The Zukunftskolleg experienced a premiere on 12 January 2010. It was able to welcome a Dual Career Couple as Senior Fellows. PD Dr. Sabine von Heusinger is an historian at the Institute for History, University of Mannheim, while her husband, Prof. Dr. Klaus von Heusinger, is Professor and Chair of German and General Linguistics at the University of Stuttgart. They will work together at the Zukunftskolleg on a new joint project studying the constitution of social groups. The interdisciplinary research project aims to examine the relationship between social structures in an historic context and forms of linguistic expression used for defining social groups.
Recent years have seen Sabine von Heusinger focus her research priority on the guilds in Strasbourg. In a comprehensive monograph, she redefined the guilds with an analysis of more than 4000 guild members, who were found in the sources and have been entered into a database. The winner of the 2009 opus-magnum Award, Klaus von Heusinger, is an expert on the foundation of general linguistics and semantics, particularly nominal phrase semantics. In more recent research, he focuses on the semantics of proper nouns in their various manifestations.
"The project aims to look for interdisciplinary cooperation in various forms", says Klaus von Heusinger. Hence, the two alumni of the University of Konstanz not only want to collaborate with historians and linguists, but also with sociologists and computer scientists, with literary scholars and philosophers at the University of Konstanz, as well as with researchers from outside. Intensive project interaction is planned with various Fellows from the Zukunftskolleg.
The initiative to nominate the research couple for the Zukunftskolleg Award and the associated Senior Fellowship was taken by Prof. em. Dr. Gerhart von Graevenitz, who headed the Zukunftskolleg as its Director until September 2009.