Guests / Visitors

The Zukunftskolleg is regularly enriched by researchers from partner Institutes for Advanced Study or other universities - to give lectures, hold workshops or to cooperate with our fellows within the several funding programmes offered by the Zukunftskolleg. Moreover, we are glad to welcome new and old Senior Fellows, Associated Fellows and Alumni that come (back) for a research stay - in accordance with our principle: "once a fellow, always a fellow".

Guests in the winter semester 2022/23

Peter Krapp (Senior Fellow / Dept. of Literature)

Peter Krapp (Dept. of Literature), University of California, Irvine, USA
Project: "The Internet as Museum of Computing"

Peter Krapp is a full professor of Film & Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also affiliated with Informatics, English, and Music. His research interests encompass cultural memory and the media history of games and simulations, the history of computing and secret communications, and aesthetic communication (title design, film music). See https://krapp.org

Contact: krapp@uci.edu
Fellow host: Eduardo Luersen

Constructive Advanced Thinking (CAT) group of Manuel Spitschan

Project:

"The impact of light on human health – Current perspectives"

Group members:

Laura Kervezee, Leiden University (Netherlands)
Renske Lok, Stanford University (USA)
Elise McGlashan, Monash University (Australia)
Raymond Najjar, National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Manuel Spitschan, Technical University of Munich (Germany)

Constructive Advanced Thinking (CAT) group of Damian Blasi

Project:

"Challenges for the development of fair language-based assessments of health, education, behavior, and beyond"

Group members:

Damian Blasi (PI – Harvard University, USA – Max Plank Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany)
Joseph P. Dexter (Harvard University, USA)
Amber Gayle Thalmayer (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Camila Scaff (University of Zurich, Switzerland) and
Adolfo Martin Garcia (University of Santiago of Chile, Chile)

 

Recent guests in the summer semester 2022

Nathaniel Dominy (Senior Fellow / Dept. of Anthropology)

Nathaniel Dominy (Dept. of Anthropology), Dartmouth College, USA
Project: "Using primate population genetics to map ancient trade routes"

Nathaniel Dominy is an anthropologist and evolutionary biologist. He studies the behaviour, ecology and functional morphology of humans and nonhuman primates. His research philosophy is to integrate tropical fieldwork with mechanical, molecular, and isotopic analyses in order to better understand how and why adaptive shifts occurred during primate evolution.

Contact: nathaniel.j.dominy@dartmouth.edu
Fellow host: Gisela Kopp

Alexander Etkind (Senior Fellow / Dept. of History)

Alexander Etkind (Dept. of History), European University Institute, Florence, Italy
Project: "Surviving the Anthropocene: The Political Economy of Coloniality of Virtual Space"

In his most recent book, the 2021 "Nature’s Evil: A Cultural History of Natural Resource", Alexander Etkind examines the history of extracting and trading resources. He discusses also the perspectives of humanity facing climate catastrophe. In his analysis of state and economic power, Etkind argues that it is not the powerful who control the resources, but the resources that control the powerful. This is a key in his discussion of climate change. Beyond his work on Russia and the theory of memory, Prof. Etkind´s work responds to many of the research interests at the Zukunftskolleg, and particularly to the theme of sustainability. Discussing the vision for his time at the Zukunftskolleg, Alexander Etkind outlined his plan to develop a thread that came from this research into a new project. The theme is virtual space as a resource, testing his key tenets from his self-colonization book with the discussion of political economy of resources, and exploring the relationship between digital space and survival in the age of the Anthropocene.

Contact: Alexander.Etkind@EUI.eu
Fellow host: Gruia Badescu

James Higham (Senior Fellow / Dept. of Anthropology)

James Higham (Dept. of Anthropology), New York University, USA
Project: "Expanding baboon studies in Konstanz via new collaborations"

James Higham is an internationally-leading academic, whose research aims to understand the evolution and maintenance of diversity among primates. His research is focused on understanding how sexual selection and other evolutionary processes act on multiple interacting aspects of primate biology to generate and maintain phenotypic variation, both within and between species. His work sits at the intersection of social behavior and biology, communication and sensory ecology, and cognition and the brain. He takes a broad multidisciplinary approach, linking variation in phenotypes such as soft and hard tissues, and behavior, to evolutionary fitness, while assessing underlying mechanisms via endocrinology and immunology, and increasingly, aspects of the omics (genomics - the study of the genome; transcriptomics - the study of transcribed gene products; and metabolomics - the study of the downstream metabolic products of biological systems).

