Cultures of Critique

Research Training Group (DFG-GRK 2114)

The cultural sciences research training group “Cultures of Critique” undertakes a productive revision of the preconditions, roles and validity claims of critique. On the one hand, new technologies and distribution channels have given rise to a welter of unexpected critical and quasi-critical practices. On the other hand, the very theoretical foundations of critique have come under massive pressure – and so, it seems, has the modern project of critique as a whole. What may be regarded as an act of critique and which agents, expectations and criteria take part, is currently subject to basal negotiation.

The research training group conceives critique as a praxis that is always already culturally situated, while its efficacy rides on comprehensive claims to validity and authority. The phenomena under critique are inseparably interwoven with the forms and media used to represent them. Representation thus appears as the focal point in which widely divergent forms of critique and their heterogeneous cultures lend themselves to comparative discussion. Building on studies of diverse concrete critical practices, the Research Training Group seeks to remap the interaction between critique and culture in the history of modernity up to the present and employ the tools of cultural studies to frame a well founded and timely conception of critique.

The research training group commenced its work on October 1st 2016.

Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Beate Söntgen
Deputy spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Erich Hörl

The doctoral students

Third generation projects

We are very pleased to welcome the third generation of doctoral students at Cultures of Critique! Thirteen new members have started work in the winter term 2022/2023 and are making important contributions to the updating of a concept of critique in cultural studies with their projects.

  • Kelly Bescherer: On Management and Refusal: Identitätsklärung as a Contested Practice of Control within the German Deportation Regime
  • Jan-Hauke Branding: ›Sagen, was wir sind‹ – Die Theoriebildung der radikalen Schwulenbewegung als (Konstellation der) Kritik
  • David Cabrera Rueda: A museum of memory for Colombia: The emergence of a controversial space
  • Raphael Daibert: Lifting the Sky: Practices to Sustain Worlds Otherwise
  • Volha Davydzik: Political Art Practices and their Role in Shaping the Solidarity and Networks of Care in Non-democratic Societies
  • Felix Leonhard Esch: V-Shapes of Capitalism. Der Wachstumszwang der Moderne und seine Manifestation im menschlichen Körper.
  • Jörg Hügel: Auf der Suche nach der klassenlosen Gesellschaft. ‚Urkommunismus‘ als narratives Konzept zwischen 1848 und 1940
  • Dyoniz Kindata: German and Swahili Colonial Newspapers in German East Africa 1885-1918 as Multimodal Sites of Emergence of Social Knowledge and Cultures of Critique
  • Stasya Korotkova: Queer Sensuality and Cross-dressing in the Cinema of the Russian Empire (1909-1917)
  • Melcher Ruhkopf: Das Logistische Museum – Logistikkritik und museale Praxis
  • Laura Felicitas Sabel: Praktiken des Transitorischen: Restitution und Museumspraxis anhand des (im)materiellen Kulturerbe der Nachfahren der Tairona der Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Kolumbien (Arbeitstitel)
  • Donovan Stewart: The Ecotechnical Community: Concerning the Problem of the (Re)organisation of Political Place
  • Lukas Stolz: The Chronopolitics of the Climate Catastrophe: Eco-Imaginaries beyond Fatalism and Cruel Optimism.
  • Julian Volz: Kunst, Gesellschaft und antikoloniale Befreiungsbewegung: Das revolutionäre Algerien in der Gegenwartskunst