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Linie 4: The Hohenzollern inheritance dispute and the ‘truths’ of history

Veröffentlicht am 13. June 2022

Linie 4: The Hohenzollern inheritance dispute and the ‘truths’ of history

Does historical scholarship provide an authentic picture of the past or does it offer different narratives of history, located somewhere between fiction and factuality? Jan Gräber addresses this question in the public lecture series Linie 4, organised by the BGHS together with the vhs Bielefeld. In his lecture “Which present does historical science produce? An examination of the Hohenzollern inheritance dispute”, he takes the example of the inheritance dispute between the Hohenzollerns and the state of Brandenburg, which is about castles, cultural assets, money and, not least, prestige. In the discussions about the inheritance dispute, in addition to the legal and political issues, the circumstance of the “considerable advance” is particularly prominent, i.e. the question of whether the Hohenzollerns played a significant role in the rise and maintenance of power of National Socialism. On this point of contention, history provides the essential and scientific expertise and accordingly helps to decide the Hohenzollerns' right to inherit. However, the dispute also makes it clear that it is not about a quick or even correct answer to historical questions. Rather, it proves to be a struggle for historical truth and its consequences for the present. This ultimately leads to the question of which present the science of history actually creates with its interpretations of history.

Jan Gräber studied history and political science at the University of Tübingen and is doing his doctorate in history at the BGHS on the topic of "The Contradictions of an Intervening History".

The lecture will take place on Monday, 20 June 2022 at 6.15 pm in the Murnau-Saal at the vhs Bielefeld , Ravensberger Park 1. The event will be held in German

Here you can find information about Linie 4 and the lectures in the series.

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Linie 4: Algorithms in the World of Work

Veröffentlicht am 1. June 2022

Linie 4: Algorithms in the World of Work

 

Granting loans, allocating machines or selecting personnel - companies and other work organisations are increasingly using digital techniques when it comes to making decisions. Fundamental to this are algorithms, i.e. clear rules of action that solve mathematical problems. In the public lecture series Linie 4, organised by the BGHS together with the vhs Bielefeld, Elisa Gensler deals with the challenges and opportunities that the use of algorithms in the world of work can have on employees. In her lecture “I am not a robot" - When algorithms take over decision-making processes in the world of work”, she asks about the importance that algorithms already have for work processes and the effects on the self-determination of employees when algorithms shape decisions or even take them away from them completely.

Elisa Gensler has been working as a research assistant at the Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab) and in the research area “Technical and Social Change” at the Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University since 2019. Since 2019, she has also been a doctoral researcher in the interdisciplinary NRW Research College „Gestaltung von flexiblen Arbeitswelten (Arbeit 4.0)“ (Design of Flexible Working Environments (Work 4.0)) and in the BGHS. She is doing her doctorate on the topic of „Die Gestaltung und Bewertung algorithmischer Steuerung und Kontrolle in Arbeitsorganisationen und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Arbeitsautonomie von Beschäftigten“ (The design and evaluation of algorithmic management and control in work organisations and its impact on employees’ work autonomy). She studied sociology at the universities of Bamberg and Bielefeld.

The lecture will take place on Monday, 13 June 2022 at 6.15 pm in the Murnau-Saal at the vhs Bielefeld, Ravensberger Park 1. The event will be held in German

Here you can find information about Linie 4 and the lectures in the series.

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Practitioners in Talk #Part 26

Veröffentlicht am 31. May 2022

::Non-university careers::

Practitioners in Talk – Part 26

Many ways lead out of the BGHS. But where do postdoctoral paths lead? We talk to historians and sociologists who have taken up their career outside the university. Urs Ruf spoke to us about his work at Technologieberatungsstelle NRW beim DGB NRW e.V. (TBS NRW).


Figure 1: Urs Ruf

Mr. Ruf, you did your PhD at the Faculty of Sociology in 1999. If you remember starting your career: How did you find your way into the job?

Urs Ruf: After my doctorate, my job search was not easy. That was in 2000: when the first big internet bubble was heading for its peak and burst a little later. I had an affinity for IT and my theory was: if you can read and write, youʼll find a job in the growing IT sector. Through acquaintances I got in touch with an IT company that had been working as an SAP consultant for a long time and was entering the internet business at that time. I was employed there and then got involved in the IT business. So, after my PhD, I turned around 180 degrees in order to get a job.

