Research profile of the TRA 4 ‚Individuals, Institutions and Societies‘

Within the Transdisciplinary Research Area (TRA) 4, researchers investigate the complex relationships between individuals, institutions and societies. From there, they develop a new perspective on micro-phenomena (e.g. development of personality, competences and individualization) as well as macro-phenomena (e.g. world society, globalization). The aim is for example, to identify key factors that influence social cohesion, equal opportunities, efficiency, resource protection and the development of individual skills in the context of all these factors.

Further information on the structure of the TRA ‘Individuals & Societies’.


Professorships of the TRA 4

High Profile Professorships

Establishing high profile professorships is a central measure of the University of Bonn within the framework of the German Excellence Strategy, a funding program by the German Federal and State Governments to support cutting-edge research at universities. To ensure institutional renewal and continuing dynamic development of our university, we have established Hertz, Schlegel and Argelander Tenure Track Professorships. They aim to strengthen the Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) as well as the faculties. Further information on the individual programmes can be found here.

Hertz Professorship for 'Life Ethics'

Prof. Dr. med. Christiane Woopen
 
Contact: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 5-7, 53113 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0) 228/73-66 100

E-Mail: chwoopen@uni-bonn.de

Web: Center for Life Ethics

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© erstellt von Reiner Zensen, die Rechte liegen bei Christiane Woopen (04.04.2022)
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© Julia Mink

Argelander Professorship for
Environmental Economics, Sustainability and Inequality

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Julia Mink

Contact: Lennéstraße 43, 53113 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0) 228/ 73-9206

E-Mail: jmink@uni-bonn.de

Web: Julia Mink

Argelander Professorship for Legal Aspects of Sustainability and Ecological Transformation

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© ClassicallyPrinted; Quelle: pixabay

        Schlegel-Professorships

Phone: +49 228 73-7679

E-Mail: martin.kessler@uni-bonn.de

Adress: An der Schloßkirche 2-4, 53113 Bonn

For more information, please see:

Phone:  +49 (0) 228 73-62160

E-Mail: stosch@uni-bonn.de

Adress: Kaiserplatz 7-9, 53113 Bonn

For more information, please see:


You want to do transdisciplinary research yourself, realize a project or network? Become a member of our TRA!


Our Profile Areas

In order to ascertain the wide spectrum of research questions in the context of the TRA ‘Individuals & Societies’, many different perspectives need to be taken into account. Economical questions crossover with legal, political, sociological and religious questions etc.

The TRA currently focusses on developing three profile areas, which bundle the research interests of our members in an outstanding way:

Ethics

The profile area 'Ethics' represents a core area of our TRA and at the same time, with its high relevance for various already existing projects, such as 'Autonomy and Autonomous Systems', 'Digitalization, Law and Economy', it is an important cross-cutting topic of our other profile areas. The projects in the profile area 'Ethics' address questions concerning e.g. public health or the social consequences of the Corona pandemic. This cross-cutting theme aims to bridge the gap between the life sciences (medicine, philosophy, theology, ethics, law, etc.) and societal contexts (e.g. education, culture, market, politics).

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© chenspec; Quelle: pixabay

At the heart of this profile area, the Hertz Professorship for 'Life Ethics' was filled in 2021 with Prof. Christiane Woopen, MD. With her research on ethically and legally relevant aspects of societal problems and challenges, which can only be answered by involving various disciplines from the humanities, social sciences and life sciences, Christiane Woopen establishes a link between the different research areas represented in the TRA. For this purpose, the 'Center for Life Ethics' was founded, whose research focuses on four systemically interacting dynamics that particularly characterize changes in our time: mechanization, economization, ecologization and globalization of our lives.

The expertise of the profile area 'Ethics' is furthermore complemented by Prof. Dr. Aimee van Wynsberghe within the framework of an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for 'Applied Ethics of Artificial intelligence' since December 2020. Both scientists work closely with each other and with many other members of our TRA on the development and expansion of this profile area.

Projects in the profile area 'Ethics'

Project leader
Prof. Dr. Svenja Kranich
Prof. Dr. Daniela Pirazzini
PD Dr. Simone Knewitz

Staff

Hanna Bruns (WMA)

Information about the project
The overarching question of the research project aims at a better understanding of changing power structures and hierarchies in contemporary societies, taking into account both the individual (e.g. regarding self-determination, freedom of the individual) and society (e.g. regarding questions of social participation) as well as the role of institutions (e.g. regarding discrimination). Democratization in this sense is understood as an increase in the participation of all social groups as well as a (supposed) flattening of hierarchies.

