Archive for the 'Soße' Category

Instead of greeting cards…

… I would like to send out some words. If you are celebrating the birth of Jesus in one of the following days then I wish you a Merry Christmas. And if you are using the gregroian calendar as your preferred counting system, then I wish you a Happy New Year 2009. If you neither do the one nor the other, then I would like to wish you peaceful and prosperous times.


As I use the gregorian calendar the year 2008 is coming to its end. It was a busy year with lots of  impressions and experiences that changed my world in a more or less dramatic but surely intense way. This included personal as well as professional encounters and experiences. Actually I was travelling a lot to conferences and jobs in Paris, Moscow, Hamburg and to lovely holidays on the Island of Rügen with my beloved wife and children. And I was working on several issues as consumer culture and postmodern power structures, authoritarian political systems and their emergence and development in Russia and Venezuela, constructionist and phenomenological methods and theories in social research.

Looking forward to 2009 there will be some continuities in my work. Originating in an evening  in Paris, when I was discussing with Michael Arfken and Orsoyla (actually I do not know her last name, but she’s a psychologist from Budapest, Hungary)  in a little street café in St.Germain, we were – amonst other issues – talking about subjectivity, identity and intersubjectivity from our professions’ points opf view and were deciding to meet again in Dublin in 2009. This actually resulted in the proposition of two panels to the ISPP 2009 Conference dealing with intersubjectivity, identity and culture. Second, I will continue to work on authoritarian systems and a more sophisticated contribution to theory building in this area of research. Together with my collegue Holger Albrecht  from the American University in Cairo, I will prepare a workshop on authoritarian political systems. The aim of this workshop will be to discuss new and more functionalist, structuralist, institutionalist, and actor-centered approaches to the issue in a comparative perspective. The worksho will take place in June 2009 at the “Haus auf der Alb” in Bad Urach and will be supported by the “Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung Baden-Württemnberg”, namely Siegfried Frech. Third, I will try to do more theoretical and empirical research on postmodern culture and power structures in advanced societies. And last but not least, if can find some more time I will continue to read and study some of the interesting literature of Merleau-Ponty, Glasersfeld, Schuetz, Husserl… And at the end of 2009 we will see what has been realized.


Listening to Johnny Cash and his American Recordings cycle while writing this, it came to my mind that now I should stop writing about me and listen more carefull to this wonderful and affecting music. I hope to meet one or the other of you (again) in the future.  May there always  be a guiding light for you. Live long and prosper!

Best day ever – Cheru Jackson and

Surprise, surprise: Best day ever regarding clicks on my blog. Why? Because I wrote such an interesting article? Dream on! Doing a little second of research in my blog-statistics showed the referrer as main source of users. What the hell of an adress is that, I asked myself, and discovered Cheru Jackson and his project of “supervising” blogs that are actually updated. When I understood it right, alphainventions is a kind of scanner searching for blogs updated at the respectively actual moment people are visiting it. According to Jackson it is the main aim to bring together boggers in realtime to foster communication and exchange. Really interesting and striking, as it has risen traffic from an average of 8 a day to currently 61 (17:59, GMT +1)  for today, with tendency rising.

To overlook news in the blogsphere thus seems to become more easy and comfortable. Fine. Let’s see where this development will lead to.

As I am a political scientist, I actually see some other facets of this project that are by far not deliberative. As authoritarian political systems are in need for knowing what is going on in their interior in order to preserve themselves from being surprised by the uprising of opposition forces, they always look for new technologies to control and monitor all subversive activity. As we know from some authoritarian regimes, e.g. Iran and China, there is a vital blog-culture in which underground and opposition forces are active and inform us of developments in these rather closed systems. Thus alphainventions could be used in different ways: On the one hand, it can make such blogs (amongst others) more popular and powerful, but on the other hand, this tool can be used for repression as well. From a surveillance studies point of view I would strongly suggest Cheru to keep the codes of alphainventions topsecret. What a powerful tool to monitor such activities. Combined with IP-trackers: perfect tool.

But enough of being the “Bedenkentraeger”, which is an excellent german word for seeing all from its’ negative side: Another positive aspect seems to be that the blogsphere becomes more lively in a sense that with alphainventions more instant “contacts” between bloggers are possible. The world again comes closer together, or in Sloterdijks terms, globality is once more enforced and brought closer to the people. I like this approach, even though I am sceptical about the quality of communication in a world of simulations and simulakra.