How did you come to your current position?

Urs Ruf: By a job advertisement in the newspaper. In 2003, the TBS NRW advertised a position as a technology consultant for works councils at its Bielefeld site. I applied and said: If they donʼt take me, then they havenʼt heard the shot. Because by then I had good IT consulting skills, a social science background, vocational training as a toolmaker, experience working in works councils and was a trade union member. I was actually offered the job and thatʼs how I came to TBS.

You work for the Technologieberatungsstelle NRW beim DGB NRW. Where do you work exactly?


Figure 2: Logo of the TBS NRW

 

Urs Ruf: The TBS NRW is a registered association supported by the NRW Ministry of Labour and the DGB NRW (DGB: Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund; Confederation of German Trade Unions). We advise workplace interest groups: works councils, staff councils or – in the church sector – employee representatives. One matter on which a works council has a say is the introduction of IT systems that enable the monitoring of workersʼ behaviour and performance. Thatʼs why we are called Technologieberatungsstelle. We support interest groups, for example, in finding out: Where is behavioural and performance monitoring possible with the help of the new technological system? How can behaviour and performance monitoring be technologically or organisationally designed so that the monitoring is not excessive? And how can the employee and employer sides find compromises with each other on this issue? Other matters of workplace co-determination are, for example, working time and health. So we advise at the workplace level, especially on conflicts between the workersʼ and employersʼ sides. In addition, we organise expert conferences on topics such as mental stress at the workplace; or working groups in which representatives from different companies in the same sector come together.

You are heading Technologieberatungsstelle NRW. What are your most important tasks in this job?

Figure 3: Urs Ruf at work

Urs Ruf: I can ask myself that every morning. Above all, it is important that our services address current issues, that we are professionally qualified and that we listen to the needs of our clients. Our employees are the decisive factor: it is important that our people have a good job; that they are well qualified for their work; and that the working atmosphere is good. As a leader, I organise the internal processes that work on these issues. Finally, one of my tasks is to strengthen networking with our providers and partners. These are mainly the Ministry of Labour and the trade unions, but also employersʼ associations or research institutions, to name but a few.

What tips do you have for colleagues from sociology or history who are interested in a career in the occupational field you are in?

Urs Ruf: My first tip is: Get in touch with people who work in counselling! Contact with people provides an opportunity, for example, to find out what is important to me about my professional activity: The contact with people? Or maybe that I make something? My second tip is: If you have a soft spot for being on the road in changing constellations, then counselling can be the right field of activity. You have to like it: every day can start at a different time, lead to different places. And if you think: Now we have a longer project here, then it can be over again tomorrow. Because the clients say: we have changed our priorities. Thirdly, I want to share an experience from shortly after finishing my PhD: I did my PhD on nomads in West Africa and then went to work for an internet company in East Westphalia. I had colleagues there with degrees in biology, theology or physics. So, I would say: If you have learned to familiarise yourself with topics at university, then you can also open up new fields of activity. Provided you allow yourself to say: that was a nice part of my life – and now Iʼm doing something new.

Mr. Ruf, thank you for the conversation!

The interview was conducted by Ulf Ortmann.

You can find the complete interview (in German) here:

Komplettversion als PDF

Further information on the non-university careers project is available here, The previous interviews in the series are available here.

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Linie 4: Solidarity Among Neighbours

Veröffentlicht am 17. May 2022

Linie 4: Solidarity among neighbours

Organising neighbours, overcoming social isolation, building solidarity and fighting injustice together. Such issues are addressed by neighbourhood grassroots groups in Germany, which have recently tried to initiate lively politics from below in their neighbourhoods. Marie-Sophie Borchelt deals with the work of neighbourhood grassroots groups in the public lecture series Linie 4, organised by the BGHS together with the vhs Bielefeld. In her lecture ”Solidarity among neighbours - political action from below, she explains what grassroots work in the neighbourhood actually is and how it works. First-hand information will be provided by an activist from a neighbourhood grassroots group who will report on how it is possible to motivate neighbours to take political action.

