Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster: Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration

The Ph.D. Program "Cultures of Time"


The interdisciplinary doctoral program in “Cultures of Time” has supported 14 doctoral projects in history, literature, political science, sociology, and philosophy. On both thematic and diachronic levels, research into the forms of production and organization of temporality has been carried out here in a consciously complex manner. There has been considerable emphasis on both good supervision and timely completion of the individual projects, with thematic and methodological questions discussed within different working structures. A cooperatively produced anthology examining the theme of “attention” is in preparation.

Working structures

Since 2008, a continuous workshop has been held for intensive discussion of dissertation-chapters and organization with the program spokesman, the research coordinator, dissertation advisors, and regularly invited guests.
The participants have been engaged intensively with specialized international forums for writing and publication not solely due to the fact that some dissertations have been written in English and supervised by specialists from abroad.

Thematic focal points

2007: Study of essential sociological, philosophical, and historiographical texts considering cultural and structural aspects of temporality

2008: Workshop on “Temporal Regimes: Forms, Representations, and Vehicles[yes?] of Socio-Cultural Temporal Orders”

2008 – 2011: Different central themes per semester, with corresponding lectures, readings, and working sessions with external guests:


  • “Cultural Techniques of Time” (winter semester 2008)
  • “Practices of the Future: Utopia, Apocalypse, and Prognosis” (summer semester 2009)
  • “Forms of Presence” (winter semester 2009/10)
  • “Forms of Attention” (summer semester 2010)

About the topic Cultures of Time

The Ph.D. program focused on the cultural construction of time and on the cultural, social and political foundation and enforcement of temporal orders. Instead of assuming a static continuum of time, it looks at the different paradigms that produce meaningful or functional sequences and simultedneities.

In this way it worked out how procedures of sequencing and synchronization vary from culture to culture and from epoch to epoch. However, “Cultures of Time” are not only conditions under which temporal order is produced; they also encompass the factors contributing to their collapse or dissolution. Therefore, the precarious transitions between contingency and the formation of (temporal) orders were of particular importance.

The Ph.D. program “Cultures of Time” brought together lines of inquiry pursued by (at the moment) historians, literary scholars, sociologists, political scientists, philosophers.

Its thematic agenda was integrated into the research framework of the Center of Excellence and was designed to make the graduate students participate in and contribute to the Center’s research. “Cultures of Time“ studied the synchronic and diachronic organization of societies, functional systems and discourses as well as the way how individuals and groups establish their place in various competing temporal orders and between the past and the future. In this manner, it took up the issue of integration and disintegration from a temporal perspective.

Ph.D. Students

Katharina Baier
Wartezeiträume um 1900. Zeitstrukturen, Raum- und Machtordnungen im Zeichen des Transitären. Abstract

Julian Bauer
Imagining nature, man and culture: configurations of life and orders of things, ca. 1900–1930. Abstract

Michael Dengler
Zeit-Maschinen im Kirchenraum. Die Produktion sakraler Zeiten in Spätmittelalter und Früher Neuzeit. Abstract

Franz Leander Fillafer
Escaping the Enlightenment. The Persistency and Historicisation of the Enlightenment in the Nineteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy. Abstract

Daniela Fuhrmann
Konfigurationen der Zeit in spätmittelalterlicher Offenbarungsliteratur. Abstract

Hanna Göbel
Atmospheres of Converted Architecture: Technologies of aestheticizing buildings in re-use. Abstract

Kristina Kuhn
„Wir gewinnen im Kleinen, und verlieren im Großen.“ Literarisierung von Geschichtsphilosophie um 1800

Miriam Lay Brander
Raum-Zeiten. Erzählen und Zeigen im Sevilla der Frühen Neuzeit. Abstract

Gunnar Lenz
Das kulturelle Gedächtnis der Stalinzeit. Zeit- und Geschichtsvorstellungen in der Sowjetunion der 1930er und 1940er Jahre. Abstract

Thomas Malang
Time Regimes And Cultures of Time as Determinants of Public Attitudes Towards Political Change. Analyzing the European Integration Process Under a Temporal Perspective. Abstract

Christian H. Meier
Wandel und Beschleunigung. Zeitgefühl in Ägypten im späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert. Abstract

Leon Jesse Wansleben
‘Economists in-between’: The epistemic profile of macro-economic experts in the financial industry. Abstract

Gwendolyn Whittaker
In der Schule der Moderne. Epochenkommentare und Bildungsprozesse in der deutschsprachigen Schulliteratur zwischen 1880 und 1918. Abstract

Gunila Ariane Wittenberg
Existenz zwischen Erweckung und Endzeit. Zeitlogik, religiöse Praxis und Selbstverortung des Individuums in der Pfingstbewegung in Lateinamerika. Abstract


Prof. Dr. Jürgen Osterhammel

Second spokesperson

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Sprenger