Contact: jhigham@nyu.edu
Fellow host: Gisela Kopp

Eric Lott (Senior Fellow / Dept. of Literature)

Eric Lott (English and American Studies), City University New York Graduate Center, USA
Project: "If Hooks Could Kill: Urban Soundscapes; and Marx in Texas: Slavery, Capital, and the "Revolutionary Turn"

Eric Lott is seen as a towering figure in the field of American Studies: his work "Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class" has become a touchstone for recent generations of scholars on matters of popular culture, race and class in the nineteenth-century United States, music and performance, and archival methodologies.

Contact: elott@gc.cuny.edu
Fellow host: Jacob Bloomfield

Amanda Melin (Senior Fellow / Dept. of Biological Anthropology)

Amanda Melin (Dept. of Biological Anthropology), University of Calgary, Canada
Project: "Enhancing methods and theory in primate genomics and foraging decisions"

Amanda Melin is nationally and internationally recognized for her research on primate genomics, sensory biology, and behavioural ecology. She addresses key areas of debate concerning the adaptation and evolution of primates by creatively uniting comparative genomics and field study of wild, longitudinally tracked individuals. Notably, she is developing novel methods that are revolutionizing non-invasive DNA and RNA collection from wild animals. Her research improves understanding trait evolution in a highly radiational and variable order of mammals, and contributes to conservation biology by revealing how primates cope with changing environments through dietary and behavioural plasticity, and symbiosis with microbial communities. Amanda Melin's approach to science is highly collaborative and she is involved in several international collaborations, including playing a leading role in a consortium on capuchin genomics that includes faculty and trainees from institutions in Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Contact: amanda.melin@ucalgary.ca
Fellow host: Gisela Kopp

Ekaterina Mikhailova (Research Visit Fellow / Dept. of Politics and Public Administration)

Ekaterina Mikhailova (Politics and Public Administration), Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland
Research project: "European Border Twin Cities under Strain of Migration before and during COVID-19: Responses by Civil Society and Political Actors"

The project will survey attitudes to migration among NGOs and political actors of twin cities in Europe. Local political actors, on the one hand, appeal to their
electorate and, on the other hand, to higher level politicians and to a lesser extent address migrants themselves. NGOs, on the contrary, primarily target migrants – both transient flows and those who settled down locally – and the receiving community. Finally, more often than not there is a dialogue between NGOs and political actors involved in migrant processing and integration that influences collective narratives portraying migrants either as a local hazard or a resource.
Two twin city pairs – Nikel and Kirkenes on the Russian-Norwegian border and Konstanz-Kreuzlingen on the German-Swiss border – have been selected for comparative analysis of their capacity of and experience in migrant processing and integration before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the findings will be discussed in the context of the fear of competition for scarce welfare resources.

Contact: Ekaterina.Mikhailova@unige.ch
Local host: Nihan Toprakkiran

Graham Underwood (Senior Fellow / Dept. of Biology)

Graham Underwood (Dept. of Biology), School of Life Sciences, University of Essex, UK
Project: "Investigating the role of light and endogenous rhythms on the motility behaviour of benthic diatoms"

Graham Underwood's specialism is microbial biogeochemistry, particularly the interaction between microbial activity and the external environment (dissolved organic matter, inorganic nutrients, spatial and temporal variability), the physiology of diatom biofilms, and their associated bacterial assemblages. During his Senior Fellowship, Graham Underwood will collaborate with Bernard Lepetit and his team to investigate the factors regulating diatom motility behaviours, addressing questions concerning the links to photosynthesis, circadian rhythms and genetic controls. This work will contribute to an unresolved debate, ongoing since Perkins (1960) about what are the key controls of diatoms rhythmic motility, and also addresses deeper questions about how individual behaviours contribute to population-level responses, how microscale actions influence macroscale ecological functioning, and the extent to which behaviours are controlled by gene activity.