Marie-Sophie Borchelt has been working as a research associate in the Work Unit Politics and Society at Bielefeld University since 2019 and has been doing her doctorate at the BGHS since 2020 on the topic of “Raus aus der Subkultur – Rein in die Gesellschaft: Perspektiven zur Überwindung gesellschaftlicher Marginalität am Beispiel von Stadtteil(Basis)arbeit in außerparlamentarischen linken Kontexten in der Bundesrepublik”. She studied Gender Studies, German as a Foreign Language and German Studies as well as Spanish in Bielefeld.

The lecture will take place on Monday, 30 May 2022 at 6.15 pm in the Murnau-Saal at the vhs Bielefeld, Ravensberger Park 1. The event will be held in German

Here you can find information about Linie 4 and the lectures in the series.

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Practitioners in Talk #Part 25

Veröffentlicht am 10. May 2022

::Non-university careers::

Practitioners in Talk – Part 25

Many ways lead out of the BGHS. But where do postdoctoral paths lead? We talk to historians and sociologists who have taken up their career outside the university. Nicole Zielke spoke to us about her work as project manager and art director at the Theaterwerkstatt Bethel.


Figure 1: Nicole Zielke

Nicole, you did your PhD at the Faculty of Sociology in 2019, and you are now working as project manager and art director at the Theaterwerkstatt Bethel. If you remember starting your career: How did you find your way into the job?

Nicole Zielke: During my studies I did an internship here in the Theaterwerkstatt Bethel. That was in 2008. And I stayed – in a wide variety of employment relationships: from freelance work to third-party funded project positions to my current position, 17 percent of which is permanent. So I worked here while I was studying and doing my doctorate. The activities were very different: for example, I had a job to further develop the Theaterwerkstatt conceptually. Then I had a job to do neighbourhood work with the Theaterwerkstatt especially for people who needed support – in Bethel, in other parts of the city, but also in rural areas. And I had freelance assignments to work as a dramatic advisor on theatre productions or to lead ensembles

How did you come to your current position?

Nicole Zielke: By writing a project application to the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Soziokultur via the Theaterwerkstatt Bethel. The application was approved and the project aims to evaluate and further develop our artistic work. The method that we have been developing here since 2005 for artistic practice in heterogeneous groups is called “Volxtheater”. In the creation of our plays, experienced and less experienced theatre players cooperate with each other. In this project, we take a close look at this interaction of people with different life experiences, with and without disabilities, and expand our concepts in particular to include theatre work with digital means.

You work for the Theaterwerkstatt Bethel. Where do you work exactly?

Nicole Zielke: The Theaterwerkstatt Bethel is a small socio-cultural centre and free theatre that is basically funded by the von Bodelschwingh Foundation. We are three employees who are employed here. We also have freelancers. And there are fellow actors who do theatre here in their leisure time. These can be theatre productions with children, young people or adults. The players in our ensembles are schoolchildren, seniors, professionals, students, people interested in theatre or people who are cared for on an outpatient or inpatient basis in Bethel or other parts of the city. In addition to theatre productions, we have a number of other areas of work, such as the “Fachdienst Datstellende Künste”. Here we work closely with inpatient and outpatient institutions in Bethel and support clients with a high need for support in expressing themselves through artistic means in order to be able to live more self-determinedly. Second, we organize workshops and conferences on inclusion and diversity. And thirdly, we moderate communication and network processes, such as now for the Rochedale barracks in the east of Bielefeld. The barracks were used by the British Army until 2020, and together with the NRW-wide platform TRANSURBAN we will moderate a process to involve citizens in this urban planning project: What ideas do residents have of the future use of the barracks? And how should the site be designed?

Figure 2a und 2b: Nicole Zielke at work

You are project manager and art director. What are your – maybe: three – most important tasks in this job?

Nicole Zielke: The first is ensemble management. I moderate the theatre productions and keep the ensemble together. Secondly, I acquire the performances, I am in communication with the organizers and I am responsible for the logistics. Thirdly, I have a lot to do with developing the content of the plays. Fourth, I also take part in the plays. These are my tasks as artistic director. At the same time, I’m also in charge of the acquisition of project funds, public relations and the coordination of the network of freelancers. But you asked about the three most important tasks. (laughs)

What tips do you have for colleagues from sociology or history who are interested in a career in the occupational field you are in?

