Past Events

Workshop @ Poetica IV

Blind Spot

January 26, 2018; 10 am - 3 pm

Workshop für Studierende und Promovierende der Universität zu Köln mit Teju Cole


Teju Cole ist ein Nomade in einer Welt, die aus den Fugen geraten ist. In seinen Fotografien und Prosatexten, die rätselhaft aufeinander verweisen, die zusammen Denk-Bilder ergeben, entwirft er eine Poesie der ›Blinden Flecken‹. Der Workshop begibt sich auf die Spuren des Verdrängten und untersucht die Mach-Art und Wirkmacht von Teju Coles Texten.


Moderation: Hanjo Berressem, Sinah Kloß


Tattoo: The Histories and Aesthetics of Embodied Imaging and Writing

December 1-2, 2017

@ Center for Advanced Studies Morphomata, University of Cologne


Tattoos and tattooed bodies seem to be omnipresent among a variety of social groups and actors today. Although in public discourse the popularity of tattoos is commonly discussed as ‘growing’ or as a ‘novel’ phenomenon, tattoo practices indeed have long and diverse histories around the globe. As tattoo narratives and analyses are often narrowly focused on stigmatization and marginalization processes, this international conference seeks to go beyond this discourse. It addresses, for example, visual and material aspects of the (un)making of tattoo or the relevance of tattoo(ing) in the construction of socio-cultural bodies, lives and histories, both among individuals and groups, in the past and at present. Questions will be raised such as: How do tattoo images and practices facilitate representations of self and other? How do they performatively (re)create biographies and histories? What do tattoo aesthetics and practices reveal about the often separately used categorizations of life-writing and life-imaging? The interdisciplinary conference, which brings scholars of history, social anthropology, sociology, archaeology, literary studies, cultural studies and art history into dialogue, is going to take place on December 1 and 2, 2017 at the Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies, University of Cologne.

Summer School

The Gendered Ethnographer: Social Relations, Vulnerability and Power Dynamics in the Field
July 30 – August 4, 2017

University of Cologne

Conference Panel

(organized by Sarah Albiez-Wieck and Sinah Kloß)

Conference The Global South on the Move, University of Cologne

June 7-9, 2017


"A person's sense of belonging is a dynamic process that shifts in relation to his or her various understandings and constructions of identity based on race, class/rank, gender, religious affiliation, occupation, age, and sexuality. Although feelings and senses of belonging are constantly negotiated, these are particularly transformed in the course of migration. When people migrate, their senses and feelings of belonging to a certain place or group are altered, regardless whether this migration takes place on a regional or international level. However, the extent to which these transformations take place may vary according to the spatial and temporal levels of this movement.

Place, territoriality, and locality have to be considered as intricate elements in (re)constructions of belonging, as politics and senses of belonging are influenced by place-based interactions between social actors and objects. Belonging is always linked to the situatedness of people, socio-cultural and physical environments, and landscapes, hence is influenced by translocal practices and representations that performatively recreate identity and notions of attachment.


This panel focuses on historical and contemporary practices and representations of belonging. It puts an emphasis on forms of negotiation between powerful and less powerful social actors, between the (post-)colonial state, its institutions and individual migrants and how these are mediated. It raises questions such as: how are people's senses of belonging-and not belonging-applied as a resource in practices of place-making and in the creation of (social) demarcations, social units, and border regimes? It links these questions to the concept of translocality, which highlights the situatedness of (im)mobile people whose lives, realities, and environments are influenced by global and local dynamics as well as the movement of concepts and objects. It highlights the need to include spatial references into analyses of belonging and discusses methodological issues asking, for example, how to operationalize translocal approaches in historical studies when the available sources only allow a restricted view on the situatedness of actors."


Dress Matters: Transcultural Perspectives on Belonging and Distinction

(organized by Sinah Kloß, M. Dores Cruz and Dietrich Boschung)

 @ Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies

June 1, 2017

Textiles are among some of the oldest materials and objects used worldwide in different manners to protect, aesthetically decorate or distinguish. What is defined in a society as textiles, cloth or clothing, however, varies and is influenced by diverse factors and cultural contexts. The materiality of cloth allows for discussions within historical, technological and cultural aspects, but it is also intertwined with processes of value, identity, agency, affect and power. Because cloth artifacts can be transformed, refined and even destroyed, the materiality of cloth and clothing can participate in the construction of multiple identities and becoming enmeshed in symbolic and ritual realms. Despite recognizing the complexities of dress and cloth, we focus this workshop mainly on two aspects: 1) questions of individual and group identity formation and 2) how cloth and people are entangled in deep cultural, economic and political aspects surrounding the making and use of cloth and clothing. We discuss the historical and contemporary making, unmaking and remaking of the cultural significance of dress, cloth and clothing.

