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Winter 2007/08

Di. 22.1.2008: Jutta Schwarzkopf: "Freddy Pile's Popsies: The Gender Dynamics of Mixed Anti-Aircraft Batteries in Britain in the Second World War."=

Die erste Veranstaltung in der neuen Serie wird von Jutta Schwarzkopf bestritten werden mit einem Vortrag aus ihrem gegenwärtigen größeren Projekt zu Frauen in britischen Luftabwehrbatterien:

"Freddy Pile's Popsies: The Gender Dynamics of Mixed Anti-Aircraft Batteries in Britain in the Second World War."

Sommer 2008

Do., 10.4.2008: Cornelia Hamann/ Birger Kollmeier, Sprachverstehen im fluktuierenden Störschall

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Hamann, Institut für Fremdsprachenphilologien und Prof. Dr. Birger Kollmeier, Institut für Physik sprechen zu Sprachverstehen im fluktuierenden Störschall.

Di., 29.4.2008: Eva Ogiermann, "Universal Speech Acts? Theory vs. Practice"

Eva Ogiermann, Universität Oldenburg:

This presentation discusses the extent to which speech acts have been regarded as, and shown to be, universal in previous as well as my own research. I will begin with early pragmatic theory by looking at how speech acts have been portrayed in the writings of Austin, Searle and Grice.
The main part of the talk, however, will be concerned with empirical speech act research, inspired by Brown and Levinson’s Politeness Theory. Their claims to universality will be critically discussed in the light of data collected in four languages - English, German, Polish and Russian. The focus will be on a speech act that does not conform to the correlation between indirectness and politeness characterising Anglo-Saxon politeness norms and underlying their theory, namely that of apologising.

Do., 22.5.2008: Stefanie Gropper / Ingrid Hotz-Davies: "Exzentrische Positionierungen"

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Gropper und Prof. Dr. Ingrid Hotz-Davies, Universität Tübingen:

Exzentrik und Exzentrizität – und bereits das ist eine Unterscheidung, die wir einführen werden – ist eine bisher überraschend wenig erforschte oder verstandene Befindlichkeit. In der Tat: bereits die Annahme, es sei ein Befindlichkeit – und wenn ja: in wessen Augen? – ist eine Annahme, die nicht selbstverständlich ist und die zu diskutieren wäre. Denn wir haben es mit einem sehr schwierigen Phänomen zu tun, das in der bisherigen Forschung (sofern es sie gibt) gerne allzu vorschnell und nicht weiter hinterfragt in bestehende Wissenskonventionen eingeordnet, ihnen untergeordnet wird noch bevor auch nur die Grenzen und Möglichkeiten des Gegenstands angemessen befragt wurden. Angesichts dieses Befunds haben wir uns zusammengetan und angefangen, das Phänomen der Exzentrizität/Exzentrik auch mit einem neuen Verfahren der Zusammenarbeit auszuloten, immer von der Annahme geleitet, dass wir nicht tatsächlich wissen – und beim derzeitigen Diskussionsstand wissen können –, was unser Forschungsgegenstand ist und wie er funktioniert.
Man muss sich also mit dem Gedanken anfreunden, dass im Gravitationsfeld der Exzentrik andere Bedingungen herrschen als die, die wir gewöhnt sind: dass man damit auch andere und im Verhältnis zu den etablierten Mechanismen der wissenschaftlichen Projektanbahnung ‚exzentrische’ Wege finden muss, um sich diesem Thema zu nähern – jenseits der Hierarchien der ‚Federführung’ (und ‚Federgeführtheit’).
Unser Vortrag verfolgt daher zwei Ziele: Zum einen wollen wir einen Teil dessen, was wir bisher über die Exzentrik und Exzentrizität herausgearbeitet haben, mit anderen teilen; zum anderen wollen wir aber auch unser eigenes Herangehen offen legen und zur Diskussion stellen, auch in der Hoffnung, dass andere von uns lernen können, sich etwas von uns ‚leihen’ können, oder auch beschließen können, es so jedenfalls nicht machen zu wollen.

Di., 10.6.2008: Manuela Schönenberger, "Article use by native speakers of Russian in L2 and L3 English"

Dr. Manuela Schönenberger:

The core concept in Chomsky's Principles and Parameters theory is Universal Grammar (UG), which consists of principles and parameters. While principles are invariant (universal), parameters are variable (language specific) and are set during the process of language acquisition. In applying this theory to Second Language Acquisition there are two immediate questions to address: Do learners of a foreign language still have access to UG after they have acquired their first language (mother tongue)? And is there transfer between languages, e.g. from one's mother tongue to a 2nd language, or from a 2nd language to a 3rd? Our study investigates article use in English by native speakers of Russian–which does not have any articles–and compares Russians whose 2nd language is English (L2) with Russians who have learned German (L2) before learning English (L3). We examine the article-choice parameter proposed by Ionin and colleagues (2003, 2004, 2006, 2008). Articles are assumed to be set according to either definiteness (e.g. English, German) or specificity (e.g. Samoan). In Ionin et al.'s studies, carried out in the United States, article misuse is common in the L2 English of Russians, while in our data article omission is predominant and article misuse is hardly attested at all. Moreover, article omission is much more pronounced in the group of Russian speakers with L2 English than in that with L3 English. Furthermore there is some evidence for transfer of German word order in the latter group.

