Biographies

Robin Celikates 150 150 Susann Schmeisser

Robin Celikates

Deputy Director, Berlin Center

Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Philosophy

Email: robin.celikates@fu-berlin.de

Robin Celikates

Since October 2019 Robin Celikates ist deputy director of the Humanities and Social Change Center Berlin.

Prof. Robin Celikates´s research is mainly in political philosophy, critical theory and social philosophy, and focuses particularly on questions of democracy, migration and citizenship, civil disobedience within democratic systems, the moral philosophy of recognition, and methodologies in political philosophy and social philosophy.

Other areas of interest include the philosophy of social sciences, moral philosophy, Rousseau, and political and social theory.

Andreas Malm 150 150 Susann Schmeisser

Andreas Malm

Fellow, Berlin Center

January 2020 – June 2020

Email: andreas.malm@hek.lu.se

Andreas Malm

Andreas Malm is an associate professor of human ecology from Lund University, Sweden. His research primarily focuses on various aspects of the climate crisis. He is the author of, among other books, Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming (Verso, 2016) and The Progress of This Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World (Verso, 2018). In 2020, he will publish a short book on the corona crisis, as well as How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire and White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Dangers of Fossil Fascism, written together with The Zetkin Collective, all from Verso. He is part of a research project on negative emissions technologies; forthcoming from Rutgers University Press is Has it Come to This? The Promises and Perils of Geoengineering on the Brink, edited by J.P. Sapinski, Holly Jean Buck and Andreas Malm. He is also working on a people’s history of wilderness.

Aldo Beretta 1024 683 Susann Schmeisser

Aldo Beretta

Postdoctoral Fellow, Berlin Center

October 2019 – March 2020

Research Affiliate Postdoctoral Fellow (since April 2020)

Email: aldo.beretta@hu-berlin.de

Aldo Beretta

Aldo Beretta is a philosopher and political theorist. After receiving his PhD he has held research and lecture positions at the Alice Salomon Hochschule and the Forschungs- und Dokumentationszentrum Chile-Lateinamerika. Beretta has been political advisor for several governments in Latin America and collaborated with the UNESCO Chair for University and Regional Integration. Currently, his research focuses on the conflictual relation between democracy and capitalism. Based on the Habermasian opposed principles of social integration, he analyses social pathologies derived from the primacy of global economic forces over democratic institutions. Some of his publications include: “Handelsabkommen Neu Aufgelegt” in Lateinamerika Nachrichten, N. 533. (Berlin 2018). “Observaciones sobre la Crítica de Habermas a Marx”, in Constelaciones, N. 9, (Madrid 2017). Human Rights and the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Mexico, FDCL (Berlin, 2015).

During his stay at HSC Center Berlin, Aldo did research on the relation between democracy and capitalism. Here is a preprint of this work on “Democracy and economy: traces of an immanent crisis”.

Charles Taylor 1024 683 Susann Schmeisser

Charles Taylor

Benjamin Chair, Berlin Center

May 2019 – June 2019

Email: cmt1111111@aol.com

Charles Taylor

In June 2019, the Walter Benjamin Lectures took place for the first time at the Humanities and Social Change Center Berlin at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The renowned Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor inaugurated the prominent series. On three consecutive evenings, Taylor gave lectures on “Democracy and its Crises”, covering various forms of democratic deterioration, such as political alienation, increasing inequality, xenophobia and polarization, as well as possible ways out of crisis.

Charles Taylor is one of the most important thinkers of our time. His early work on the embeddedness of cognition in the life world alone represents a paradigm shift in the social sciences. Guided by his novel reading of Hegel, Taylor subsequently embarked on an extraordinary research program: to elucidate and overcome the contradictions of modernity in the light of modernity’s own development, drawing out its limitations and imbalances. This project is laid out in two monumental monographs, one on the history of the self and one on secularization. More recently, Taylor has brought the motif of obscured social grounds to bear on questions of democratic politics and has developed a recognition-theory of tolerance. He has traced progressive trajectories, yet also started to analyze how the disavowal of shared values, imaginaries, and social relations unleashed destructive tendencies.

