theories and Methods Workshop and will work on one of the central aims of the CRC agenda.
During their year in office, these pairings will be supported by further academics participating in the CRC as members of associated working groups that will address specific theoretical and methodological aspects of the CRC agenda. In addition, tandems are responsible for the temporary organization of the CRC Plenum, this will achieve a broad participation of all members of the CRC. The temporal sequence of tandems will be based roughly on the theoretical and methodological breadth and specific features of the CRC. For example, concepts of affective relationality and emotion repertoires will guide the work in nearly all subprojects. Likewise, the majority of subprojects work with language and text as theoretical and methodological reference points for affectivity. Finally, different types of audience emotions are the subject of a substantial number of subprojects.
Prof. Birgitt Röttger-Rössler / Prof. Margreth Lünenborg
The tandem during winter semester 2020 and summer semester 2021 is formed by communication scholar Margreth Lünenborg and social anthropologist and spokesperson of the CRC Birgitt Röttger-Rössler. This year’s work will focus on questions concerning the changing structure and nature of publics - both in different configurations of physical co-presence and in mediatized and digitally networked forms. While Western discourse for a long time primarily tied in with normative concepts of the public sphere in Habermas' deliberative understanding, such a concept oriented towards the rational exchange of arguments seems to have long since become obsolete under the conditions of polyphonic and often seemingly chaotic digital network communication. At the same time, a dichotomous understanding of privacy and publicity from a social anthropological point of view has been criticized long before the establishment of digital communication structures, because it cannot adequately describe the complex interaction of the hidden, the secret, the private and the public.
Against this background, we will examine how contemporary concepts of the public sphere can be designed and re-formulated relying on affect theory. What role do outrage and fear, but also solidarity and togetherness play in the emergence of publics? Who receives agency in these formations of publicness? How are existing institutions challenged by the emergence of multiple publics? What processes of inclusion and exclusion go along with these developments? How are they intertwined with gender relations?
In different formats of exchange, we will deal with transnational influencers as well as with digital media practices of diaspora communities and their respective affective registers. But we will also look at formations of the public sphere outside of "the West" and ask to what extent the public sphere can be understood as a travelling Western concept that challenges and is challenged by other social and political constellations. We will address the link between virtual networking and physical co-presence in public places, which has become evident in numerous contemporary political movements (e.g. in the "Arab Spring"), and last but not least we will focus on algorithmic publics, i.e. on the formative power of technology and its economic as well as political driving forces.
Prof. Hansjörg Dilger / Prof. Matthias Warstat
The first tandem cooperation of the second funding period of the CRC 1171 is run by social anthropologist Hansjörg Dilger and theatre scholar Matthias Warstat. Under the headline of „Institutionalising diversity“, the affective challenges and experiences are being investigated that occur when aspects of migration and globalisation meet with concepts of diversity and multiplicity and enter institutionalised realms such as medicine, theatre, media and the arts, or law and communal politics. New emotion repertoires develop under the impression of changing institutions or the formation of new institutional fields as much as questions after the effects of such changing emotion repertoires on the dynmaics of inclusion and exclusion. Any of these processes are relevant both on an individual as well as a collective level, and their close investigation will combine perspectives from the political and social sciences with those from the theatre and literary studies.
The tandem will organise the CRCs 4th international annual conference in May 2020 under the title of „Diversity Affects | Troubling Institutions“, Keynote-Speaker: Sara Ahmed („The Cultural Politics of Emotion“, „On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life“).
Standing in for Hansjörg Dilgers at the institute for social and cultural anthropology:
Dr. Marcos Freire de Andrade Neves
Standing in for Matthias Warstat at the institute for theatre studies:
Raum R. 116
+49 30 838 59246
winter term 2017/18 - summer term 2018
The third designated tandem will be formed by an expert in theater studies (Kolesch) and a sociologist (Knoblauch) who will work on affectivity and emotionality in performance situations. The tandem will focus on a phenomenon that is exemplary for social collectives and is thereby representative for the tension between communitarization and sociation in mediatized Affective Societies. The spectrum ranges from the frequently mediatized induction of affect in audiences attending major public events up to the diverse procedures and techniques for inducing affect in the performing arts. The empirical reference points are the emotional processes of audiences in performance situations that are viewed as differentiated, but, in their form, special resonance spaces of affect.
A particular interest is in comparing different social fields extending from sports over theater to religion that encompass both local and mediatized audiences. The tandem is combining this with the challenge of linking different strands of research on the emotions of audiences: These should extend from audience research in theater studies, film studies, and the anthropology of art up to research in sociology, communication studies, or social anthropology. Therefore, the tandem will forge links to further working groups and thereby probably open up a unique comparative perspective.
winter term 2016/17 - summer term 2017
In the second tandem, an expert in literary studies (Fleig) and a sociologist (von Scheve) will work on the set of problems involving the affect-inducing power of language and texts in the constitution of affiliation and feelings of belonging. Precisely the CRC’s goal of paying more attention to affective dynamics that have not yet been culturally labeled casts a new light on the affective influence of language and text. From this perspective, affectivity is not understood exclusively as always having been shaped by language and discourse. In contrast, the particular power of language should now be explained by referring to its affective thrust. This results in language and text being viewed not only as representations of emotions but also as genuinely affective acts that help in constituting one’s own experience and establish resonances with other actors.
The tandem aims at elaborating this both theoretically and methodologically, particularly in relation to the concept of belonging, and not only for spoken language and its ability to generate affective dissonances or consonances, but also for different types of texts as the constituencies of public and political discourses in which belonging is negotiated. For many of the CRC subprojects, language and text are central reference points as both objects of study and methodological approaches. This makes the development of a procedure that integrates the perspectives of both the social sciences and cultural studies an important research need. Literary studies can contribute major methodological and theoretical competencies on, for example, the receptive-aesthetic effects of language. With the sociology of knowledge, the social sciences possess a feature in which language plays a central role, not only in terms of methods, but also in view of social theorizing.
In addition, the tandem can draw on preparatory interdisciplinary work within the Cluster of Excellence Languages of Emotion that has studied, for example, the effect of rhetorical figures, sound physiognomy in artistic speech production, or the affective connotation of social concepts.
winter term 2015/16 - summer term 2016
The first designated tandem composed of a social anthropologist and a philosopher will work on comprehensively developing the conceptual core of the central relational understanding of affect and emotion for the CRC. Röttger-Rössler and Slaby both have relevant expertise in not only disciplinary but also interdisciplinary emotion research—not least through working together in the Cluster of Excellence Languages of Emotion. Hence, this cooperation is based on both researchers being embedded soundly in the state of the art in emotion research.
The disciplinary combination permits a close interplay between working out and testing empirical social anthropological procedures and initiating transformative work on concepts and theories. The concept of emotion repertoires illustrates this. This concept is gaining shape particularly from being reframed in a relational understanding so that it can serve as a guiding concept for the CRC. One area of collaboration will be to take empirical studies and extend the established understanding of individual emotion repertoires (as deeply embedded bodily affective dispositions) to make the possibility of a collective carrier of the repertoire conceivable in which the relational character of the interactively and performatively enacted repertoire should be determined more precisely.
The relational understanding of affect in the CRC can then be developed into an empirically grounded and conceptually selective battery of instruments that will serve as an alternative to the broadly established—but suffering from a strong western bias—concepts of discrete emotions. The first tandem cooperation will probably be flanked by working groups addressing aspects of the research on emotion and affect in sociology and media studies.