DFG-Research Unit

We are a group of historians, sociologists, and philosophers at the Universities of Erfurt, Jena, and Oldenburg, plus a number of associated scholars around the globe. Together, we form the interdisciplinary Research Unit on Voluntariness, funded by the German Research Foundation (FOR 2983) since 2020. The variety of our individual research projects underscores the power, significance, and transformations of voluntariness from the Middle Ages to the present.

Our Projects   |   2020-2024

Philosophy   |   History   |   Sociology

Antinomies of Voluntariness

Practical Philosophy
Team: Tilo Wesche, Philipp Schink
Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg

Voluntariness as Political Practice

North American History
Team: Jürgen Martschukat, Pia Herzan
University of Erfurt

Voluntariness and Decolonization

Global History
Team: Iris Schröder, Carolyn Taratko
University of Erfurt

Voluntariness and Capitalism

Political Sociology
Team: Silke van Dyk, Stefanie Graefe, Philipp Lorig
Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Martyrdom and Voluntariness

Medieval History
Team: Sabine Schmolinsky, Markus Dolinsky
University of Erfurt

Voluntariness and Dictatorship

Recent German History
Team: Christiane Kuller, Elena M. E. Kiesel
University of Erfurt

Voluntariness and Repatriation

Recent Global History
Florian Wagner
University of Erfurt

Our Projects   |   2024-2027

Philosophy   |   History   |   Sociology

Voluntariness, Democracy, and Climate Politics

Practical Philosophy
Team: Tilo Wesche, Philipp Schink
Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg

Voluntariness, Decolonization and Gender

Global History
Team: Iris Schröder, Gifty Nyame Tabiri
University of Erfurt

The Backstage of Voluntariness

Political Sociology
Team: Silke van Dyk, Stefanie Graefe, Philipp Lorig
Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Voluntariness, Self-Care, and Health in the US around 1865

North American History
Principal Investigator: Jürgen Martschukat
University of Erfurt

Voluntariness and the Repatriation of Human Remains from Colonial Contexts

Global History | North American History
Principal Investigator: Silvan Niedermeier
University of Erfurt

Our Team

Erfurt   |   Jena   |   Oldenburg

Pia Herzan

Member Research Unit from 2020 to 2024