Zhang Shuangli 1024 683 Susann Schmeisser

Zhang Shuangli

Fellow, Berlin Center

April 2019 – July 2019

Email: shuangli@fudan.edu.cn

Zhang Shuangli

Zhang Shuangli is a Professor of Philosophy from the School of Philosophy, Fudan University, China. She is now the vice dean of the School of Philosophy, Fudan University and the vice director of the Center for Contemporary Marxism, Fudan University.

Her main areas of research are Marxist Philosophy, western Marxism (especially Georg Lukacs and Ernst Bloch), critical theory. She has authored and coauthored several books in these areas. Besides these, she has also published quite a few articles in Chinese or English in the academic journals like Philosophical Investigations (Beijing, China), Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences (English version)(Shanghai, China), Critical Research on Religion (SAGE journals) and etc.

In the recent several years, she has been doing researches about the Marx-Hegel relationship and has published a series of articles on this topic, including the chapter on “Marx and Hegel” in Oxford Companion to Hegel (Oxford University Press, ed. Dean Moyar, 2017).

She has also written some pieces about China, some of which were published in Actuel Marx (France) and Die Zeit (Germany).

Ulf Bohmann 1024 682 Susann Schmeisser

Ulf Bohmann

Fellow, Berlin Center

March-September 2019

Email: ulf.bohmann@soziologie.tu-chemnitz.de

Ulf Bohmann

Ulf Bohmann is a post-doc researcher at the Chemnitz University of Technology. He studied Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy and Social Psychology at the University of Augsburg and the Fernuniversität Hagen until 2007. He received his PhD at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in 2013 with a thesis on the notion of a critical genealogy in the work of Michel Foucault and Charles Taylor, under the supervision of Hartmut Rosa and Martin Saar. Until 2016, he was a post-doc researcher in the project “Desynchronised Society?” in Jena, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). In 2017, he acted as a stand-in full professor in Chemnitz. In 2018, he was a fellow at the Degrowth Research Group in Jena. Latest publications: Special Issue: Tribute to Charles Taylor, Philosophy & Social Criticism 44(7), 2018 (with Gesche Keding and Hartmut Rosa); Desynchronisation und Populismus. Ein zeitsoziologischer Versuch über die Demokratiekrise am Beispiel der Finanzmarktregulierung, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 70 (Sonderheft 58), 2018 (with Henning Laux and Hartmut Rosa); Kritische Theorie der Politik, Suhrkamp 2019 (edited with Paul Sörensen, in print).

 

Project description:

At the Center of Humanities and Social Change, I’m working on a comparative reassessment of legitimation crisis theories. The motivation to do so is to be more specific than the widespread but undifferentiated talk of a contemporary crisis of democracy. I’m assembling five pertinent approaches to the motif of a legitimation crisis, namely Jürgen Habermas, Nancy Fraser, Wolfgang Streeck, Charles Taylor and Hauke Brunkhorst. The goal is to develop respective profiles with strengths and weaknesses in order to have a sound theoretical toolkit. Furthermore, I’m examining in which way and to which degree the diagnoses of a legitimation crisis are valid for our present society. Finally, I will enquire if an integrative approach is possible and convincing.

Frank Schumann 1024 1024 Susann Schmeisser

Frank Schumann

Fellow, Berlin Center

March-September 2019

Email: frank.schumann@ipu-berlin.de

Frank Schumann

Frank Schumann is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the social psychology department of the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin (IPU Berlin). His research interests revolve around the questions of how social reality is perceived subjectively and how this experience shapes social and political practices. To answer these, Schumann draws from psychoanalysis, social psychology, critical theory, sociology of critique, theories of social practices and sociology of knowledge.

In 2017, he finished his dissertation on the concept of social suffering in the history of the Frankfurt School which was published as Leiden und Gesellschaft [Suffering and Society] (Bielefeld 2018). He currently is working on a project that aims at reconstructing how sympathizers of social movements articulate and justify their political critique, and which notions of a social order are thus implied.

