Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

The Concept of Culture: Aesthetics and Politics in the Modern World

1. Juli 2010

Interdisziplinärer Workshop

As much as the modern world has been changed by processes connected to the advance of technological and economic modernization on the one hand and globalizing political processes on the other hand, the world’s transformations since the end of the Cold War have made it apparent that such social processes cannot be reduced to the workings of autonomous spheres of technological, economic, or political forces. Neither the progress of technology, nor the workings of the global economy, nor political structures can be considered independently of the cultural decisions that are imbedded in specific traditions, whether these are understood as religious frameworks, tribal structures, or nation-state systems.

This workshop will investigate the ways in which culture functions to either establish or to challenge a particular social order and the legal and political institutions that support it. If symbolic systems embedded in a culture form the overarching background for the establishment of human meaning, then culture’s ability to found and reproduce a value system must depend on processes that are specific to this sphere yet also establish the parameters for developmental processes in other spheres. As examples of both Islamic revolution and new forms of nationalism in former socialist countries demonstrate, the development of religion, in the former case, and of secular but national literary traditions, in the latter case, point to an intertwining of aesthetic, religious, and political processes in the modern world. Because they depend upon transformations in the popular consciousness, these processes can only be fully understood by analyzing the dynamics of both aesthetic and political representation.

The purpose of this workshop is to investigate

  1. the ways in which cultural forms develop according to their own independent mechanisms and
  2. how these cultural developments play a defining role in the unfolding of political and social processes.

1.-2. Juli 2010
Universität Konstanz,  F 425 (1. Juli) und IBZ II (2. Juli)


Marcus Twellmann marcus.twellmann[at]uni-konstanz.de