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Call for Fellowships in Hamburg 640 360 Nina Rismal

Call for Fellowships in Hamburg

Research Fellows – Call for Applications

The Humanities and Social Change International Foundation is looking to hire with immediate effect up to four Research Fellows to support the conceptual and practical development of its new Institute to be established in Hamburg in 2020. The main responsibility of the Fellows will be to create research proposals that link their own academic expertise with the Institute’s overarching objective to develop concrete, innovative concepts for alternative socio-political configurations. We are looking to hire Fellows with a specialisation in:

Successful candidates should have a doctoral degree and some postdoctoral working experience, either at a university, other public institutions or in the private sector. Besides expertise in their primary research field (e.g. Environment), candidates should demonstrate a strong interest in one of the other fields (e.g. Economics, Technology and Ethics).

The post are based in Hamburg, Germany. In the first instance, the positions will run for two years, from Spring 2019 to Spring 2021.

To apply send a CV, a cover letter, a research proposal, a written sample of academic work (up to 5,000 words) and 2 reference letters to

The closing date for accepting applications is 1 March 2019.

For more details about the positions and the application material see:

If you have other questions about the positions, please contact

Seminar with Jonathan Lear: Gettysburg Mourning 1003 816 Nina Rismal

Seminar with Jonathan Lear: Gettysburg Mourning

December 6, 2018 at 3 p.m.

Robertson Gymnasium 1000A

John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Philosophy; Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and society at the University of Chicago; and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Lear works primarily on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche from Scorates to the present. His publications include Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006) and, most recently, The Idea of a Philosophical Anthropology (2017) and Wisdom Won from Illness: Essays in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis (2017).

New book by Eva von Redecker 500 300 Nina Rismal

New book by Eva von Redecker

New book by Eva von Redecker

In August 2018, Eva von Redecker, the deputy director of the Berlin Center, published her new book entitled Praxis und Revolution: Eine Sozialtheorie radikalen Wandels. The book provides a philosophical study of the relation between practices of the everyday and large-scale political and social transformation. Under what conditions can interstitial changes assume revolutionary proportions? And which forces blocks their proliferation? Drawing on several literary case-studies, von Redecker promotes a revised concept of revolution as processual and metaleptic. In her social theory, subject and object of revolution blend into each other, as both are construed in the same register: as praxis.

The German edition of the book can be ordered at Campus Verlag or Amazon. An English translation of the book is under preparation.

Report – Summer Institute in Venice 500 300 Nina Rismal

Report – Summer Institute in Venice

Report: Summer Institute in Venice

Fact And Value In Public Life: Plural Cultures, Media, and the Academy Today

Venice, June 25th-29th, 2018

A first joined event of the four Centers for Humanities and Social Change took place in Venice from 25 to 29 June 2018, co-organised by the Venice and Santa-Barbara HSC Centers. In addition to scholars from these Centers, the Summer Institute was attended also by the representatives of the other two Centers based in Berlin and Cambridge, as well as of the Foundation, and by distinguished invited academics and journalists.

In the 5-day long series of seminars, discussions and accompanying cultural events, the members of respective Centers got the chance to closely familiarise themselves with each other’s academic work, to learn about distinct activities pursued by the Centers, and to establish firmer connections among them and with the Foundation.

The thematic focus of the event concerned the status of academy and media in today’s “post-truth” world, in which the value of both truth and facts seems to be disintegrating. The fellows from Santa Barbara approached this topic through close readings of an influential lecture, delivered 100 years ago by the German sociologist Max Weber, on the role of academy and science. In this lecture, Weber deliberated the value of scientific activities in the lieu of competing worldviews, diverse sets of cultural and religious beliefs and opposing political convictions. This pluralism in turn presented the backbone of much research pursued by the Venice scholars, as for example the work done by Luigi D’Amelia, a post-doctoral fellow at the Venice Center, on the topic of religious prejudice in the Middle Ages. The Venice scholars, however, approached the event’s theme also through other than primarily historical methodologies, including theoretical and field-work based. Another post-doctoral fellow from Venice, Marco Marrone, presented his research on new forms of worker exploitation and corresponding unionising and organising practices that are emerging in the growing business of outsourced food delivery.

