Inauguration of Käte Hamburger Research Centre “global dis:connect”

28 Apr 2022

Globalization is often interpreted as a continuous “shrinking of the world,” as a process that brings people and institutions into contact across national borders and over long distances. But alongside the moments of connection, there are also phenomena of non-connection. This was revealed by the pandemic, for example, when much travel ceased and labor migration became more complicated even within the European Union. “Globalization is double-edged by nature, as it’s always associated with gaps and discontinuities,” explains Professor Christopher Balme, one of the directors of the Käte Hamburger Research Centre. The newly founded “global dis:connect” research center has chosen an interdisciplinary approach in its mission to rethink globalization.

The inauguration of the Käte Hamburger Research Centre “global dis:connect”
will take place on May 12, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.,
at the Historisches Kolleg, Kaulbachstraße 15, 80539 Munich.

The inauguration will begin with a welcome by the directors of the research center. Professor Monica Juneja from Heidelberg University will give the opening lecture entitled “Awkward, unstable, creative: Dis:connection as world-making.” Juneja studies transepochal connections in art history and is a pioneer in the field of global art history.

To characterize the inherent tension in globalization processes, Roland Wenzlhuemer, Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at LMU, Burcu Dogramaci, Professor of Art History at LMU, and Christopher Balme, Professor of Theater Studies at LMU, have coined the term “dis:connectivity.” This is the foundational concept of the newly established Käte Hamburger Research Centre, which has received funding of 7.9 million euros from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for an initial period of four years.

For the researchers “dis:connectivity” means the web of tensions generated by the entanglement and disentanglement of global processes and offers a new approach in globalization research. The research center identifies three fundamental aspects of dis:connectivity: interruption, absences, and detours. As they are critically important for past and present globalization processes, the work of the research center is structured around them.

Further information is available on the research center’s website.

Further information is available on the research center’s website.

The event will be recorded and subsequently made available online.


Prof. Christopher Balme

“The Käte Hamburger Research Centre also plans to have a fellow program, which will bring us the benefits of international academic exchange. The program will allow guest academics to carry out research into dis:connectivity in globalization processes over a longer-term period. Investigating this topic calls for a broadly based, comparative perspective that encompasses different cultures and artistic and scientific practices. The research center is intended to be a place in which this unique interdisciplinary and artistic collaboration can take place free from external constraints.”

Prof. Burcu Dogramaci

“The research center is fundamentally rethinking globalization by considering dis:connectivity – that is, the simultaneity of connections and non-connections – as a decisive component of globalization processes. Basically, we see our research center as a kind of incubator, and our fellows are the multipliers. The approaches and methods we develop can thus radiate out into the disciplines involved (history, art history, theater studies) and far beyond and bring about a change in perspective on historical and current globalization dynamics.”

Prof. Roland Wenzlhuemer

“Over the coming years, we will do our utmost to make the research center one of the main international centers specifically devoted to humanities globalization research. It will itself be a place of knowledge creation, which will attract researchers from around the world. But even more so, it will be an academic hub, in which ideas are developed are transmitted internationally.

In five years, the research center will hopefully be known as an inviting place, where researchers can develop, test, and discuss new perspectives on globalization processes based on the dis:connectivity approach.”

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