Contact: gjcu@essex.ac.uk
Fellow host: Bernard Lepetit

Paula Tesche (Research Visit Fellow / Dept. of Literature & Linguistics)

Paula Tesche (Literature & Linguistics), Austral University of Chile
Research project: "Memories of the resistance to the catastrophe in the city of Concepción, Chile"

The macro objective of this project is to reevaluate the socio-political catastrophe of the military coup (1973) and the dictatorship (1973 - 1990) in Chile from the vantage point of the present by examining the transmission and memory of these acts 50 years after it occurred . The focus is the urban memory of these events through this study of the places of memory in the city of Concepción, Biobío region, Chile, thus embracing a regional approach (Cavieres, 2006) of the memories of the political resistance (Tesche, González, 2019b).

Contact: paula.tesche@unab.cl
Local host: Gruia Badescu

Babu Thaliath (Senior Fellow / Dept. of Philosophy)

Babu Thaliath (Dept. of Philosophy), School of Language, Literature & Culture Studies, Centre of German Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Project: "The Historicity of Axioms. The historicising effect of mathematical formalism on the axiomatisation of early modern sciences."

Babu Thaliath's current research mainly examines the historical influence of the mathematical formalism on the axiomatisation or axiomatic development of early modern mathematical sciences, especially mechanics. The theoretical framework of the research is based on identifying and studying the complementarities between the otherwise historically and theoretically opposed formalism of Hilbert and Kant's intuitionism. This requires an extensive investigation of the genesis and development of synthetic and analytic approaches in the axiomatisation of mathematics, particularly geometry, in the modern age. From his previous postdoctoral research in Berlin and Cambridge, Babu Thaliath is familiar with the synthetic framework of the historic axiomatisation of early modern mathematical sciences. However he yet has to procure sufficient knowledge of the analytical frameworks of axiomatics, as is particularly evident in the context of logical empiricism in the 20th century, represented in the works of Rudolf Carnap, Herbert Feigl, Hans Reichenbach, Moritz Schlick, Otto Neurath, Carl G. Hempel, W.V.O. Quine, Kurt Gödel et al. The seminal works of these philosophers are available in the Philosophical Archive of the University of Konstanz. Therefore, the Senior Fellowship enables Babu Thaliath to find the necessary materials for his research in the archive, university library and the seminar libraries in Konstanz. Moreover, the research collaboration with Carolin Antos-Kuby will give him an adequate opportunity to become more familiar with the interdisciplinary research at the Zukunftskolleg - between philosophy and mathematics with regard to its theoretical-axiomatic foundations and their historical development.

Contact: babu.thaliath9@gmail.com
Fellow host: Carolin Antos-Kuby

Guests in the winter semester 2021/22

Mirjam Lücking (Research Visit Fellow / Social Anthropology)

Mirjam Lücking (Social Anthropology), Martin Buber Society of Fellows, Israel
Research project: "Going West: New cosmopolitan religious identities in Muslim and Christian package tourism from Indonesia to Israel and Palestine"

During the research visit to Konstanz, I aim at a further development of the concept ‘religious cosmopolitanism’ in South-South international tourism. The ambivalent post-colonial relationship between countries of the Global South and countries of the Global North appears to be a crucial feature in new cosmopolitan and modern religious identities. The fact that my case study focuses on South-South tourism does not ignore the persisting importance of the ‘West’ as a reference point – and indeed in some cases, from the Asian perspective, a fusion of Western and Middle Eastern reference points, as the working title ‘Going West’ suggests. This assumption shall be discussed with Gruia Bădescu who researches how imaginaries of Western modernity and cosmopolitanism play out in urban imaginaries and geographies in post-colonial societies (see Bădescu 2020). Furthermore, other Konstanz-based researchers also have expertise on conflations of modernity and religious identities in post-colonial societies, for instance Thomas Kirsch or Jon Schubert. The further understanding of cosmopolitan and modern religious identities shall eventually become the analytical core of the ‘Habilitation’, or book project. An outcome of the research visit shall be a draft of a theory chapter for the ‘Habilitation’ and an idea for a possible co-authored paper with Gruia Bădescu.

