200-year anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig , re-enactment on 20 October 2013 in Leipzig, © D. Hüchtker

Subject area

Knowledge Production and Truth Regimes Between the Public Sphere and Expert Discourse

Current debates about a »post-truth« era reflect a growing distrust of academic expert knowledge. Meanwhile, approaches to knowledge rooted in personal experience and emotions are enjoying great popularity. This subject area investigates knowledge production and paths to apprehension in societies of the past and present, examining the era-specific contexts of plausibility, factuality and legitimacy. What role do emotions, imaginations, genealogies, materiality and medial inner logic play in the creation of epistemic authority? How do editorial, popular and academic practices of interpretation correspond or compete? The projects specifically deals with different creations and authentications of historical narratives, with performative historical practices as well as with the visualisation of ethnic-national groups.

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Research topics

History as Ancestor Worship

As the number of approaches to history expand, conceptions of the past from the right-wing fringes are increasingly finding their way into mainstream, public historical culture. This project investigates how ethnicist and racist ancestor worship in popular and sub-cultural historical practices can carry far-right ideas into the heart of society.

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Images of German-Polish-Jewish Relationships


This Polish-German cooperative project explores the iconography of Polish-German-Jewish relationships in the first decades of the »visual age«, that is, from the 1890s to the 1930s. Visual mass media became central to world perception in this phase, while German-Polish-Jewish relationships grew increasingly adversarial.

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Tracing Communism

Historical guided city tours relate history in a spatially bound, oral and interactive way. Taking the presentation of state socialism in commercial communism tours as its example, this project examines the popularisation, commodification and authentication of contemporary history in today’s tourism industry.

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