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›Perspektiven der Moderne‹ - Lecture Series at the FIW

›Perspektiven der Moderne‹ is the central scientific lecture series at the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft. It is based on the research focus of the FIW and organized by turns by the departments.

Ecology and the Metamorphosis of Modern Society

PdM 2020



Wintersemester 2020/21, organized by Dr. Damien Krichewsky & Prof. Dr. Kaat Louckx

On Wednesdays between 6 and 8 pm.




For about 250 years, the biophysical environment of society was primarily viewed as nature governed by objective laws. No longer divine providence, but rationality became the dominant paradigm to understand, control and exploit nature for the good of human 'civilization'. Mines, factories, airplanes and many other avatars of progress emerged as both the outcome of this worldview and the backbone of our present social order. Ecological problems, such as the loss of pristine landscapes, industrial pollution, or climate change, were not ignored. But overall, modern society considered such ecological side-effects to be manageable.

The recent introduction of the 'Anthropocene' as a geological age marks the genesis of a new kind of ecological reflexivity, in which modernity faces existential threats. As evidence-based environmental governance, green finance, or geo-engineering illustrate, the belief in the manageability of ‘nature’ continues to inform societal responses to ecological disruptions. At the same time, growing ecological concerns can also lead to socio-ecological transformation beyond the modern framework what Ulrich Beck called a 'metamorphosis', a 'radical transformation in which the old certainties of modern society are falling away and something quite new is emerging'. 

What is this new world that may arise? Which worldviews and practices are engaged in socio-ecological metamorphosis? This lecture series addresses these questions by exploring processes of metamorphosis in politics, science, religion and art. In collaboration with One Resilient Earth, the lecture series will integrate artworks and interactive formats to engage participants through both thoughts and emotions.


Program and filmed lectures


From Climatic Paradigm to Socio-Ecological Metamorphsis?
Kaat Louckx & Damien Krichewsky, University of Bonn



Knowing and Managing Socio-Ecological Transformation: Urban Agriculture in London
Jens Lachmund, Maastricht University



Planetary Regimes at the Intersection of World Ecologies, Environmental Reflexivities and Geopower
Christophe Bonneuil, EHESS



A Great Cleansing of Gaia: Narratives of Climate Change in Contemporary Spirituality
Susannah Crockford, Ghent University



Anthropocene Islands: A Critical Agenda for Ontopolitics in the Anthropocene
David Chandler, University of Westminster
& Jonathan Pugh, Newcastle University



Socio-Ecological Metamorphosis in Praxis /
Interactive Panel





  • The lectures by the FIW can be taken into account for the certificate for international competence (component D2).


Previous lecture series

Medien – Religion – Geschichte: Moderne Konfigurationen (WiSe 19/20)

Medien Religion Geschichte Plakat Bild

Winter semester 2019/20,
chaired by Prof. Dr. Adrian Hermann

Bonner Universitätsforum,
Heussallee 18-24, Room 0.109

on Wednesdays, 6pm - 7:30pm

"Everything we know about historical religions, we have learned through the media," Oliver Krüger writes in Die mediale Religion. At the same time, different media (from the body, through the Oblates, to the Internet) profoundly shape the history of religion. As the religious scholar Peter Bräunlein has suggested, it could therefore be reconstructed from the perspective of a media story. According to the Utrecht ethnologist Birgit Meyer, religion can even be generally understood as a media practice of dealing with the invisible. Media thus do not appear as a cultural technique that changes the previously sudden, direct relationship of man to the world only in the course of history, but media would be the means that also enables experiences of immediacy in the first place. It turns out that the topic of "religion and media" is currently being intensively discussed in religious research.

This gives us reason to discuss selected perspectives on modern configurations of media, religion and history in this series of lectures. The lectures deal with theoretical reflections as well as exemplary analyses of religious (media) history, religion in comics and digital culture, the culturalization of religion and gender in the current discourse on Islam in Germany and Europe, right up to the examination of questions of truth in the current documentary.
Questions about media, religion and history are thus connected in the main questions of the series: What new and different can we see when we consider the religious history of modernity as a media history? What significance do these questions have for a globally and comparatively oriented religious research?



Religionsgeschichte als Mediengeschichte

Adrian Hermann, FIW, Universität Bonn


Religion im Medium Comic: Historische und religionstheoretische Überlegungen

Jürgen Mohn, Universität Basel


Implizite Medialität: Zum Verhältnis von Religion und Medien in der digitalen Kultur

Christoph Ernst, Universität Bonn


Kulturalisierung von Religion und Geschlecht: Der ‚Islam‘ als Metasprache der Migrationsabwehr

Gabriele Dietze, Humboldt Universität, Berlin


Documentary, Truth, and the Reality-Based Community

Erika Balsom, King’s College London




The Global Diversity of Universities in the 21st Century (SoSe 2019)

Bild Plakat Global Diversity of Universities

Bonner Universitätsforum, Heussallee 18-24, Room 0.109
on Wednesdays, 6pm - 7:30pm

The view on the global higher education and research system is increasingly shaped by global university rankings that regularly highlight some 500 or 1000 of the best universities. They use methodologically controversial indicators as quality criteria, particularly the numbers of publications and citations in high impact journals. Around the world, nation states currently try to place at least a small number of their universities in the top ranks. As a result, we witness a global standardization of what is imagined to be a globally competitive research university in the 21st century. Scholars have pointed to an “emerging global model” that almost all actors take as a role model. However, only a very small part of the roughly 20,000 Higher Education Institutions around the world is actually included in such discussions.

