Sisi Sung is going to present a working paper on ‚Theorizing women in management in Chinese organizational context‘

This paper provides a review of previous studies regarding gender and organization, women in management in both Western and Chinese contexts. The paper aims to develop an analytical framework for understanding the empirical data collected from interviews with managers in Chinese private and state-owned enterprises.

Javier Francisco presents a working paper on ‚Imperial House of Cards: Europe’s Friction-Based Rule in the Americas‘

This text excerpt is part of my manuscript which is progressing well. The main argumentative purpose of my investigation is to explain the longevity of Europe’s empires in the Americas from the 16th till 19th century. Herein, I provide theory formation based on a new concept which I’m developing: friction-based cohesion. It describes empires which were engaged in structural friction and thus created domestic coherence. Structural friction, then, refers to competition, which was often based on ideas of zero-sum thinking, exclusivity, monopolies and conflicts in many sections such as politics, military, religion and trade.  In the following text I concentrate on the Greater Caribbean and provide a new temporal classification which accounts for all European empires throughout the centuries as well as a classification of inter-imperial interactions resulting in 3 major geostrategic options: expansion, defense and stalemate.

Winfried Kumpitsch presents a working paper on ‚Warrior Saints and Warrior Ideal‘

The following paper tries to investigate the possibility of a connection between warrior saints and a Christian warrior ideal. For this purpose I present seven work in progress case studies with which I investigate the connection creatd within the text´s themselves between military service and faith, and the information we can gather about their cult.

Ranjeeta Dutta gives a working paper on ‚Unequal Spaces, Equal Access: Negotiating Religion in the Temple Town of Srirangam in Early Modern South India‘

The present paper will examine the ways in which sacrality and urbanism provide the basis of relations of social dominance influenced by caste, occupational hierarchies and ritual rankings of the social groups. On the basis of a case study of the craftsmen at Srirangam, the paper will discuss the ways in which unequal social spaces were created within the city reflected in the existence of different streets around the temple, the distance of each of which from the temple was directly proportional to the social status of the inhabitants residing in those streets. Various religious groups associated with the temple interacted with this hierarchical urban morphology and developed followings by creating spaces of ‘equal’ access through inclusivistic ritual activities within the temple. While these ritual spaces had a semblance of equal access, in many ways the social hierarchy of caste was still maintained within the temple. In many ways, the temple provided an arena of competitive control of resources and followers for different religious groups. These religious groups dovetailed between social hierarchies and fluidity of the city boundaries lending dynamism to religion and urbanity.

Call for Applications

The Kollegforschungsgruppe (KFG, “Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies”) „Religion and Urbanity. Reciprocal Formations” at the Max-Weber-Kolleg of the University of Erfurt invites applications for

Scholarships for Doctoral Researchers

starting from January 2021 at the earliest. Scholarships are granted for a period of 12 months to either

  • spend a year at the Centre in the framework of a Cotutelle agreement of your non-German university with the Max-Weber-Kolleg  (that needs to be established on successful application) or
  • start a doctoral degree at the Max-Weber-Kolleg that should include a year spend abroad in a Cotutelle agreement with a foreign university (based on existing contacts of the applicant or supported by the KFG).

The scholarships are awarded to doctoral researchers working in the Humanities, especially in the fields of History or of History of Religion (or in the fields of Sociology and Urban Studies with a focus on historical and religious developments) on a topic related to the KFG. The KFG is financed by the German Research Foundation (FOR 2779) and directed by Prof. Dr. Susanne Rau and Prof. Dr. Jörg Rüpke.

Further information about the Max-Weber-Kolleg and the KFG are available at: and


Scholarship holders will be provided with office space including work facilities. Working languages are English and German (the proficiency in one of them attested on level C1 by the time of application).

The earliest possible date for the start of the scholarships is 1st January 2021. The scholarships are endowed with 1,400 EUR (and family allowances if applicable) per month.

The Max-Weber-Kolleg offers a structured study programme and is going to provide you with library access, access to licensed electronic media at the University Library and interlibrary loan. Photocopying and scanning will be offered free of charge. As a member of the KFG you can ask for financial support for research trips related to your project. In addition, we can also offer you the opportunity to participate in training courses for young scientists, which are open to members or associates of the university.


To be eligible for a doctoral scholarship, the candidate must propose a research project for a PhD thesis to be conducted within the framework of the KFG. In the case of (a) you must already be admitted to a doctoral programme at a university abroad that is willing to enter a Cotutelle agreement.

