Universität Mannheim / PhilFak / RSC / Forschergruppen / Transformations of Subjectivity in Second Modernity

Transformations of Subjectivity


This research project is concernced with the analysis of forms of subjectivity as well as imgaes of the human which, against the backdrop of processes of globalization, medialization/digitalization as well as the increasing abilities to manipulate human beings on a genetic and technological level, are undergoing a transformation. The crucial question here is how processes of sociocultural transformation, always connected to the reduction or handling of complexity on an individual level, are reflected through different conceptions of the subject, formations of desire and images of the human in a variety of media and discourses. The relation between processes and the medium or discourse is one of co-dependence, as the latter are not merely depicting processes, but play an active role in shaping them.

The project is closely intertwined with cultural studies and analyzes the European and American cultural space with a specific emphasis on the double function of the subject as actively creating worlds and discourses while at the same time being socially and medially formed and influenced. This point of view considers subjectivity the result of both different dimensions of culture (e.g. work, economy, law, politics, art, media) and social structures, institutions, discourses and practices. In the course of the analysis, Western conceptualizations of subjectivity and thought are examined for their blind spots and the implicit claim of Western thought to universality is thoroughly questioned. At the same time, contemporary processes of transformation are analyzed in the context of historical (dis)continuity.



Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Ulfried Reichardt

Project Members
Prof. Dr. Julia Angster
PD Dr. Stella Butter
Stefan Danter
Almuth Ebke
Prof. Dr. Jens Eder
Prof. Dr. Sarah Heinz
Felix Kirschbacher
Prof. Dr. Ulfried Reichardt
Dr. Regina Schober
Dr. Sven Stollfuß