Nicole Zielke: At the time, it was important for me to gain practical experience here in the field of art and cultural activities. To name just one aspect: artistic practice in a large number of changing group constellations can be very stimulating, but also very challenging. I had to clarify that for myself whether I wanted to get involved. And then I had good experiences with career plan talks at the Career Service. That is where I learned about myself: I won’t earn my money with science, but I want to stay in touch with it. To this day, I have teaching assignments at various universities to give seminars on qualitative methods or in the field of aging research.

Nicole, thank you for the conversation!

The interview was conducted by Ulf Ortmann.

You can find the complete interview (in German) here:

Komplettversion als PDF

Further information on the non-university careers project is available here, The previous interviews in the series are available here.

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Linie 4: The Buchenwald Memorial in the Shift of Political Interests

Veröffentlicht am 3. May 2022

Linie 4: The Buchenwald Memorial in the Shift of Political Interests

How is history used and instrumentalised for political purposes? Christoph Herkströter addresses this question in the public lecture series Linie 4, organised by the BGHS together with the vhs Bielefeld. In his lecture “Memory as a political tool. The Buchenwald Memorial between GDR Anti-Fascism and the Remembrance of Victims in the FRG”, he will use the example of the Buchenwald Memorial to look at how differently the past can be interpreted and how history and remembrance are claimed in the process. After Buchenwald had been used as a concentration camp during National Socialism and as a Soviet special camp in the post-war period, it was later expanded by the SED leadership into a "National Memorial" to commemorate the anti-fascist resistance fighters. After the fall of communism in 1989/90, the mediation of socialist anti-fascism was abandoned and the focus turned to commemorating the victims. The lecture is not only about the political instrumentalisation of Buchenwald's history, Christoph Herkströter will give an insight into how he researches such a complex topic as a historian.

Christoph Herkströter has been working as a research associate in the Contemporary History Department at Bielefeld University since 2020 and has since been doing his doctorate at the BGHS on the topic of "History Spaces in Transition. The museum mediation of contemporary German history in East and West Germany since 1958". He studied history and German studies in Bielefeld and worked as a research assistant in the “History as a Profession” department from 2015 to 2020. During his studies, he also worked on several exhibitions and brings this practical experience to the lecture.

The lecture will take place on Monday, 16 May 2022 at 6.15 pm in the Murnau-Saal at the vhs Bielefeld, Ravensberger Park 1. The event will be held in German.

Here you can find information about Linie 4 and the lectures in the series.

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Linie 4: An office in the tropics

Veröffentlicht am 26. April 2022

Linie 4: An office in the tropics

What did German consuls actually do in South America in the 19th century? And how can this be researched? Tim Rieke explores these questions in the public lecture series Linie 4, organised by the BGHS together with the vhs Bielefeld. In his lecture “German bureaucracy in tropical climes - How can historians research German consuls in South America in the 19th century?” he accompanies 19th century German state representatives overseas using various source documents. The documents show the manifold activities of the consuls, who conveyed information to authorities and companies, were supposed to promote trade and were contact persons for their compatriots abroad. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the aim is to piece together these sources. However, the lecture not only provides insights into the activities of the consuls, but also into the working methods of a historian in the field of transnational history.

Tim Rieke studied history and German studies in Bielefeld and Bologna and has been working on his doctorate in history at the BGHS since 2021 on the topic of "The socio-cultural role of German consuls in 19th century South America". He holds a doctoral scholarship of the Gerda Henkel Foundation and came to his topic quite unbureaucratically through the chance discovery of a source text.

The lecture will take place on Monday, 2 May 2022 at 6.15 pm in the Murnau-Saal at the vhs Bielefeld, Ravensberger Park 1. The event will be held in German.

Here you can find information about Line 4 and the lectures in the series.

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BGHS-International Workshop

Veröffentlicht am 19. April 2022

BGHS-International Workshop "Social Movements on the Move: Interdisciplinary perspectives on global and local practices of street action, identity politics and remembrance." (19-20 May 2022)

On 19 and 20 May 2022, the BGHS will organise the International Workshop "Social Movements on the Move: Interdisciplinary perspectives on global and local practices of street action, identity politics and remembrance". After two years in remote work due to the Corona pandemic, it will be the first BGHS event on location. The rationale of the workshop follows the basic principles of the BGHS of interdisciplinarity, internationality and the promotion of doctoral researchers' initiative on their way to becoming "research personalities", fostering exchange, networking and cooperation between doctoral researchers and established scholars. The latter include professors from the BGHS, from the international NEOLAiA network and the strategic partner universities of Bielefeld University.