Teaching events

Information about the project
Further information will follow

Events
Further information
  • Call for Papers (Deadline: 31.07.2020)
    • 1st place: Dr. Martin Breuel (Köln): „Lüge, Bullshit, Propaganda? ‚Postfaktische Politik‘ und das Rationalitätspotential der Demokratie‘“
    • 2nd place: Florian Buchmayer (Bremen): „Das Gerede vom Postfaktischen als diskursive Wende“
    • 3rd place: Eytan Celik (Bayreuth): „Fake News als Bedrohung für die moderne Gesellschaft – eine kantische Perspektive“
  • Prize Question 2020-2022 (Deadline: 31.12.2021): What is truth under the conditions of digitalization? An epistemological question in conversation with hermeneutics, philosophy
    of religion and sociocultural phenomenology
Project leader
Prof. Dr. Zed Adams, NSSR

Prof. Dr. Paul Kottman, NSSR

Staff
Alex Englander (WMA)

Jan Voosholz (WMA)

Information about the project
The Institute for Philosophy and the New Humanities convenes graduate students and distinguished scholars from The New School and the University of Bonn for intensive five-day seminars on pressing questions in contemporary philosophy and the humanities.

Events
Further information
For St. Andrews:
Prof. Dr. Judith Wolfe, St. Andrews Divinity School

Prof. Dr. Christoph Schwöbel, St. Andrews Divinity School

Staff
Ji Chen (SHK)

Information about the project

Natural law is not about the ideal law, but also about the way to perceive the conditions of man. Epistemology, theology and law mix in this discussion. The famous Scottish Enlightenment is known for its influence in the Western tradition, esp. in the case of David Hume and Adam Smith. The epistemological foundation and the relationship between confessional conception of the condition of man and the description of the ideal legal order have yet to be discovered. The same is true for the reception of these ideas in Germany, which in general is illustrated by the case of Immanuel Kant and the known influence of Adam Smith.

In a second step we want to investigate in which way these ideas influenced the English colonies of North America. It is very plausible that they paved the way for the first discussion of natural (fundamental) laws.

Events
Further information will follow.
Further information
Project leader

Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Durner

Staff

Johanna Fink (WHK)

Information about the project
Ecological transformation processes give rise to new questions of social distribution and generate new social dislocations and tensions.
Analyzing these interrelations and negative feedback effects is not only an epistemological question, but also a prerequisite for the development of appropriate problem-solving instruments.

Events
Further information will follow.
Project leader
Staff
Rasmus Wittekind (WHK)

David Renz (SHK)

Information about the project
The "grand challenges", such as the consequences of climate change, the question of mobility and migration, as well as the rapid changes in society through digitalization and artificial intelligence, affect all people. The question of the appropriate perception, description, and interpretation of these complexes of phenomena is central, because their semantization already forms possible actors and spaces of action through the use of certain concepts, categories, linguistic images, and value patterns. Different semantizations thus lead to specific ideas of agency and integrity within the presented future scenarios. It is precisely this relationship that is to be investigated in the project. The analytical connection of the terms semantization, agency and integrity is innovative. These are understood as mutually constituting in an interrelation, whereby the processuality of the struggle for an adequate description of the future can be elaborated and conceptualized.
Project leader

Dr. Matthew Ryan Robinson

Staff
Miriam Dorlaß (SHK)

Saskia Held (SHK)

Information about the project
The ‘What Does Theology Do, Actually?’-project aims not to do theology, but to observe what theologies do, in and for the communities in which theologies circulate and hold meaning. How is theology understood and practiced as a semantics of global society? What kinds of problems do theologies solve and how? These questions are pursued, moreover, with specific attention given to the “transcultural”.

Events
Project leader

Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen

Information about the project

The Think Journeys bring together students and young scientists with experts from different disciplines to develop new ideas for an ethically based design of the future and models and approaches for coping with dynamic changes and designing a good, successful life. 

Events


Digitalization/AI

More information to follow.

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© chenspec; Quelle: pixabay

Prof. Dr. Huw Price, who was Bertrand Russel Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge until 2020, supports our profile area 'Digitization/ AI' as one of our Distinguished Emeritus Professors. He is considered one of the leading philosophers of science today.

