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Workshop, 13-14 July. Key Concepts in [?] Area Studies

| Module 5: Area Studies

The ScienceCampus Research Module “Towards Multi-Polar and Multi-Scalar Area Studies” invites you to join an online workshop discussing and debating recent developments in area studies. There will be an introductory session with module coordinators Birgit Bauridl and Natali Stegmann on 13 July, followed by two sessions the next day led by experts in the field, Katja Naumann (GWZO Leipzig) and Kerstin Schmidt (Eichstätt-Ingolstadt). Register via campus@europeamerica.de

To register for the workshop, please email campus@europeamerica.de Registered participants will receive the GRIPS enrolment key for access to the readings, as well as the Zoom invitation. Please register as soon as possible—to enable discussion, the number of participants will have to be limited.


The workshop primarily addresses PhD students, but also other members of the Leibniz ScienceCampus as well as UR and IOS PhD candidates in the humanities and interested colleagues. It aims at exploring the genesis and use of core concepts in area studies in different disciplines as well as in interdisciplinary contexts. The workshop will put particular emphasis on the exploration of recent research trends and (as the question mark in the title implies) potential new directions for area studies and their applicability for the LWC projects and area studies research more broadly. 


Monday, 13 July 2020, 2:00-4:00pm

Area Studies Whereto? A Discussion (Birgit Bauridl, Natali Stegmann)

This section invites participants to discuss the use of select key concepts and methods in different disciplines and in inter/multidisciplinary environments. We will explore approaches and perspectives as well as their potential and limitations for area studies in general and for the focus areas of the Leibniz ScienceCampus in particular.


Tuesday, 14 July, 2020, 10:00am-12:00

“Up Against the Wall”: Border Practices and Popular Culture(Kerstin Schmidt, U of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

In times of rising global economic disparity and increasing forced migration, contemporary nation states tend to respond with a proliferation of walls and an extension of border fortifications. In this workshop, we will set the U.S.-Mexico border center stage and frame our discussion of both the border space and the border practices it engenders by resorting to critical theories of space and place as well as by looking into the ways in which this particular border has been mediatized in popular culture. The immensely popular television series The Bridge: America (2013-14) figures as a rich resource – and our prime example – in discussing how both the border and knowledge of the border have been produced, invented, contested, and imagined as well as mediatized and distributed in a global entertainment network. Other examples to be included will come from art and performance culture, social work and community projects. While a plethora of theoretical approaches will feed into your discussion, Wendy Brown’s epochal Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (2010) as well as philosopher of place Edward S. Casey’s and Mary Watkins’s Up Against the Wall: Re-Imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border (2014) will serve as our main theoretical sources.


Tuesday, 14 July 2020, 01:00-3:00pm

Area Studies between Comparative and Transregional Approaches (Katja Naumann, Leipzig)

Area studies – a set of past and current knowledge orders and related practices – are under critical revision in several national academic systems for some time now. First, Cold-War-imprints were debated, especially in term of the research landscape in the US, which led to close considerations of how, by whom and for which purposes distinct areas and regions had been delineated. On these grounds, then, a whole range of new concepts was developed, which reflected the limitations of conventional area studies, and took inspiration from the spatial turn and globally oriented studies. Especially new comparative approaches receive full attention. We will take a closer look at their genesis and core assumptions, and discuss them vis-à-vis perspectives developed in the field of transregional studies. Knowing about the respective intellectual ambitions and methodological tools can help to situate the own research project in the current conceptual debates.