Voluntariness in Recent and Global History – Upcoming Talk

The current work in progress of our historical subprojects explores voluntariness in local historical contexts, in negotiations surrounding migration, in postcolonial settings as well as in different time periods or world regions. In the upcoming summer term, team members will discuss the intersections of various aspects of voluntariness in their respective case studies within the group and with distinguished experts from the respective fields of research. The projects focusing on contemporary and global history share, among other things, the one crucial question: how did notions and practices of voluntariness change in modernity and late modernity?

On April 18, 2023, at 6pm at the Kleine Synagoge Erfurt, Thomas Lindenberger will give an evening lecture that traces notions of civic engagement and volunteering back to the 19th century and relates it to civic society as well as to notions of voluntariness of the late 20th century. In his talk, he will reflect on contemporary notions of voluntariness as a form of government as well as on ongoing research in the field of voluntary engagement.

Thomas Lindenberger is professor at the TU Dresden and director of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies. His work is broad and has enriched the fields of the history of everyday life, the history of communism and post-communist transformation, the history of memory and experience, the history of public order and policing as well as the concept of “Eigen-Sinn” – fields very noteworthy for our research in voluntariness. We cordially invite you to attend the evening lecture in the prayer room of the Kleine Synagoge Erfurt!

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We Welcome Mitchell Dean as Mercator Fellow 2023!

What Else Is New?

We Welcome Mitchell Dean as Mercator Fellow 2023!

In summer 2023, we welcome Professor Mitchell Dean as Mercator Fellow of the Research Unit on Voluntariness. The political sociologist will support the projects of the research unit from April to July 2023 as a renowned expert in the field of governmentality studies.

Voluntariness as Political Practice – Work in Progress and Upcoming Talks

In order to explore how voluntariness functions as a resource for political participation and civic recognition in the US, our subproject in North American History provides a critical reexamination of the yellow fever outbreaks between 1793 and 1820 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and highlights first results.

Voluntariness in Medieval History – Workshop and Talks

On April 20, 2023, our subproject in Medieval History, „Martyrdom and Voluntariness,” welcomes historians Sara M. Butler (Ohio State University) and Steffen Hope (University of Oslo) to Erfurt for a workshop entitled “Dying voluntarily in the Middle Ages”. Together, we will explore various forms of voluntary death and their medieval discour