New publication: „Owning Land, Being Women“

Under the title „Owning Land, Being Women. Inheritance and Subjecthood in India.“ De Gruyter has now published the dissertation of Amrita Mondal, who is researching the property rights of Indian women at the Max-Weber-Kollege of the University of Erfurt.

„Owning Land, Being Women“ enquires into the processes that establish inheritance as a unique form of property relation in law and society. It focuses on India, examining the legislative processes that led to the 2005 amendment of the Hindu Succession Act 1956, along with several interconnected welfare policies. Scholars have understood these Acts as a response to growing concerns about women’s property rights in developing countries.

In re-reading these Acts and exploring the wider nexus of Indian society in which the legislation was drafted, this study considers how questions of family structure and property rights contribute to the creation of legal subjects and demonstrates the significance of the politico-economic context of rights formulation. On the basis of an ethnography of a village in West Bengal, this book brings the moral axis of inheritance into sharp focus, elucidating the interwoven dynamics of bequest, distribution of family wealth and reciprocity of care work that are integral to the logic of inheritance. It explains why inheritance rights based on the notion of individual property rights are inadequate to account for practices of inheritance.

Mondal shows that inheritance includes normative structures of affective attachment and expectations, i.e., evaluatively-charged imaginaries of the future that coordinate present practices. These insights pose questions of the dominant resource-based conceptualisation of inherited property in the debate on women’s empowerment. In doing so, this work opens up a line of investigation that brings feminist rights discourse into conversation with ethics, enriching the liberal theory of gender justice.

Amrita Mondal
Owning Land, Being Women
Inheritance and Subjecthood in India

(series: De Gruyter Studies in Global Asia, 2)
De Gruyter,2021
ISBN: 9783110690361 (Print)
ISBN: 9783110690491 (E-Book)
265 pages
64,85 EUR

Rafael Barroso-Romero presents a working paper on ‚Objects for the dead: the use of material things in the funus‘

In this paper I present a preliminary study of the role of objects in the funus as active elements through which ritual is articulated. To do so, I first argue in the introduction for the idea of funus as object-centred practice. I then briefly review the most common theoretical positions on grave goods in the archaeological discipline in general and in the Roman world in particular. I next introduce the paradigm of model-tomb goods and describe a selection of funerary landmarks in which it appears, as well as the material and personnel requirements that must have been present during the development of the funus. Finally, I suggest the hypothesis of grave goods as both everyday objects and as bodily objects and conclude with some brief notes on future directions of my research.

Steffen Andrae presents a working paper on ‚Realism, Subjectivity, and Experience in Kracauer’s novel Ginster‘

This essay documents my interpretation and analysis of Kracauer’s first novel Ginster. The book, I argue, can be read as a model case for Kracauer’s variety of realism and contains many of the philosophical ideas, issues, and sensibilities common to Kracauer’s oeuvre. This goes especially for the entanglement of aesthetic and theoretical elements, for Kracauer not only discusses social and historical issues but establishes his reflections via processing documentary elements, experiential realities, and philosophical cartography. Moreover, Kracauer makes extensive use of figurative, linguistic, and representational strategies, which correspond intimately to the various experiences of negativity laid out in the novel. [My essay is, however, not a cohesive chapter but will be disassembled and allocated to the various thematic areas of my thesis. It is thus pertinent to keep in mind the structure of the overall work.]

PhD Award 2021 for Magdalena Gercke

Magdalena Gercke has been awarded the University of Erfurt’s 2021 PhD Award for her work on „Career-related orientation patterns of student teachers with regard to school inclusion“.

The prize, donated by the University Society (Universitätsgesellschaft), is endowed with 3000 euros and was awarded this year during the digital senate meeting on 9 June due to Corona.

With the award, the university recognises the excellent dissertation of a young scientist submitted to the University of Erfurt every two years. One dissertation is nominated from each faculty and from the Max-Weber-Kollege, which has previously been awarded the highest grade. Scientific originality, innovative methodological approaches, brilliant execution and high relevance to current research are decisive features of all nominated dissertations.

Magdalena Gercke did her Master’s in Special Needs and Inclusive Education at the University of Erfurt. Here she is now an academic councillor at the Chair of Inclusive Education Research with a focus on learning. Her doctoral thesis was supervised by Professor Rainer Benkmann and Professor Sandra Tänzer.

Four other theses were nominated for the doctoral award this year. They were all awarded a prize of 500 euros each:

  • Samuel-Kim Schwope (Faculty of Catholic Theology): „Bless these people you send to serve your church… Liturgical celebrations for the mission and commissioning of parish and pastoral ministers Liturgical Studies“
    Supervision: Professor Benedikt Kranemann and Professor Julia Knop
  • Albrecht Janico (Max-Weber-Kolleg): „The scope of religious staging of generals in the late Roman Republic“
    Supervision: Professor Jörg Rüpke and Professor Konrad Vössing
  • Paula Stehr (Faculty of Philosophy): „Exchanging social support in online communication modes. An addition of the perspective of prosocially acting communication science“.
    Supervision: Professor Constanze Rossmann and Professor Sven Jöckel
  • Hannes Berger (Faculty of Economics, Law and Social Sciences): „Public Archives and State Knowledge. The Modernisation of German Archive Law“
    Supervision: Professor Arno Scherzberg and Professor Frank Fechner

„The high quality of the submitted papers shows once again in 2021 that our university is not only a good place to study, but also offers excellent conditions for young researchers,“ says Professor Benedikt Kranemann, Vice President for Research and Graduate Service at the University of Erfurt. „We are proud of this and congratulate all the winners!“