The workshop will bring together experts on women's social movements, worker's movements, street action within democratic regimes in Europa, recent social and popular movements in Latin America and commemorative practices. The following guest lecturers have confirmed their participation:

  • Prof. Izabela Dahl - Örebro University / Guest Lecturer at Department of History
  • Prof. Natalia Krzyzanowska - Örebro University
  • Prof. Nicole Horáková - University of Ostrava
  • Prof. Marica Tolomelli - University of Bologna
  • Prof. Geoff Cubitt - University of York
  • Prof. Miguel Urrego - Guadalajara University/ CALAS Guest

 

On Thursday, 19 May, the first day of the workshop, 13 doctoral researchers, selected after a call, will present short papers in four groups. The papers will be based on their doctoral research projects, and they will discuss them with renowned experts from our international partner universities. This format is based on our experience with the BGHS Research Retreat. In addition, on Friday, 20 May, six professors from Bielefeld University and guest lecturers from our partner universities will discuss in two round tables relevant questions related to social movements and the challenges of a global society. Furthermore, various social activities and information events will allow the participants to exchange ideas and experiences. The social activities are open to the entire BGHS community. To see the programme, click here.

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Welcome Day Summer Semester 2022

Veröffentlicht am 14. April 2022

Welcome Day Summer Semester 2022

:: 10 new doctoral researchers at the BGHS::

On Tuesday, 12 April, the BGHS Welcome Day for the summer semester 2022 took place, due to the current uncertain covid situation via Zoom. The BGHS directors Klaus Weinhauer and Ruth Ayaß welcomed the new doctoral researchers, who had the opportunity to introduce themselves and get to know the doctoral representatives and the BGHS office staff. Sabine Schäfer then introduced the BGHS training and study programme. We wish all new members a wonderful start to their doctorate at the BGHS.

New BGHS doctoral researchers and their projects:

  • Iris Bartelt (Soziologie): Reconstructing the International Labour Organization’s embeddedness in its inter-organizational environment
  • Sarah Brunsmeier (Soziologie): Social integration at the digitalized workplace: Investigating direct and indirect effects of digital assistance systems on workplace relationships
  • Kai-Sören Falkenhain (Soziologie): Zivilgesellschaftliche Integration durch Konflikt? Funktionen, Verläufe und Folgen migrantischer und nichtmigrantischer Konflikte in Duisburg
  • Michael Götzelmann (Geschichtswissenschaft): Vergleichen in alternativen Weltentwürfen vergangener Gegenwarten
  • Dorothée Grünholz (Soziologie): Vom Sinn und Unsinn der ökonomischen Sicherheit – Machtvergleiche in Deutschland, Frankreich und Großbritannien
  • Meng-Hsi Pan (Soziologie): Chinese Diaspora in Germany and their “Chinese Dream”: An Analysis of Chinese Nationalism through the Lens of Migration
  • Katrin Rickmeier (Soziologie): Effects of Local Labour Market Conditions on Individual Labour Market Behaviour in Germany
  • Stephan Schütze (Soziologie): Internal Migration and the Transformation of Regional Electorates
  • Phanmika Sua-Ngam-Iam (Soziologie): Dienstwege in der öffentlichen Verwaltung - Empirische Fallstudie eines zugelassenen kommunalen Kreis-Jobcenters
  • Natia Tsaritova (Soziologie): The Role of Inter-Organizational Cooperation for the Arctic Council and the Advancement of Sustainable Development in the Arctic
  • You can find the Welcome Day presentation here:

    Komplettversion als PDF

     

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"Line 4" - News from Research from Algorithms to the Hohenzollerns

Veröffentlicht am 24. March 2022

"Line 4" - News from Research from Algorithms to the Hohenzollerns

In May and June 2022, the public lecture series "Linie 4 - Neues aus der sozialwissenschaftlichen und historischen Forschung" (Line 4 - News from Social Science and Historical Research) will take place for the sixth time, organised by the Bielefeld Graduate School of History and Sociology (BGHS) in cooperation with the vhs Bielefeld. Five doctoral researchers from the BGHS present their current research in a clear and understandable way and discuss it with the audience at the vhs. The lectures take place on Mondays from 6.15-8 p.m. in the Murnau Hall of the vhs Bielefeld in Ravensberger Park.