Doctoral researchers are required to participate actively in the interdisciplinary and intercultural life of the Centre and the Max-Weber-Kolleg and to contribute to the weekly colloquia of the KFG.


Please submit your application with

  • an outline of the dissertation project you would like to pursue addressing the KFG´s research focus (3,000-4,000 words) with a stringent discussion of your a) research questions, b) the state of research on the topic, c) the methodological approach and the leading hypotheses as well as d) a working schedule with a projected date of completion and publications of results.
  • a statement of how you imagine to profit from and contribute to the interdisciplinary environment of the KFG and the Max-Weber-Kolleg
  • a curriculum vitae
  • copies of your last university degrees
  • a letter of recommendation by a university lecturer

as a combined pdf-file (maximum of 5 MB, publications may be presented in separate files) until 30 September 2020 to

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr. Elisa Iori (

The University of Erfurt is an equal opportunity employer and certified as family friendly. It encourages the application of female candidates. Handicapped persons will be prioritized if their suitability, ability, and specific qualification is equal.

The University of Erfurt does not refund any costs incurred in the application process.

Data Protection Advices

The mail system of the University of Erfurt generally works with transport encryption. Please ensure that you also use transport encryption when sending e-mails. If you would also like to encrypt the content of your e-mail, please use the e-mail address instead of the above-mentioned e-mail address. For this e-mail address you will find the certificate with the public key for sending the encrypted e-mail at If you do not make use of the possibility of encryption by certificate, no encryption of the content of your e-mail can be guaranteed.

If you send your application documents in electronic form, you are deemed to have given your consent to check the e-mail and its attachments for harmful codes, viruses and spam, to temporarily store the necessary data and to conduct further correspondence (unencrypted) by e-mail.

By submitting your application, you also agree to the further processing of your personal data within the framework and for the purpose of the application procedure. This consent can be revoked at any time in writing or electronically without giving reasons to the above-mentioned office(s). Please note that a revocation of consent may mean that the application can no longer be considered in the current procedure.

For further information on data protection in accordance with Art. 13 of the EU Data Protection Regulation (EU-DSGVO), please refer to the information sheet („Data protection information for applicants“) on our website at

Devmini Malka Wijeratne presents a working paper on ‚ Bedazzling the city of brick: Why did Augustus renovate and reconstruct existing temples, rather than add new temples to the landscape?‘

The previous chapter focused on Augustus‘ use of his names to imply that he was somehow a saviour and preserver of ancient traditions. This chapter will focus on how he demonstrated this physically. Essentially, this chapter will argue that his restoration and preservation of the decaying temples showed his desire to restore and preserve Roman traditions. It will also argue that prior to building these temples -and then throughout his political carer – Augustus glorified Rome’s past and particularly exaggerated how the city’s adherence to its traditions and rituals were the reason for its success. It will imply that, having little memory of how frequently these practices were observed by older generations, the Roman people would have felt more guilt and grief over the loss of this imagined, glorious past. This in turn would have created greater appreciation for Augustus and his supporters, and their contribution to the revival of the temples and also their traditions. It will also point out that some other reasons for his decision to reconstruct may also have existed. However, while these would not directly have involved some manipulation of sentiments towards old traditions, the reasons behind them were still very political and were still carried out with the intention of maintaining Augustus‘ image of being a moral leader who had the peoples‘ best interests at heart.

Gabriel Malli presents a working paper on ‚Religious subjectivity in new social media: the discursive construction of the modest self‘

The following paper addresses the construction of moral subject positions – understood as normative templates for “proper” religious conduct and self-understanding – in Islamic Web 2.0 discourse. In the first section, I discuss four distinctive features of online based social media (participatory potentials, community building, multisensory character, technical infrastructure) with regard to their consequences for the production and reception of religious discursive knowledge. Acknowledging that also purist and fundamentalist Islamic agents make use of Web 2.0 potentials, in the second part of the paper I present empirical findings from certain positions of Islamic gender discourse on YouTube, labelled as religious-authoritative. In their discursive practice they produce strictly binary moral codes of gendered con-duct based on certain conceptions of a God-willed order. Relating to every-day situations of a mostly young audience, they constitute a certain model of subjectivity – the modest self – characterized by self-disciplination and rigid gender practice.