The afternoons were assigned to talks given by the external scholars. Ananya Vajpeyi from the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi informed the participants about the current critical situation of the Indian public university system, over which the ruling Hindu nationalism is gaining increasing influence. Two other guest speakers, Stephen Russ-Mohl from the University in Lugano and Venice-based data scientist Walter Quattrociocchi, contributed to the Summer Institute’s theme through their examinations of the institutions of media and journalism. The two conjointly stressed the causal link between, on the one hand, the decline of traditional journalism, and on the other hand, the spread of disinformation, false facts and fake news. Quattrociocchi further argued that contrary to the common conviction, debunking is not an effective strategy to combat such wrong information, while Russ-Mohl called for increasing public visibility of scientists as one possible remedy of this trend.

Caroline Levine, a literary scholar from Cornell University, held one of the final lectures, engaging specifically with the value of humanities in today’s academic research. Tackling one of the key question that lie at the core of Humanities and Social Change Foundation’s mission, namely the relation between humanities and social change, Levine introduced her own idea of how humanistic scholarship could not only study but also affirm social worlds that are more desirable than our own.

The event was concluded by Georg Diez, a journalist for the Spiegel, whose new book Das andere Land: Wie unsere Demokratie beschädigt wurde und was wir tun können, um sie zu reparieren, was just published by Random House publishing house.

Photos © Sabine Vielmo

Laura Calvaresi 150 150 Nina Rismal

Laura Calvaresi

Ph.D. Student, Venice Center

Project: Tra profitto ed Industria: traduzioni di termini economici e percorsi di ricezione sociale del De Regimine Principum di Egidio Romano nel medioevo (XIII-XV secolo), (Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici – Department of Humanities, tutor: Antonio Montefusco)



Laura Calvaresi

Laura Calvaresi is a Ph.D. candidate in Italian Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Departement of Humanities, tutor: Antonio Montefusco) and a Fellow of the Center for the Humanities and Social Change at Ca’ Foscari. Her reaserch project–Building a language, rethinking an ethic: virtues of the Christian Merchant between liberalitas and industria (1250-1350)–is at the crossroads between Italian Literature and Medieval History, dealing with Political Economy in Medieval Literature. Laura’s focus is on the relevant expressions and linguistic syntagmata (compositions) in both Latin and vernacular European languages which represent the merchants’ world of values between 1250 and 1350. Her research also participates in a broader project called Political Economy of Medieval Literature. The formation of economic categories in Medieval European Literature (XII- XV centuries). Her training started at the University of Macerata where she studied Medieval History.

W. Ezekiel Goggin 150 150 Nina Rismal

W. Ezekiel Goggin

Dissertation Fellow, Santa Barbara Center


W. Ezekiel Goggin

Ezekiel Goggin was a dissertation fellow during the inaugural year of the International Center for the Humanities and Social Change at the University of Santa Barbara (2017-2018).  During his time at UCSB, Goggin worked on issues pertaining to the rhetorical use of “fake news,” the relationship of media and mediation to the formation of publics, and the psychology of self-deception. Goggin also took part in the 2018 Summer Institute of the Humanities and Social Change Foundation at Universitá Ca’ Foscari, Venice, where he presented an essay entitled “The Limits of Conviction: Hegel and Weber on the Possibilities of Modern Community.” During his time as a fellow he completed a draft of his dissertation the theme of sacrifice in the philosophy of GWF Hegel. Broadly speaking, Goggin’s research focuses on the relationship between religious imagination and modern accounts of human freedom –particularly at the intersection of German idealism, phenomenology, and theology.  He is also interested in deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and critical theory.  His work has been supported by the University of Chicago Divinity School, the Udo-Keller-Stiftung Forum Humanum, and the Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion.