On 2 May, historian Tim Rieke will begin with a lecture on German consuls in South America in the 19th century. The focus will not only be on the activities of the consuls, but also on the question of how a historian puts together the puzzle of the various sources and makes sense of it. Christoph Herkströter, also a historian, will then devote himself to the Buchenwald memorial on 16 May and ask how memory is used as a political tool. He compares the perspective of the GDR, which placed anti-fascism in the foreground, with the perspective of the FRG, which was primarily concerned with commemorating victims. After these lectures dealing with official politics, the social scientist Marie-Sophie Borchelt will explore the possibilities of creating solidarity among neighbours through "politics from below" on 30 May. She invites an activist to talk to her about his involvement in grassroots neighbourhood work. On 13 June, the focus will be on a current topic from the world of work. The social scientist Elisa Gensler looks at the use of algorithms in different areas of work and asks about the opportunities and risks that arise for employees. The series concludes on 20 June with historian Jan Gräber's contribution on the inheritance dispute between the state of Brandenburg and the Hohenzollern dynasty. In doing so, he poses the important question: What kind of present does historical scholarship actually produce?

The five lectures offer a small insight into the breadth of academic research conducted at the BGHS. As in previous years, however, the main focus will be on the exchange between the young scholars and the audience at the vhs Bielefeld. Vivid lectures, clever follow-up questions and exciting discussions bring the university and the city of Bielefeld a little closer together.

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Scholarships Practical Projects

Veröffentlicht am 23. March 2022

The BGHS fosters PhD candidatesʼ individual career planning and invites applications for three scholarships for practical projects, starting in September 2022. The scholarships have a duration of three months. Applications must be submitted by 31 May 2021.

Practical projects offer doctoral researchers the opportunity to compare and further develop their own skills, experience and goals with the requirements and circumstances of a potential professional field – and to discuss these issues both with colleagues at university, and with social scientists and humanists that started their careers beyond university.

You can find the call for applications here. Information on practical projects is available on BGHSʼ website as well: uni-bielefeld.de/bghs/Ausseruniversitaere_Karriere

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Practitioners in Talk #Part 24

Veröffentlicht am 10. March 2022

:: Non-university careers::

Practitioners in Talk #Part 24

Many ways lead out of the BGHS. But where do postdoctoral paths lead? We talk to historians and sociologists who have taken up their career outside the university. Christian Ulbricht spoke to us about his work as head of the Welcome Center Greifswald.


Abbildung 1: Christian Ulbricht

Christian, you did your PhD at the Faculty of Sociology in 2017, and you are now working as head of the Welcome Center Greifswald. If you remember starting your career: How did you find your way into the job?

Christian Ulbricht: After my PhD, I worked as a postdoc at the university for three more years and, looking back, I have to say: For me, the “Bayreuth Declaration on Fixed-Term Employment Contracts for Academic Staff” was game-changing. The chancellors of Germany’s universities published this declaration in September 2019. I found it insulting that limited qualification phases are an indispensable prerequisite for the universities in order to produce highly qualified people for society, because the chancellors did not meet the concerns of doctoral researchers and post-docs at all. That’s when I decided: Okay, I have to get out of here. Where am I going? I go back home. I worked for democratic development in the region where my parents live. So in September 2020 I started working for a civil society organization that is committed to fighting right-wing extremism and right-wing populism here in Western Pomerania.

How did you come to your current position?

Christian Ulbricht: I applied to a call for applications: for the position of head of the Welcome Center. I have been working in this position since March 2021.

You work for the Welcome Center Greifswald. Where do you work exactly?

Christian Ulbricht: The Welcome Center is part of the “Gemeinnützigen Gesellschaft für Arbeitsförderung, Beschäftigung und Strukturentwicklung“ (ABS). For example, the ABS offers qualification measures for the low-skilled, but also works for qualified and highly qualified employees. The task of the Welcome Center is to provide support in recruiting specialists and highly qualified people. The Welcome Center is financed by the city and district of Greifswald, by business partnerships and by third-party funds, which we also raise for projects.

