Chair for Social and Cultural Anthropology

Prof. Dr. Thomas G. Kirsch

In the disciplinary history of Social and Cultural Anthropology, there has been a momentous transformation when anthropologists' earlier focus on non-modern, non-Western societies increasingly shifted towards the study of post-colonial social formations involving mass media communication and complex connectivities.

At the University of Constance, Social and Cultural Anthropology is understood as a discipline at the intersection between the social sciences and the humanities that employs primarily qualitative metholdologies to explore varied ways of constituting sociality, culturality, "identity" and "alterity", in so doing, taking account of the contextual and conflictual nature of the sociocultural negotiations involved in these processes.

Professorship for Social and Political Anthropology

Prof. Dr. Judith Beyer

The research group Social and Political Anthropology specializes in political and legal anthropology. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork (with a focus on Central and Southeast Asia), our current research interests are the anthropology of the state, statelessness, practices of ordering, community, authority, (neo-)traditionalization, legal pluralism, constitutional politics and activism.

Chair for the History of Religions

Prof. Dr. Daniel König

The research foci of the Chair for the History of Religions are the Late antique and the early Christianization of Europa, the relations between the Latin-Christian Europe and the Arabic-Islamic Sphere, the social histories of linguistic entanglement between Latin and Arabic, the mutual documentation of the Latin-Christian and the Arabic-Islamic Sphere ("Images of the Other") as well as orientalism and occidentalism.

Chair for Cultural Theory and Methodology

Prof. Dr. Kirsten Mahlke

Professor Mahlke’s research in the area of cultural theory connects aspects of text theory with cultural theory and social theory. Her understanding of literature consistently counters the limitation of literature to self-sufficient language artistry as well as the isolation of culture from the fields of society and history. Instead, she focuses her attention on the reciprocal implications of these areas. The basic premise of Kirsten Mahlke's research describes literature as a form of social observation and self-description under other semiotic conditions and aesthetic spaces that has special media-related pre-requisites. Society, in return, is dependent upon aesthetic regimes and symbolic communication. Without the practices of cultural semiosis, which includes literature and the mediation instance and mythological resources it offers, no social construct can be established and stabilized from both the outside and within.

Professor of the History of Humanities
Professor Anne Kwaschik

How did knowledge of Africa or that originated in Africa come to Europe? How were notions of scarcity and crisis informed not only by material conditions, but also by scientific and intellectual currents? How did knowledge about social cohesion and humans living together come to be? In other words, how and in which forms did knowledge become the decisive basis for modern societies and their thinking about the future? The Konstanz branch of the history of knowledge understands the history of knowledge not to be a sub-discipline of history, but rather a perspective or an open historical horizon of questions. We explore the historical development of knowledge, its changing forms and conditions for production as well as the evolution of the social functions of knowledge. At the same time, our work pays particular attention on the historical moments and configurations in which knowledge and its characteristics are themselves the topic of discourse. One central topic, in the context of its comprehensive programme of research and teaching, is scientific research as a historical culture of knowledge with its own institutions, objects, semantics and practices. The Konstanz team focuses on the cultural, intellectual, environmental and global history from the 18th century to the 21st century. Its interest lies in the history of social epistemology and praxeology from a global perspective as well as in the intersection between knowledge, practice, and the natural world.