Simone de Beauvoir – Rezeption, Wirkung, Aktualität

Zum Auftakt der Vortragsreihe “Simone de Beauvoir” findet heute abend 18-20 Uhr im Kupferbau, Hörsaal 24, Universität Tübingen die eröffnungsveranstaltung statt: Ursula Konnertz wird eine kurze Einführung in das Werk und Wirken von Simone de Beauvoir geben. In der anschließenden Podiumsdiskussion setzen sich Wissenschafltlerinnen aus interdisziplinärer Perspektive und mit dem Blick verschiedener Generationen mit der politischen und wissenschaftlichen Wirkung von Beauvoirs wichtigstem Buch “Das andere Geschlecht” auseinander. Teilnehmen werden die evangelische Theologin und Mitbegründerin der feministischen Theologie Elisabeth Molmann-Wendel, die Bundestagsabgeordnete Biggi Bender (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) sowie die Literaturwissenschaftlerin und Gleichstellungsbeauftragte der Universität Tübingen Schamma Schahadat.

Today the lecture series “Simone de Beauvoir” will start with a podium on Beauvoirs opus magnum “the second sex”. Ursula Konnertz will give a brief introduction to life and work of Simone de Beauvoir. Then theologist and co-founder of feminist theology Elisabeth Moltmann-Wendel, member of the Bundestag for Bündnis90/Die Grünen Biggi Bender and Schamma Schahadat, equal opportunities officer of Tübingen University will discuss the the political and scientific impact of “the second sex”.

Simone de Beauvoir – eine interdisziplinäre Vortragsreihe

Simone de Beauvoir would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. The french existentialist philosopher, author and feminist theoretician is seen as the most important female intellectual of the 20th century. Starting from her individualistic critique in the 1940ies, she developed one of the most important key readings of the second feminist movement and a magnum opus of feminist theory: “The Second Sex” was first published in 1949. Together with a lot of other writings and political statements she created the project of her life. In her lifetime her person and opus were highly controversial, her writings is full of fractures and not yet fully interpreted.

Within the interdisciplinary series of lectures, central topics of Simone de Beauvoirs opus are adressed by political scientists, philosophers, theologians, literary scholars, historians and politicians. What are still actual topics, which aspects of Simone de Beauvoirs thought can be related to contemporary problems and ideas?

The lecture series will be held in German and will start on 6th November 2008, 18.00 at Hoersaal 24, Kupferbau in Tübingen with a panel discussion. The lecture series is organized by Patricia Graf, Ursula Konnertz and myself in cooperation with Rosa-Luxemburg-Forum Baden-Wuerttemberg, Heinrich-Boell-Stiftung Baden-Wuerttemberg, Institut francaise Tübingen, the teaching equalty programme (TEA) of Tübingen University and UI-Plan.

You can find the flyer in German with all the data here: flyer-beauvoir

Some more impressions from Moscow

Accoring to a long and well established russian tradition (at least I was told it is one), photographs serve as evidence for having really been to the place you pretend having visited it. So, I was a kind of forced to make some pictures that are not really this spontaneous: But hey look, I have really been there at prospekt vernadskogo 76, where MGIMO-University is located

But there are some more impressions, that I find quite more interesting. Like most of the visitors do, I have been to a “Moscow by night-Tour”, that actually was arranged only for me by the lovely people I worked with at MGIMO. (Thanks again to Roman and Alena!). For sure, the followin might be one of the most photographed sites. It is one of the so called “seven sisters”: The central campus of Lomonossow-University that was built from 1948-1953 in this impressingly monumentous stalinistic style of architecture sited at vorobiyvy gory or in english sparrow hill.

Vorobiyvy gory is also the place where the younger ones meet in somewhat warmer nights and that is why it is quite crowdy there. And it is the place where the fast and the furious of Moscow meet to celebrate their dedication to fast cars and street racing. Unfortunately, this is something that the Police also knows and as they are really present there, the street racers have to look for alternatives. One of them is to use RC-Cars.

It is really amazing how many lights there are, and how many bulidings are illuminated in bright colors. One that I found really nice was a hotel in the centre of Moscow near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It combined advertisment, light-show and Russian Patriotism in a very elegant way that is impossible to overlook.

Back to daylight there were also very interesting things that I assumed to be worth being photographed. On was the amateur style internet and housewideweb at the dormitory of Lomonossow-University, that actually looked like a supersized spiderweb.

And it was two advertisments, one of which adresses a real and important problem in Russia in a quite drastic but humourous way: alcoholism. The text approximately means “the more you drink, the less brain you have”.

The other one also speaks for itself, or what would you do with a guy implementing such a marketing strategy as “lada kalina -moya mashina” and combining it with such a picture? Hey dude, better find yourself safe place to stay or pray for good sales figures.

I like this city! There are so many impressions….