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Causality or Contingency in Cultural Change?

Two-day Public Workshop at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 183/2018 from Jul 06, 2018

A public workshop on cultural change will take place July 24 and 25, 2018, at Freie Universität Berlin. It is being organized as part of the annual two-week summer school of the Principles of Cultural Dynamics research network. The workshop participants will discuss in English the role of causality and contingency in the existence and transition of cultures. Registration is requested by July 20 via email to pcd@fu-berlin.de.

The Principles of Cultural Dynamics network is based at Freie Universität. Cooperation partners include Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Following the network’s founding in 2013, in addition to the original six partner universities, three associated universities joined later: the University of California at Davis, National Research University (HSE) in Moscow, and the Australian National University. The involved scholars explore the dynamics of cultural change and renewal from antiquity to the present. They investigate which factors trigger cultural innovation and which factors hinder or stop it. The project is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the funding line “Thematic Networks / Strategic Partnerships.” The aim of this type of network is to strengthen transnational cooperation in humanities research.

Times and Location: Workshop on “Causality or Contingency: What Keeps Culture Going?”

  • Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 10:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Seminar Center, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin


  • Kwok-Kan Tam (Chinese University of Hong Kong): Causality in Culture and Literature
  • Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann (Freie Universität Berlin): Event, Time, Narrative. A Philosophico-historical Examination
  • Alexander Cook (Australian National University): Nature, Culture, and the Ends of History: A (French) Revolutionary Debate
  • Heghnar Watenpaugh (University of California at Davis): Survivor Objects: Cultural Heritage After Genocide
  • Anne Eakin Moss (Johns Hopkins University): Eisenstein and Virtual Reality
  • Mary Sherman (Boston College): Causality, Contingency or How the Arts Come to be Suspect (Followed by a Brief Cautionary Tale)
  • Iris Röbling-Grau (Freie Universität Berlin): Concerning the Evolution of Realism as a Cultural Paradigm in European Literature

Further Information


Lisa Münzer, Program Coordinator, Principles of Cultural Dynamics, Tel.: +49 30 838-51506, Email: pcd@fu-berlin.de