You are head of the Welcome Center. What are your most important tasks in this job?

Christian Ulbricht: We support companies in attracting specialists and highly qualified people to the Greifswald region: a third of these are people who are returning here; a quarter are international; and a good 40 percent come from other regions of Germany, including large cities such as Hamburg or Berlin. My first task is to do personnel and location marketing in equal measure. I am currently developing a regional branding for the area of Western Pomerania and Pomerania, i.e. for a German-Polish area. For example, I organize a digital job fair together with colleagues from Szczecin. We present the region, and companies present themselves as potential employers. My second task is to lead the team: My colleagues establish contacts with housing associations, embassies and all sorts of social institutions to make it easier for those who arrive to feel at home. My third task is to be responsible for the budget of the Welcome Center.

What tips do you have for colleagues from sociology or history who are interested in a career in the occupational field you are in?

Christian Ulbricht: On the one hand, looking back, I can say: I was able to rely on what I learned when I was doing my PhD when I started my career. On the other hand, I well remember being scared when I was still employed at university: Oh, hopefully I’ll find a job at all. It wasn’t until I realized that I wanted to leave the university that a huge horizon opened up: We have a shortage of skilled workers in many areas – and there are also shortages of highly qualified people. I only realized that when I had finished my university career: that I was wanted outside of the university. And then I wasn’t afraid anymore. I’m getting the message here at the Welcome Center too: companies offer a lot to get good people. Well, Greifswald, for example, currently has an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent. This is the lowest rate since reunification. When I moved away from here to study 17 years ago, the situation on the job market was very different.

Christian, thank you for the conversation!

The interview was conducted by Ulf Ortmann.


You can find the complete interview (in German) here:

Komplettversion als PDF

Further information on the non-university careers project is available (here). The previous interviews in the series are available(here).

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Racializing Humankind

Veröffentlicht am 9. February 2022

Racializing Humankind



Julian T. D. Gärtner and Malin S. Wilckens, both members of the BGHS, are very pleased to announce the publication of the edited volume "Racializing Humankind: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Practices of 'Race' and Racism" following the 2019 Annual Seminar and in connection with early career researchers of the SFB 1288.

Debates on historical and contemporary racism have recently become the subject of increasing public interest. The Black Lives Matter movement as well as the Covid-19 pandemic have underlined the importance and urgent necessity of examining racism in society from a multidisciplinary angle. The many facets of racism in the past and present also challenge the way we deal with history (“historical culture”) in a globalized world.

Rather than focusing on the history of ideas and its discursive development, this volume will focus on the practices of actors. It examines how and which practices, especially practices of comparing, are constitutive in the construction of ‘race’ and manifestations of racism.

This edited volume brings together interdisciplinary contributions from history, sociology, political science, American studies, literary studies, and media studies. An important focus lies on the social asymmetries created by racialization, including inequalities and violence. The chapters foreground historical and contemporary practices of racism and discuss their appearance in different epochs and locations.

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Reports about Practical Projects #5

Veröffentlicht am 17. January 2022

:: Non-academic careers::

Reports about Practical Projects #5


“Reports about Practical Projects” are written by doctoral researchers who have designed and carried out a practical project in cooperation with a non-university organization. The BGHS has been supporting these projects with scholarships since 2020. In the fifth part of the series, Henning Middelschulte reports on his practical project with the foundation “barrierefrei kommunizieren!”.



Impairments of socio-emotional development are one of the most frequently diagnosed categories of special needs-education in Germany today. At the same time, the development of digital media for social-emotional learning is gaining traction in research as well as applied contexts. For example, US researchers have succeeded in increasing the empathy of young people with the help of a 3D application.

In order to find out more about how educational professionals assess potentials and limits of digital media to foster social-emotional competences, I held six expert interviews with representatives of education’s most important trade unions, professional associations and selected support groups. The interviews were conducted between April and June 2021 in cooperation with the foundation “barrierefrei kommunizieren!”, Berlin. Our interviews yield several results: Brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a change of perspective – the focus has moved from the limits and to the potential of digital media for developing social-emotional skills. Most outspoken in their endorsement of this untapped potential were the self-organized support associations of people with disabilities. However, none of the participating organizations had developed formal policy positions or demands for the use of digital media in this area at the time of the interviews. Read more about these and other results this Praxisprojekt in the officialproject report.