Christian Schmidt 1024 682 Susann Schmeisser

Christian Schmidt

Fellow, Berlin Center

April 2019 – February 2020

Email: schmidtch@uni-leipzig.de

Christian Schmidt

Christian Schmidt is a philosopher. After receiving his PhD in 2005 he worked as team leader at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig, and as Dilthey Fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation in the Philosophy Department at University Leipzig. He held positions as temporary chair for social philosophy at Goethe-University Frankfurt and for practical philosophy at University Leipzig. Research stays led him to University Paris 1 Sorbonne-Pantheon and the Centre Marc Bloch Berlin. He received the habilitation in 2016 with a thesis on Problems of Autonomy (unpublished). The Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities appointed him as a member of the academy’s Young Forum in 2018. Major publications are: Karl Marx zur Einführung (Junius 2018), Können wir der Geschichte entkommen? (Campus 2013) and Individualität und Eigentum (Campus 2006).

Volkan Çıdam 1024 1024 Susann Schmeisser

Volkan Çıdam

Fellow, Berlin Center

January 2019 – December 2020

Email: volkan.cidam@boun.edu.tr

Volkan Çıdam

Volkan Çıdam is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boğazçi University, Istanbul. Since January 2019 he is a visiting scholar at the Institute of Philosophy at the Humboldt University with the support of PSI of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His research interests lie at the intersection of democratic theory, German Idealism, social and political thought of Marx and Marxism and Critical Theory. His publications include Die Phänomenologie des Widergeistes: Eine Anerkennungstheoretische Deutung von Marx’ normativer Kritik am Kapitalismus im Kapital, Nomos Verlag 2012 and 2016, “Historical Method and Critical Philosophy”, Philosophy at Yeditepe, Special Issue: Method in Philosophy. He is currently working on a new project on the relationship between the failure to coming to terms with past state crimes and the rise of Neo-Fascism through a reevaluation of Adorno’s thoughts on the same topic.

Lin Atnip 150 150 Tom Carlson

Lin Atnip

Dummy Image

Postdoctoral Scholar, Santa Barbara

2019-2020

Email: lmatnip@gmail.com

Lin Atnip

In my work, I theorize and demonstrate how reading and reflecting on modern literature (and other forms of art) can educate us to the modern conditions of human life. In my dissertation I adapted Michael Polanyi’s theory of the essential role of tacit and “personal” knowledge in scientific discovery to argue that literature evokes and challenges our own tacit intimations of these conditions, which are not just empirical and material but normative, narrative, and historically changing. I outlined a Polanyian practice of reading aimed at grasping these conditions and performed this kind of reading with works by Robert Lowell, Wallace Stevens, Norman Maclean, and Cormac McCarthy—works which in their literary forms reflect and confront the “apocalyptic sublime,” the sense that human history is driven not toward a human end but toward inhumanity and destruction. At the same time, they refer us to a radically different ground of intelligibility, which suggests the need for what might be called an ethics of consciousness. Currently I am continuing to work out the Polanyian theory and practice of reading, as well as developing the idea of the modern apocalyptic mode in relation to the current ecological crisis; my project includes works that directly treat global warming and other existential threats, as well as earlier works like Moby-Dick which show an emergent apocalyptic consciousness.

I received my Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago in 2019; I also completed the Master’s Program in the Social Sciences at Chicago where I wrote my thesis on the role of culture in the Frankfurt School’s and Habermas’s critiques of modernity.

Publications

“The Ambivalence of Nature: Moby-Dick and the Naturalistic Sublime.” Literary Imagination, under review.

“From ‘Meaning’ to Reality: Toward a Polanyian Cognitive Theory of Literature.” Forthcoming in Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Journal, Feb. 2020.

“Review: Rita Felski, The Limits of Critique.” Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Journal, Feb. 2019.

“Anselm Kiefer and the Reality of Myth.” The Point, Nov/Dec 2017.