The lecture series aims to start a discussion about the diversity of universities in the world society in the 21st century beyond the international rankings. For that matter experts from various types of universities around the world will report daily challenges and experiences of those universities that are important for their regional and national context or fulfil specific functions but are not primarily focusing on the global competition race. In other words, it focuses on those universities that are not playing in the first league, yet carry various important traditions and play a tremendous role for millions of students and lecturers.



Is There an Emerging Chinese “Model” of the University? Reflections on the Facts and Discourses

Prof. Qiang Zha, Faculty of Education, York University, Kanada



Chancen und Herausforderungen: Die Realität der Universitäten in Lateinamerika

Dr. Carla Jaimes Betancourt, Institut für Archäologie und Kulturanthropologie, Universität Bonn



Was ist eine Forschungsuniversität? Ideale, Realitäten und Differenzierungen im Hochschulsystem der Weltgesellschaft

Prof. Dr. David Kaldewey, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft, Universität Bonn


Wo bleibt die Musik? Die Universität der Künste als Fallstudie für globale Bildung

Prof. Dr. Tina Frühauf, Graduate Center, City University of New York / Department of Music, Columbia University, NYC



Pathways to Securing the Future of the University in Africa: Insights from South Africa

Prof. Bassey Antia, Department of Linguistics, University of the Western Cape, Südafrika


The Higher Education Industry and Citizen Responses in Africa

Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana



Contemporary Challenges and the Public University: Some Reflections from India

Prof. Lakshmi Subramaniam, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta



Soziologie politischer Systeme der Gegenwart (WiSe 18/19)


Plakat Soziologie politischer Regime klein

Bonner Universitätsforum, Heussallee 18-24, Room 0.109
on Wednesdays, 6pm - 7:30pm

Lectures in English are linked below.

Please find more information on the German website.






Autokratien und funktionale Differenzierung: Machtsicherung in personalisierten Herrschaftssystemen

Nicolas Hayoz, Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern Europe, University of Freiburg


Individuelle und kollektive Inklusion in Demokratien und Autokratien des 21. Jahrhunderts

Rudolf Stichweh, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft, Universität Bonn


Organizing Sub-National Government: What does Scandinavia Tell Us?

Lawrence E. Rose, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo


Political inclusion and statelessness: an exploration of (non)citizenship

Laura van Waas, Department of European and International Public Law, Tilburg University


Zur Herrschaft internationaler Gerichte und Möglichkeiten der Politik

Ingo Venzke, Department of International and European Law, Universiteit van Amsterdam


Political Responsiveness in Democratic Regimes

Laura Morales, Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparée de Sciences Po



Ungleichheit und asymmetrische Abhängigkeiten in der Weltgesellschaft / Inequality and asymmetric Dependencies in World Society (SoSe 2018)

Plakat Bild klein

Bonner Universitätsforum, Heussallee 18-24, Room 0.109

on Wednesdays, 6pm - 7:30pm 


 Please find more information on the German website.



Soziologie Globaler Ungleichheiten

Anja Weiß, Institut für Soziologie, Universität Duisburg-Essen


Globale Ungleichheiten - eine relationale Perspektive

Manuela Boatcă, Institut für Soziologie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg


On “Modern Slavery” and the Ambiguities of Debt and Dependency

Julia O‘Connell Davidson, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol


The Multidimensionality of Inequalities in India: Caste, Class, Gender and Territory

Jules Naudet, Centre d'Études de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud, Paris



More lectures

  • Grenzen der Religion / Boundaries of Religion (WiSe 2017/18)

  • Das Erstarken des Autoritarismus / The rise of Authoritarianism (SoSe 2017)

  • Religion und Politik / Religion and Politics (WiSe 2016/17)

  • Global Challenges (SoSe 2016)

  • Städte der Welt: Komplexität und funktionale Differenzierung / Cities of the World: Complexities and Functional Differentiation (WiSe 2015/16)

  • Inklusion und Exklusion / Inclusion and Exclusion (SoSe 2015)

  • Digitale Gesellschaft / Digital Society (WiSe 2014/15)

  • Die Responsivität der Wissenschaft / The Responsivity of Science (SoSe 2014)

  • Varianten der Demokratie - Alternativen zu Demokratie? / Variations of Democracy - Alternatives to Democracy? (WiSe 2013/14)


Please find more information on previous lecture series on the German website.

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