You can visit the „barrierefrei kommunizieren!“ by clicking on the following (Link)

Further information about the Non-University Careers Project can be found on the BGHS website: (Link).

Gesendet von NMartins in Allgemein

Practitioners in Talk #Part 23

Veröffentlicht am 9. January 2022

:: Non-academic careers:::

Practitioners in Talk #Part 23

Many ways lead out of the BGHS. But where do postdoctoral paths lead? We talk to historians and sociologists who have taken up their career outside the university. Rainer Volk spoke to us about his work as Radio editor at Südwestrundfunk (SWR) in Baden-Baden.


Image 1: Rainer Volk

Mr. Volk, you did your PhD in political sciences and you are currently working as radio editor. If you remember starting your career: How did you find your way into the job?

Rainer Volk: Starting in 1982, I studied journalism at the Ludwig Maximilians University and the German School of Journalism in Munich. During the semester break we had to do internships: in newspapers, in radio stations and in TV stations. So in 1986 I joined the “Zeitfunk” and “Politics” editorial offices of Bayerischer Rundfunk. That was before my diploma, when I worked there for six weeks in one and then six weeks in the other. At the end of this time I was asked whether I would like to start working as a freelancer. I had earned money as a reporter for a newspaper in previous years. But the Bayerischer Rundfunk paid better. So I slipped into it in 1986, although until then I actually always wanted to go to the newspaper. I got my diploma a year later, and did my doctorate part-time only in 1990.

How did you come to your current position?

Rainer Volk: I live with my family near Baden-Baden and have commuted between Baden-Baden and Munich for a long time. In 2013 – I was already 52 years old – I got a call from Baden-Baden: Wouldn’t you like to join us at Südwestrundfunk? I gave up my permanent position at Bayerischer Rundfunk on a trial basis for two years and signed a two-year contract with Südwestrundfunk as a permanent freelancer. A few years later I quit my job at Bayerischer Rundfunk and am now a permanent freelancer at Südwestrundfunk until I retire.


Image 2: Rainer Volk (right) with Heinz Bude, on the occasion of the recording of a broadcast in the SWR studios.

You work for Südwestrundfunk (SWR). Where do you work now exactly?

Rainer Volk: In the “Aktuelle Kultur” editorial team at SWR in Baden-Baden. I am primarily active as the “boss on duty”. Occasionally I moderate and I also write comments or contributions as a reporter. Actually, for example, I would now go to the Book Fair in Frankfurt because I’m responsible for political non-fiction books in our editorial team.

What are your most important tasks in this job?

Rainer Volk: I make sure that the programme “SWR2 am Morgen”, which runs Monday to Saturday and lasts two and a half hours, shows that it is up to date: What is current and important on this day? My first task is to make these current topics appear in the programme. Second, my job is to acquire and maintain contacts in the expert world. Because every morning we have two to three conversations with experts from the academic world on the show. Thirdly, as the boss on duty, it is my job to keep track for the lunchtime and evening programmes and to draw the attention of my colleagues on these programs to current developments and new topics. For this purpose, I use, for example, an internal ARD database, in which correspondents from all over the world offer their contributions. Reading news agency reports is also part of it. I actually read what the news agencies are offering 24 hours a day.

What tips do you have for colleagues from sociology or history who are interested in a career in the occupational field you are in?

Rainer Volk: If you are interested in journalism after a certain period in the academic world, I would first try to publish your own specialist topics on platforms such as H-Soz-Kult or in non-scientific journals. Reviews of sociological or historical literature in the feature section of a daily newspaper could then be the next step towards approaching general journalism. Nobody starts as a commentator in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on page four.

Mr. Volk, thank you for the conversation!

The interview was conducted by Ulf Ortmann.


You can find the complete interview (in German) here:

Komplettversion als PDF

Further information on the non-university careers project is available (here). The previous interviews in the series are available (here).

Gesendet von NMartins in Allgemein

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