The expertise of this profile area is also supplemented by Prof. Dr. Aimee van Wynsberghe, who has already started at the University of Bonn in December 2020 as an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for ‘Applied Ethics of Artificial intelligence’.

Projects in the profile area 'Digitalization/AI'

Project leader
Dr. Charlotte Gauvry

Information about the project
A cycle of interdisciplinary conferences to study the philosophical, political and medical (neurological and psychiatric) effects of the use of AI systems on mental health.

Events
Project leader

Prof. Dr. Jens Schröter

Staff
Fiona Torke (WHF)

Information about the project

The planned Colleague-Research-Group aims at a comprehensive revision of the analog/digital distinction, by investigating the complex field of operations of continuation and discretization historically, comparatively and systematically. The aim is to be able to describe the meaning of today's processes of "digitalization" more precisely by establishing the new research field of Continuous/Discrete Studies.

Publications
  • Ernst, Christoph/Schröter, Jens/Warnke, Martin (2020): »Der Quantencomputer – Ein zukünftiger Gegenstand der Medienwissenschaft?«, in: MEDIENwissenschaft. Rezensionen 02 (Rubrik »Perspektiven«), S. 130-150.
  • Schröter, Jens/Ernst, Christoph/Warnke, Martin (2021): »Quantum Computing and the Analog/Digital Distinction«, forthcoming in Grey Room (in print). Classical Digital Machines, New Analog Computers, or Future Post-Digital Media? Quantum Computing and the History of the Analog/Digital Distinction, Vortrag an der Univ. Luxemburg (Februar 2022)
Project leader
Phillip Engelhardt (WHK)

Vincent Rastfeld (SHK)

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
  • Presentation at the 4th Research Conference of the Faculty of Arts (04.02.2022)Further information here.
Project leader

Prof. Dr. Adrian Hermann

Staff
Yasmina Burezah (WMA)
Leonie Geiger (WHK)
Information about the project

Collaboration in research and teaching in the humanities consists primarily in creating sustained moments of intellectual intensity in the interaction between participants. In exploring the media constellations and the intellectual potential of collaborative online cultures, the project reflects on digital and analog tools for creating such intensity in the context of building a "Collaborative Humanities Research and Teaching Lab”.

Publications
  • Hermann, Adrian (Hg.) (2021): Experimente in der digitalen Lehre: Überlegungen und Modelle jenseits einer Defizitperspektive (Publiziert über bonndoc).
Project leader
Dr. Ying Huang

Prof. Dr. Maximilian Mayer

Information about the project
The initiative addresses the interactions and implications of the idea of digital sovereignty on the one hand, and the increasing fragmentation of cyberspace and Internet governance on the other.

Events
Teaching events
Further information

Prof. Dr. iur. Daniel Zimmer

Information about the project

The transdisciplinary research network 'Digitalization, Law and Economics' investigates legal and regulatory issues in the field of digitalization. 

Events
Publications
  • Zimmer, Daniel (Hg.), Regulierung für Algorithmen und Künstliche Intelligenz. Tagung an der Universität Bonn am 7. und 8. September 2020, Baden-Baden 2021 (Schriften der Wissenschaftlichen Vereinigung für das gesamte Regulierungsrecht; 5).
Project leader
Prof. Dr. Zed Adams, NSSR

Prof. Dr. Paul Kottman, NSSR

Staff
Alex Englander (WMA)

Jan Voosholz (WMA)

Information about the project
The Institute for Philosophy and the New Humanities convenes graduate students and distinguished scholars from The New School and the University of Bonn for intensive five-day seminars on pressing questions in contemporary philosophy and the humanities.

Events
Further information
Project leader
Prof. Dr. Huw Price (Cambridge, Dist. Em. Prof. Universität Bonn)
Dr. Stephen Cave (Cambridge)

Kanta Dihal (Cambridge)

Information about the project

The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge and the Center for Science and Thought at the University of Bonn currently employ various postdocs, who spend half of their time in Bonn and the other half in Cambridge, and who are working on joint research projects. The focus here lies mainly on programmes such as 'Kinds of Intelligence' (researching the concept of intelligence from a multidisciplinary perspective) and 'Philosophy and Ethics of AI' (connecting ethics of AI with meta-etchics, ontology and philosophy of science).