Di., 24.6.2008: Nadja Gernalzick: "Planetarity in Literature and Literary Studies"

Prof. Dr. Nadja Gernalzick, Universität Oldenburg:

In the past 10 years, the planet has been theorized anew in American literary and cultural studies. Generally, this recent interest in the planet is part of reconsiderations of the meaning of world literature and of what global literary and cultural studies might be within American Studies or Comparative Literature and Culture after the Cold War. This paper traces the main – albeit conflicting – strains of "planet thought" (Spivak) in works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Wai Chee Dimock, relates them to relevant views of the planet by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Friedrich Nietzsche, and proposes the use of the concept of the Copernican planet in the analysis of narrative perspective in the novels Anil's Ghost (2000) by Michael Ondaatje and Everyman (2006) by Philip Roth. Suggested Reading: chapter "Planetarity" in Gayatri C. Spivak's Death of a Discipline (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003).

Mo., 30.6.2008, 19:00: Jakob Dittmar, "Alternative worlds in computer games: utopias, dystopias, or what?"

Jakob Dittmar, TU Berlin:

Computer games offer active participation in alternative societies and worlds. Some are constructive, some destructive, some highly competitive, and some all about socializing.
When looking at computer games as utopias/dystopias we can describe them as imagined communities that are engaged in processes of nation building, for example. We will look at gamers in “our” world and avatars in the specific worlds of their own...

Di., 1.7.2008: Georgiana Banita , "Emerson's Planetary Ethics"

Georgiana Banita M.A., Universität Konstanz:

In her recent book Through Other Continents: American Literature across Deep Time (2006) Wai Chee Dimock argues that “rather than being a discrete entity, American literature is better seen as a crisscrossing set of pathways, open-ended and ever multiplying, weaving in an out of other geographies, other languages and cultures.” However, despite her injunction to inclusion and planetarity, Dimock maintains the concept of national literature as a heuristic for her study. This talk investigates the implications of this tension between national and global concerns by considering the pioneering comparative work of Emerson, with a focus on his literary ethics. I aim to show that planetarity – while part of a modernist theoretical discourse – goes back to the incipient colonial rhetoric of Transcendentalism and retains many of its problems until today.
From his relativizations of dogmatic, “historical” Christianity to his empathetic translations of Persian poetry, Emerson expressed a strong interest in the transnationality of culture and used his insights to anchor his own. Less obvious than this planetary openness, although equally important, is the extent to which this program contrasted with Emerson’s ethical precepts on the essential isolation of the intellectually-minded (especially in “Literary Ethics”). Emerson lived and wrote during the expansionist decades of an American empire-to-be struggling to extend its manifest destiny on a global scale. At the end of this process, it becomes necessary to reconsider how the movement towards what Paul Gilroy calls “planetary humanism” started out and what problems have plagued it from the beginning.
As a case in point, Emerson unveils the insufficiency of propounding a methodology of planetary ethics without supporting it with a strong foundation in individual solidarity and moral agency. To better grasp the potential of literary “worldling” as a process of ethical globalization, we need to look closely into the against-the-grain processes of estrangement and abjection, one of which has been the deeply-engrained transcendentalist doctrine of individualism and self-reliance. In light of this reconsideration, we can re-read Spivak and Dimock’s planetary critique and strengthen it with some useful objections.

Di., 1.7.2008: Thomas Wägenbaur, "Re-thinking the World: from Buckminster Fuller to the 'Global Brain'"

Prof. Dr. Thomas Wägenbaur, IU Bruchsal:

The basic paradox versions of the global have to face is “internal externality”, that is they view the world as if from outside, which clearly is impossible. On such epistemological grounds we can on the one hand discard all versions of the global, but on the other hand there is nothing else to do in order to understand our proper domain (earth, planet, world, globe etc.). The as if in the respective paradox has always been s.th. like the “poetic license” to imagine not only other worlds but our very own as it lies beyond our (immediate) grasp and from there – which could be called epistemological “outer space” or fantasy – humanity was able to think up models that later actually “worked” – or didn’t. We did so individually as well as collectively with mixed results depending on our degree of realism or idealism and our conceptual adaptability to the actual domain. (Let it be understood that “adaptability” includes both passive biological adaptation to our environment and active cultural adaptation of our environment to us. In this sense concepts were always already actions, especially when globalized.)
Starting out from Buckminster Fuller’s Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth I will scrutinize various versions of the global that are currently popular.