Online-Event in cooperation with the Max Weber Kolleg: ‚Mark Terkessidis: Wessen Erinnerung zählt? Koloniale Vergangenheit und Rassismus heute‘

Mark Terkessidis: „Wessen Erinnerung zählt? Koloniale Vergangenheit und Rassismus heute“

Über Deutschlands koloniale Geschichte wird in jüngster Zeit heftig debattiert. Es geht um kolonial belastete Straßennamen, um die Bestände von Museen und die Frage nach dem kulturellen Erbe insgesamt. Im Mittelpunkt stehen ehemalige Kolonien in Afrika wie das heutige Tansania und Namibia. Doch muss die Perspektive sowohl zeitlich als auch räumlich erweitert werden. Der deutsche Kolonialismus begann nicht erst 1884 mit der Berliner Kongokonferenz, sondern bereits im frühen 16. Jahrhundert mit den Aktivitäten der Handelshäuser der Fugger und Welser in Lateinamerika. Und er fand keineswegs nur jenseits des Salzwassers statt. Auch die deutschen Expansionsbestrebungen in Richtung Osten (Polen) sowie in Richtung Südosteuropa und Osmanisches Reich hatten eine koloniale bzw. imperiale Dimension. Mark Terkessidis, renommierter Migrations- und Rassismusforscher, schlägt für die Geschichte des deutschen Kolonialismus einen größeren Rahmen vor. Nur so werden die Position Deutschlands in der Welt sowie aktuelle Migrations- und Fluchtbewegungen verständlich. In einer globalisierten Gesellschaft muss sich der Raum der Erinnerung demokratisch erweitern.

Mark Terkessidis ist freier Autor und hat u. a. für taz, Tagesspiegel, Die Zeit und Süddeutsche Zeitung geschrieben sowie Radiobeiträge für den Deutschlandfunk verfasst und im WDR-Radio moderiert. Er promovierte über die Banalität des Rassismus und unterrichtete an den Universitäten Köln, Rotterdam und St. Gallen. Zuletzt veröffentlichte er Interkultur (2010), Kollaboration (2015) und Nach der Flucht (2017).

Die Online-Veranstaltung der Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Thüringen in Kooperation mit dem Max-Weber-Kolleg der Universität Erfurt findet am Mittwoch, den 24.06.2020, 19 Uhr statt.

Please contact for more information

Simone Wagner gives a working paper on ‚The provost / abbot as father, the abbess as mother – punishment and gender‘

One chapter of my dissertation deals with gender-specific discourses shaping the authority of superiors in collegiate churches. In this paper I’ve focused on the discourse of motherly love and lenity in punishment. After summing up the current state of research the paper traces the discourse a) in statutes of the collegiate churches (i.e. internal normative documents) and b) in conflicts with civic authorities (the mayor and city council). The last section analyses how abbesses dealed with gendered expectations and if they could subvert them.

Lenity and severity were not gendered binarily. Male superiors also were supposed to be clement. Nevertheless, they could defy expectations of lenity more easily than abbesses. Only the authority of abbesses was attacked fundamentally by accusing them that they punished too severely. Civic authorities did attack abbesses comparatively harshly by applying gendered discourses. However, citizens weren’t necessarily more misogynist than other medieval actors. Urbanity did influence the abbesses’ authority indirectly. It increased contact between the members of collegiate churches, citizens as well as serfs of the collegiate church and thus opportunities to control abbesses.

Michal Kaczmarczyk presents a working paper on ‚Dystopia – an Alternative to Sociology?‘

Dystopia originated as a variant of utopia and its inversion. In this respect it shares many characteristics of classical sociology. However, as a fictional genre dystopia broke with utopia in a much more radical way. In addition, it became much more than a mere counterpoint to the declining utopian literature. The major advantages of dystopia, as compared to sociology, proved to be 1) the self-confident future-orientation and 2) the inclusion of imaginaries into the realm of social ideas. Through the adoption of methods offered by narrative flexibility and non-determinist visions of individual and social change, the considered type of literature has been able to contextualize nad transpose social phenomena and mechanisms identified by sociologists. In result, dystopian worlds are instrumental in imagining potential experiences to which various social scenarios can lead. Moreover, they enable readers to look behind the curtain of the Unknown by delivering its specific visions along with their alternatives. Finally, dystopia is a dialogical endeavor because almost all dystopian authors use their works as tools to convey arguments and warnings that cannot be expressed in a typically scientific way. This dialogue takes place between different generations of writers, between different dystopias as well as between sociology and dystopia. This widespread and profound exchange might be seen as an opportunity to examine more carefully the complex relationships between ideas and images.