Events
Project leader

ehem.: Dr. Katharina Kaesling

Staff
Marie Bente John (SHK)

Luis Nussbauer (SHK)

Information about the project
The project attempts to define ethical and legal foundations for the development and regulation of so called Recommender Systems. Recommender Systems, e.g. Facebook News Feed Algorithm or Youtube Video Recommendation Algorithm, are software systems that quantify the interests of users for a given content in order to recommend precisely those items to the user that she is most likely to be interested in.

Events
Teaching events
Further information
Project leader

Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel
Dr. Julia Maria Mönig

Staff

Dr. Sergio Genovesi (WMA)

Information about the project

Further information will follow.

Teaching events
Further information
You can find more information here.

Reconciliation

More information to follow.

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© chenspec; Quelle: pixabay; bearb. v. Marvin Bongiovi

This profile area is strengthened with another Distinguished Emeritus Professorship: Moshe Zimmermann, Professor of Modern History at Hebrew University and Director of the Richard Koeben Center for German History, is closely associated with German historical scholarship and was recruited to support the profile area 'Reconciliation' in April 2022.

The TRA is additionally supported by Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Soeffner as a Senior Professor, who sustainably advances this profile area, e.g. supporting the ‘Forum for Reconciliation Research’, which will summaries all activities around the topic.

Projects of the profile area 'Reconciliation'

Prof. Dr. Christian Moser

Information about the project
Currently, the highly political question of social cohesion is being raised time and again: What ties us together beyond economic and legal relations? For attempts to think of sociality without utilitarian or normativist reductions, the French sociologist and ethnologist Marcel Mauss’s theorem of the gift is - so our hypothesis - still productive. For in the gift, economic, political, religious, moral and aesthetic dimensions come together. It thus stands at odds with the currently predominating view of society as a complex composed of fully differentiated and autonomous systems. With recourse to the gift it is possible 1) to make visible hidden crossconnections between the autonomous realms, 2) to conceptualize alliances as well as agonisms, to condcut 3) historical studies and 4) analyses of contemporary issues. Charis, Gift and Grace form a dynamic, historically versatile constellation of terms. They feed into the partial projects proceeding from diverse disciplines.

Events
Project leader
Miriam Dorlaß (SHK)

Julia Wesser (SHK)

Information about the project
Religious communities can affect social cohesion in powerful ways, but this influence is highly ambivalent. The project explores the concepts of the Enemy, Stranger, Neighbor, and Friend in religious peacemaking to observe how how the semantics of otherness are deployed and reinterpretated.

Events
Project leader
Prof. Dr. Matthias Weller, Mag. rer. publ.

Prof. Dr. Christoph Zuschlag

Für Tel Aviv: Prof. Dr. Leora Bilsky, Tel Aviv University

Staff
Antonetta Stephany (WMA)
Joëlle Corinne Warmbrunn (SHK)

Arthur Abs (SHK)

Information about the project
The restitution of Nazi looted art constitutes an unaccomplished desideratum of reconciliation occupying our as well as Israeli society. Meanwhile, this also affects Israeli museums, which increasingly aim at facing these challenges. To achieve this, research on the object histories (provenance research) is as vital as reaching agreements on just and fair solutions for the individual case at hand. For this purpose, certain rules have been developed. The process of formulating these rules, their application as well as their critical reception are supposed to be developed in dialogue form by Israeli and German students within a joint online lecture to be held by the faculties of law of the Hebrew University of Tel Aviv and the University of Bonn during the winter term 2021/22 as part of the respective general curricula. Corresponding formats of provenance research are expected to be devised subsequently.

Events Teaching events
Project leader

Information about the project
The aim of the project is to develop a theoretical concept of reconciliation that is suitable as a basis for empirical research. The starting point of the consideration is the understanding that practices of reconciliation are an indispensable component of define the concept of reconciliation and to outline it in an interdisciplinary way. To realise this, the project draws on sociological, theological, philosophical, legal, political and educational approaches.

Events

Teaching events

Sonstiges

Projektleitung
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schlie

Mitarbeiter*innen
Philip Pauen (WHK)
Neele Windelen (SHK)

Weitere Informationen zum Projekt folgen in Kürze.


Special grant program for research questions with a focus on social sciences, law, culture or the humanities related to the pandemic (COVID-Call 2021) 

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© chenspec; Quelle: pixabay; bearb. v. Marvin Bongiovi

The coronavirus pandemic has posed tremendous challenges extending beyond impact on health and our healthcare system to affect the law and political life in questions of freedom and democracy, but also culture, the media, the economy, education, family policy and employment – throwing open a trove of questions to be addressed through research.

