NWG 2: Posthuman. Perspectives on Nature/Culture (for junior scholars)

Members: Christiane Schürkmann (Sociology; Spokesperson), Torsten Cress (Soziology), Kornelia Engert (Soziology), Oliwia Murawska (European Ethnology)

In recent years, a new strand of thought emerged within humanities, cultural studies, and sociology. These conceptions offer perspectives that decenter the “anthropos” and develop new accounts regarding the relation between humanity and world. It is being argued that not only human actors but also things, artefacts, technologies, substances, animals, and plants possess agency, wield influence and thus have to be taken into account systematically. In light of this posthuman turn, various materials, creatures and transient phenomena are acknowledged as co-existences, each enfolding specific impacts and each being part of the constitution of world.

NWG 2 – an interdisciplinary junior research group of postdoctoral researchers – is concerned with such posthuman understandings of the world. It aims at discussing these contributions and their irritations of conventional categorial differences in order to assess their potential for further social and cultural analysis. With respect to selected phenomena and processes, the group intends firstly to inquire how non-human entities are involved in processes of demarcating nature and culture or even transcend such boundaries. Secondly, it looks at conceptions of nature/culture also from a historical perspective and examines such accounts as alternative descriptions of such relations.

Recent Events

Jenseits des Menschen?

The conference will give scholars of various fields a broad forum for discussion by welcoming their respective ap-proaches to redefining nature/culture. This interdisciplinary debate takes up the problems raised by posthumanist approaches, especially with regard to the nature/culture-divide.

Part of the Symposium will be the annual Georg Forster Lecture.

| Website of the Symposium |
| Program |

Aktivitäten der Nachwuchsgruppe „Posthuman. Perspektiven auf Natur/Kultur“


Vortragsworkshop zum Thema “Posthuman. Perspektiven auf Natur/Kultur” (14.11.2018)

15-16 Uhr: Prof. Doris Schweitzer (Goethe Universität Frankfurt):
Dezentrierung des Menschen im Recht oder neue menschliche Schutzrechte?

16.20-17.20 Uhr: Dr. Christiane Schürkmann (JGU Mainz):
Eine Zukunft ‘ohne uns’. Zeitliche Dimensionen nuklearen Abfalls

17.20-18.20 Uhr: Dr. Tobias Huff (JGU Mainz):
Vom Nutzen der Natur. Der Blick auf natürliche Ressourcen in der frühneuzeitlichen ökonomischen Literatur (Werkstattbericht)

Workshop „Posthumane Theorien, Konzepte von Natur/Kultur” zur Vorbereitung des 4. Symposiums der Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften am Forschungsschwerpunkt SoCuM, Nierstein (15.-16.07.2018)

Workshop „The Posthuman“ mit Prof. Rosi Braidotti (Utrecht University) an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz im Rahmen des SoCuM-Fellowships (07.-08.12.2017)


  • Descola, Philippe (2013): Jenseits von Natur und Kultur. Suhrkamp, Berlin. (04.09.2017)
  • Braidotti, Rosi (2013): The Posthuman. Polity Press, Cambridge. (17.11.2017)
  • Heidegger, Martin (2000): Die Frage nach der Technik. In: Ders.: Gesamtausgabe, 1. Abteilung: Veröffentlichte Schriften 1910-1976, Band 7: Vorträge und Aufsätze, 5-37. (10.04.2018)
  • Morton, Timothy (2013): Hyperobjects. Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis/London (18.6.2018)
  • Haraway, Donna (2016): Staying with the Trouble. Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press, Durham. (18.6.2018)
  • Sharon, Tamar (2014): Human Nature in an Age of Biotechnology. The Case for Mediated Posthumanism, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht. (16.7.2018)
  • Loh, Janina (2018): Trans- und Posthumanismus. Zur Einführung. Hamburg: Junius Verlag (16.07.2018)
  • Latour, Bruno (2014): Existenzweisen. Eine Anthropologie der Modernen. Berlin: Suhrkamp (16.07.2018)