Contact: mirjam.lucking@mail.huji.ac.il
Local host: Gruia Badescu

Graham Underwood (Senior Fellow / Dept. of Biology)

Graham Underwood (Dept. of Biology), School of Life Sciences, University of Essex, UK
Project: "Investigating the role of light and endogenous rhythms on the motility behaviour of benthic diatoms"

Graham Underwood's specialism is microbial biogeochemistry, particularly the interaction between microbial activity and the external environment (dissolved organic matter, inorganic nutrients, spatial and temporal variability), the physiology of diatom biofilms, and their associated bacterial assemblages. During his Senior Fellowship, Graham Underwood will collaborate with Bernard Lepetit and his team to investigate the factors regulating diatom motility behaviours, addressing questions concerning the links to photosynthesis, circadian rhythms and genetic controls. This work will contribute to an unresolved debate, ongoing since Perkins (1960) about what are the key controls of diatoms rhythmic motility, and also addresses deeper questions about how individual behaviours contribute to population-level responses, how microscale actions influence macroscale ecological functioning, and the extent to which behaviours are controlled by gene activity.

Contact: gjcu@essex.ac.uk
Fellow host: Bernard Lepetit

Babu Thaliath ( Senior Fellow / Dept. of Philosophy)

Babu Thaliath (Dept. of Philosophy), School of Language, Literature & Culture Studies, Centre of German Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Project: "The Historicity of Axioms. The historicising effect of mathematical formalism on the axiomatisation of early modern sciences."

Babu Thaliath's current research mainly examines the historical influence of the mathematical formalism on the axiomatisation or axiomatic development of early modern mathematical sciences, especially mechanics. The theoretical framework of the research is based on identifying and studying the complementarities between the otherwise historically and theoretically opposed formalism of Hilbert and Kant's intuitionism. This requires an extensive investigation of the genesis and development of synthetic and analytic approaches in the axiomatisation of mathematics, particularly geometry, in the modern age. From his previous postdoctoral research in Berlin and Cambridge, Babu Thaliath is familiar with the synthetic framework of the historic axiomatisation of early modern mathematical sciences. However he yet has to procure sufficient knowledge of the analytical frameworks of axiomatics, as is particularly evident in the context of logical empiricism in the 20th century, represented in the works of Rudolf Carnap, Herbert Feigl, Hans Reichenbach, Moritz Schlick, Otto Neurath, Carl G. Hempel, W.V.O. Quine, Kurt Gödel et al. The seminal works of these philosophers are available in the Philosophical Archive of the University of Konstanz. Therefore, the Senior Fellowship enables Babu Thaliath to find the necessary materials for his research in the archive, university library and the seminar libraries in Konstanz. Moreover, the research collaboration with Carolin Antos-Kuby will give him an adequate opportunity to become more familiar with the interdisciplinary research at the Zukunftskolleg - between philosophy and mathematics with regard to its theoretical-axiomatic foundations and their historical development.

Contact: babu.thaliath9@gmail.com
Fellow host: Carolin Antos-Kuby

María Cruz Berrocal (Associated Fellow / Dept. of History and Sociology)

María Cruz Berrocal (Dept. of History and Sociology),
Research project: "The Study of Early Colonialism in the Pacific: Archaeology in Small Islands, History of Global Processes":

The project investigates the consequences of the first European contact for local peoples in the Western Pacific in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the year 1616, two Dutch navigators, Jacob Le Maire and Guillaume Schouten, boarded the island of Futuna and its diminutive neighbour Alofi. According to Schouten’s log, the sailors stayed there from the 21st to the 31st of May, before departing to continue on their journey. He describes two densely populated islands, and underlines the presence of a king and his followers on Alofi. Little more than two centuries later, in 1837, the French missionary and soon-to-be martyr Pierre Chanel set foot on the island. At that time, the number of inhabitants was drastically low, and Alofi was totally deserted.
What happened between these two visits? Could the pathogens introduced by the Europeans have decimated Futuna and Alofi’s people? The purpose of this project is to solve these questions.