A special program has been allocated to drive forward research into societal/social, legal and cultural impacts around the Covid-19 pandemic and related liberal arts research.

Further information on the special funding line.

The application form for the special funding line .

Projects of the special grant program 'Covid Call'

Project leader
Jun.- Prof Carmen Brandt

Staff
Eshita Binte Shirin Nazrul (WHK)

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Workshop (07.10.2022): ‚Undocumented Migrants in Europe and Their Access to COVID-19 Vaccination'

Project leader

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.

Dr. Laurence O`Hara

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.

Project leader
Dr. Johanna Hartung

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.

Prof. Dr. Adrian Hermann

Staff
Caitlin Blome (SHK)
Daria Denkov (WHF)
Milena Fuchs (WHF)
Paula Kuhn (WHK)

Lea Weigel (SHK)

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Project leader

Angelika Laumer

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.

Project leader
Dr. Julia Maria Mönig

Staff
Luis Nussbauer (SHK)

Evangelia Siopi (WHF)

Information about the project
The ways societies handled the COVID-19 pandemic from early 2020 on has shed light onto a topic that concerns us all: privacy in all its different meanings. We will undertake an interdisciplinary reconsideration of privacy, asking how we do want our society to look like based on what we saw, experienced and hopefully learned from the current present and recent past. The focal point of the research project is an interdisciplinary symposium on 'Rethinking Privacy after this Pandemic' on September 15 &16th 2022 at the University of Bonn.

Events
Further information

Dr. Lena Frischlich (Universität Münster)

Staff
Elorm Nick Ahialey-Mawusi (WHK)

Lani Mireya Jiménez (WHK)

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.

Project leader
Yvonne Scheit

Staff
Marcel Heinecke (WHF)

Lena Sevina Krzeminski (WHF)

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.

Project leader
Dr. Lisa Schlielicke

Staff
May Meret Bohan (WHF)
Philipp Ertz (WHF)

May Bohmann (WHF)

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.

PD Christoph Ernst

Staff
Lea Klingberg (WHF)

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.

Project leader
Dominik Suri

Staff
Gremary Antonieta Aza Mengoa (WHF)

Karen Yessenia López García (WHF)

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.

Project leader
Prof. Dr. Caja Thimm

Staff
Kathrin Simone Dupps (WHF)
Vimbai Cathrine Hühner (WHF)
Niklas Kärmer (SHK)
Lisa Melcher-Metzger (SHK)
Mariya Molodsha (SHK)
Joschua-Merlin Sachau (SHK)

Nicolas Wehner (SHK)

Information about the project
Further information will follow.

Events
Further information will follow.


Collaborative research projects with content related to TRA 4

TRA 4 members' prizes and awards

Selected Publications

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© Hintergrund: Hermann Traub; Quelle: pixabay

Hermann, Adrian (Hg.) (2021): Experimente in der digitalen Lehre: Überlegungen und Modelle jenseits einer Defizitperspektive (Publiziert über bonndoc).

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© Hintergrund: Hermann Traub; Quelle: pixabay

Schröter, Jens/Ernst, Christoph/Warnke, Martin (2021): »Quantum Computing and the Analog/Digital Distinction«, forthcoming in Grey Room (in print). Classical Digital Machines, New Analog Computers, or Future Post-Digital Media? Quantum Computing and the History of the Analog/Digital Distinction, Vortrag an der Univ. Luxemburg (Februar 2022).

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© Hintergrund: Hermann Traub; Quelle: pixabay

Zimmer, Daniel (Hg.), Regulierung für Algorithmen und Künstliche Intelligenz. Tagung an der Universität Bonn am 7. und 8. September 2020, Baden-Baden 2021 (Schriften der Wissenschaftlichen Vereinigung für das gesamte Regulierungsrecht; 5).


    Contact for further information

Johanna Tix

Manager of the TRA

Poppelsdorfer Allee 24

53115 Bonn

+49 171 33 160 47


More from the TRA 4 'Individuals, Insitutions and Societies'

About us

Learn more about goals and the organization of the transdisciplinary research area.

  Offers

Information on offers, funding opportunities and events of our TRA can be found here.

  Network

Here you can learn more about our network, our members and about our cooperation partners.

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