Jan Dutkiewicz 150 150 Nina Rismal

Jan Dutkiewicz

Dissertation Fellow, Santa Barbara Center


Jan Dutkiewicz

Jan was a dissertation fellow at the Center in Santa Barbara in 2017/18. As a Fellow, he completed and defended his dissertation and earned a Ph.D. in Politics from the New School for Social Research. Jan is a political economist whose research focuses on the relationship between corporate capitalism, political power, and public debates about ethics and values. His current book project traces how the American meat industry seeks to produce an animal that best suits market conditions – as biological animal, financial security, object of social imagination, and subject of political contestation – from conception through consumption. This work sheds light on the tensions and interrelations between market valuation, the value of life itself, and social values in the late-liberal, not-quite-post-industrial United States. Jan’s research has been supported by a Doctoral Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), an Ira Katznelson Dissertation Fellowship from the New School for Social Research, a Human-Animal Studies Fellowship at Wesleyan University, and a Graduate Student Fellowship at the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.


“Transparency and the Factory Farm.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. 18(2): 19-32, 2018.

“Heightening the Contradictions and Missing the Point: What Cass Sunstein Gets Wrong About Marxism, Sanders, and American Politics.” Public Seminar. October 31, 2017.

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Pierre Fasula 150 150 Nina Rismal

Pierre Fasula

Postdoctoral Fellow, Santa Barbara Center


Pierre Fasula

Pierre was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center in Santa Barbara during its first year in 2017/2018, and at the same time a lecturer at UCSB in the departments of philosophy, comparative literature, and religious studies. His work at Santa Barbara was part of a collaborative project which investigated questions related to the concepts of facts, values, and truth, and particularly the value and nature of factual knowledge amid the recent debates of ‘fake news’. He considered this issue through philosophy of literature, more specifically detective and spy novels, as these genres show the value and nature of the establishing of truth, and its difficulties. One result of this research is a broader account of fake news and conspiracy theories, based on a study of resentment. Pierre is back now at the University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, as a research fellow, where he investigates the affective and social roots of our relation to truth.

Karen Ng 150 150 Nina Rismal

Karen Ng

Fellow, Berlin Center

Spring 2018

Karen Ng

Karen was a research fellow at the Center in Berlin during its first year in 2018. Her work at the center focused on German Idealism and Critical Theory, and in particular, on rethinking Marxian concepts such as species-being, alienation, and ideology for present times. While at the Center, she participated in the International Conference on Emancipation marking the 50th anniversary of May ’68, and was also an instructor at the Critical Theory Summer School on Rethinking Ideology. Karen is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University and has just completed a book on Hegel, which argues for the systematic importance of the concept of life for his philosophy, focusing in particular on the Science of Logic.

Eva von Redecker 150 150 Nina Rismal

Eva von Redecker

former Deputy Director, Berlin Center


Eva von Redecker

Eva von Redecker is a Critical Theorist and Feminist Philosopher. She has won Marie-Skłodoska-Curie funding for a project on the authoritarian personality (PhantomAiD), the project will be hosted by the University of Verona, Italy.
She was deputy director of the Center for Humanities and Social Change in Berlin until October 2019 and was a postdoc researcher in Rahel Jaeggi’s social philosophy group.

Her new book Praxis and Revolution (prepared to appear in English translation under the title of Refiguring Revolution) uses social theory and rich literary examples to explain how radical social change can work despite the rigidity of given structures. According to Praxis and Revolution, revolutions are always processual: they draw from social interstices which prefigure new paradigmatic practices. At the same time, revolutions are materially conditioned: they rely on enabling structural conjectures which allow for transformative transfers to occur. Eva’s current research focusses on the notion of propertization in order to understand the way in which modern forms of domination and destructiveness hinge on the logics of ownership. Her previous work also touches on questions of social psychology, sexuality and normativity; she has authored a comprehensive introduction to the work of Judith Butler as well as a monograph on Hannah Arendt’s moral philosophy.

As an essayist, Eva regularly publishes travel writing which provides some background-reflection on academic journeys and habits.