Contact: maria.cruz-berrocal@uni-konstanz.de

Hari Sridhar (Artist in Residence / Dept. of Biology)

Hari Sridhar (Dept. of Biology), National Centre for Biological Sciences, in Bangalore, India
Project: Naeem revisits Naeem et al. 1994: Reading between the lines of a scientific paper

During his time at the Zukunftskolleg, Hari Sridhar will work towards finishing a book manuscript based on his interviews of authors of classic papers (commissioned by Cambridge University Press) and creating a digital exhibition of scientific papers annotated with material from the interviews. He would also like to use this time to write a long-form essay on the role of serendipity and chance events in science, illustrated with examples from his interviews.

Contact: harisridhar1982@gmail.com
Fellow host: Gisela Kopp

Guests in the summer semester 2021

Sabine El Chamaa (filmmaker), Lebanon

Sabine El Chamaa (filmmaker), Lebanon
Intersectoral cooperative project with Gruia Badescu (Research Fellow / Dept. of History and Sociology): "Beirut-Sarajevo Intersections"
Sarajevo´s 1992-1996 siege and Beirut´s experience in the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990; continued by wars waged from abroad after 2000) - while echoing each other in terms of destruction and trauma inflicted on residents - are remembered differently: an obsession with memory in Sarajevo and an enforced amnesia in Beirut. The correspondence between the two urban spaces and the contrast between their memory cultures has been a feature of Gruia Badecus´s research. The question of experiencing the two cities and embodying experience and memory has also featured prominently in the thought of Sabine El Chamaa.
The common project thus aims to explore through different visual media the research done and move it forward towards a new form of expression that would be experienced by various publics.
The goal is to set up a visual project, which will account to an exhibit-installation, including films and photographic media on the two cities. The project will examine how the trajectories of these cities intersect, and interrogate whether and how their urban histories, memories, and imaginaries mirror each other. The medium of film and of other visual media will also bring an experimental edge and move beyond the horizons Gruia Badescu usually explores in an academic fashion. The aim is to produce a constellation of visual media-film, collage, photos, expressing both research as well as creative engagements with the material.

Sabine El Chamaa is a Lebanese filmmaker. She was born and raised in Beirut. Following her undergraduate studies in Communication Arts, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue film studies, and worked as an editor in the US and in Europe before moving back to Beirut. She holds an MFA from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, and a PhD by practice from Goldsmiths University of London (UK). Sabine’s recent projects include photographic and video installations that question the ongoing reconstruction of memory in relation to personal archival images. Sabine currently lives and works in Beirut.

Contact: s.elchamaa@gmail.com
Local host: Gruia Badescu

Giora Hon (Senior Fellow / Dept. of Philosophy)

Giora Hon (Dept. of Philosophy), University of Haifa, Israel
His research at the Zukunftskolleg focuses on the issue of “confidence”: “Against all odds: Commitment and confidence in the practice of physics” (Giora Hon and Bernard R. Goldstein).
“On what grounds does a scientist persuade himself or herself that pursuing a particular line of research is likely to be productive? This is a critical decision that tends to have long term implications for the career of a scientist, for better or worse”, explains Giora Hon. “In this paper we appeal to history of science as a resource for characterizing the concept of ‘confidence’.”
His paper, coauthored with Bernard R. Goldstein, entitled “Maxwell’s Role in Turning the Concept of Model into the Methodology of Modeling” will be published shortly with “Studies in History and Philosophy of Science”.
Giora has also become a member (by nomination) of the “Academia Europaea and European Academy of Sciences”.

More information on Giora Hon: https://haifa.academia.edu/GioraHon
Contact: hon@research.haifa.ac.il

Iulia Dumitrache (Research Visit Fellow / Dept. of History)

Iulia Dumitrache (Dept. of History), “Al. I. Cuza” University of Iasi, Romania
Research project: "Far/Away from Home: Patterns of Mobility for the Roman Military Personnel in Moesia Inferior and Germania Superior":
The ground-breaking objective is to identify and characterise possible patterns of military mobility from and to the Roman provinces of Moesia Inferior and Germania Superior in the first 3 centuries AD, following three main coordinates: moment of recruitment, the service under arms, and the retirement. The reason for which the project theme is set on the background of the two distant Roman provinces, Germania Superior and Moesia Inferior, is that the similarities and peculiarities make them perfect candidates. They were both strongly militarized provinces on the Roman limes and have a fair share of individual attestations for military personnel or persons with a military background. At the same time, veteran communities are attested in both provinces and recruitment patterns were at the centre of military studies for quite some time. Based on these similarities and considering the nature of the theme, working on the relation and comparison between the two provinces is a promising idea.