Round Table & Film Screening

Wie fair kann Handel sein? Branchenspezifische Herausforderungen des fairen Handels und Lösungsansätze


Podiumsgäste: Oliver Sendelbach (Nager-IT), Carolin Zamor (TransFair e.V.), Vera Köppen (Fair Wear Foundation), Inge Altemeier (Global Film Productions), Dr. Tijo Salverda (GSSC, Universität zu Köln)


Moderation: Dr. Amelie Bernzen (GSSC, Universität zu Köln)


Ziel der Veranstaltung ist es, die Herausforderungen des fairen Handels in den einzelnen Branchen (Nahrungsmittel, Elektronik, Kleidung) zu skizzieren und Lösungsansätze aufzuzeigen. Neben den geladenen Institutionen und ihren Erfahrungen aus der Praxis soll gezeigt werden, inwiefern diese Fragestellungen auch wissenschaftlich diskutiert werden.Im Anschluss wird der Film "Todschick. Die Schattenseite der Mode" (Global Film Productions, 2016) gezeigt, der sich mit den Produktionsbedingungen in der Textilbranche auseinandersetzt.


Global South Studies Center (GSSC)
Universität zu Köln


Vogelsanger Str. 187
50825 Köln

Organized Talk @ GSSC

Dr. Patrick Helber analysiert die mediale Kontroverse um Dancehall-Musik und Homophobie aus dem Jahr 2004 und ordnet sie in den historischen, politischen und kulturellen Kontext des postkolonialen jamaikanischen Staates ein. Neben einem Blick auf die Geschichte der Insel beleuchtet er die Widerstandskulturen von den Maroons und den Rastafari bis zu den »Gangstern« der zeitgenössischen Dancehall-Musik. Dieser Vortrag betont die Präsenz und politische Arbeit von sexuellen Minderheiten auf Jamaika und veranschaulicht, inwiefern bei internationalen Kampagnen gegen Homophobie im globalen Süden neokoloniale Machtkonstellationen und Alterisierungsprozesse eine Rolle spielen.


Der Vortrag findet statt im Rahmen des Seminars ‚Kultur und Mobilität in der Karibik‘, geleitet von Dr. Sinah Kloß.

Workshop @ GSSC

Conceptual (Re)Locations of the 'Global South'


June 20-21, 2016


Organized by: Sinah Kloß (GSSC)
In cooperation with: Competence Area IV (CA IV)

Venue: Patrizia Tower, Room 818, Venloer Straße 151-153, 50672 Cologne


The term ‘Global South’ is en vogue and ubiquitous in scientific studies and publications. Its increased popularity since the 2000s is reflected in its common use in book titles or names of research institutions. Only a limited number of scholarly analyses and reflections are devoted to furthering the theoretical discussion and development of the concept ‘Global South’ at present however. Critics point out that the 'Global South' merely replaces concepts such as ‘Third World’ and ‘South’ and that it is often used uncritically and as a (supposedly) politically correct substitute of those terms. In the workshop ‘Conceptual (Re)Locations of the Global South’ the Global South will be analyzed and conceptualized as a discursive and performative social construction, which is (re)created through for example socio-cultural, visual and material performances and representations. Actor-related perspectives and analyses will be examined and discussed in this two-day international workshop, allowing the further refinement, systematization and theorization of the concept ‘Global South’ across disciplinary boundaries.

Events 2012-2015

International Conference

Caribbean Food Cultures: Representations and Performances of Eating, Drinking and Consumption in the Caribbean and Its Diasporas, Heidelberg University (organized by the research group 'From the Caribbean to North America and Back'), September 28-29, 2012.


Transnational Entanglements? The Locations of Guyanese Literature, Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University (organized by Anne Brüske and Sinah Kloß), December 2013.

Organized Talk

Brinda Mehta (Mills College, California): Kala Pani Discursivity: Framing Indo-Caribbean-ness in a Comparative Francophone/Anglophone Context, Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University (December 2012).