Contact: iulia.dumitrache@uaic.ro
Local host: Ulrich Gotter

Sergiu Sava (Research Visit Fellow / Dept. of Philosophy)

Sergiu Sava (Dept. of Philosophy), “Al. I. Cuza” University of Iasi, Romania
Research project: "Collective Intentionality, Counter-Intentionality: Analytic Philosophy, Phenomenology"
The general framework of my research project is the interaction between analytic philosophy and phenomenology. Though scarce in the past century, this interaction has intensified and become fruitful in the last two decades. It revolves mostly around topics such as consciousness and self-consciousness, naturalism and the extent to which phenomenological investigations could be naturalized, embodiment, affectivity, or sociality. A central part in both the analytic and phenomenological investigations of these topics is played by intentionality, understood, for instance, as more primitive than or complementary to consciousness, as essentially tied up to embodiment, affectivity, and sociality. It is by recovering and bringing up to date the resources of the Husserlian or Heideggerian approaches to intentionality that some phenomenologists, such as Dan Zahavi, bring their contribution to the interaction with analytic philosophy; it is, at the same time, by rejecting intentionality, understood as restrictive meaningbestowal activity of the subject, and thus as insufficient and inoperative in addressing certain phenomena – such as the face of the other, the work of art, or the historical events – that a phenomenologist like Jean-Luc Marion does not take part actively in the interaction with analytic philosophy.

Contact: sergiu_sava@yahoo.com
Local host: Peter Stemmer

Anna Sagana (CAT group / Dept. of Psychology)

Anna Sagana, Assistant Professor in Legal and Criminological Psychology at Maastricht University (the Netherlands), works in the field of decision-making in relation to judicial decision and eyewitness identifications. She has published numerous articles on eyewitness identification and cognitive biases in legal domain in a range of legal psychology journals including Behavioural Science and the Law, Applied Cognitive Psychology, and Legal and Criminological Psychology. Recently Dr. Sagana edited a special issue on the “Psychology or Forensic Evidence” for the Zeitschrift fur Psychologie.
The University of Maastricht, that Anna Sagana is affiliated with, is closely linked with the University of Konstanz via the YERUN network, bringing together seventeen young research universities from different parts of Europe that have decided to collaborate in order to shape the European Higher Education and Research Area jointly. Talent development is one of the focus areas of the New YERUN Strategy 2021-2025 that has been published recently.

Contact: anna.sagana@maastrichtuniversity.nl
Local host: Cornelia Klocker

Gabriele Chlevickaite (CAT group / Criminologist)

Gabriele Chlevickaite is a Criminologist and PhD candidate at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (the Netherlands). She has been working at the Investigations Division of the ICC OTP in the capacity of assistant analyst before she was awarded the NWO Research Talent grant and moved to Vrije Universiteit for her PhD. Her current work focuses on the credibility and reliability assessments of insider witnesses in international criminal courts and tribunals.

Contact: GChlevickaite@nscr.nl
Local host: Cornelia Klocker

Nikolaos Aletras (CAT group / Dept. of Linguistics)

Nikolaos Aletras is a Lecturer in Natural Language Processing in the Computer Science Department of the University of Sheffield (UK), co-affiliated with the Machine Learning (ML) group. His research is in applying statistical methods for detecting and interpreting the underlying topics in large volumes of text data and develops text analysis methods to solve problems in other scientific areas such as social and legal science. Dr. Aletras has gained industrial experience working as a scientist at Amazon (Amazon Research Cambridge and Alexa) and he was a research associate at UCL, Department of Computer Science, Media Futures Group.

Contact: n.aletras@sheffield.ac.uk
Local host: Cornelia Klocker