Mourning for Jutta Vinzent

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Dr. Dr. Jutta Vinzent. Jutta Vinzent, born in 1968, was Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) for Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Birmingham, UK, and Associate Fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg for Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt.

After studying German literature, art history and philosophy in Munich, she was awarded a doctorate in 1996 in Cologne with the thesis „Edlef Köppen – Schriftsteller zwischen den Fronten. Ein literaturhistorischer Beitrag zu Expressionismus, Neuer Sachlichkeit und Innerer Emigration mit Edition, Werk- und Nachlassverzeichnis“. She documented her interdisciplinary interests in 2004, when she was awarded a doctorate in art history at the Department of History of Art in Cambridge with the thesis „Identity and Image. Refugee Artists from Nazi Germany in Britain, 1933-1945“. In between, she was first Honorary Research Fellow and then (until her death) tenured Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Birmingham.

In 2012, Jutta Vinzent was appointed Fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt to work on the project „Modernist spaces in 1930s Britain“. She was well prepared for this through the EU-funded project „Overcoming Dictatorships“ with partners in Romania, Hungary, Poland, Germany and Italy, in which she had participated from 2006-2009, as also evidenced by her numerous publications on migration and internal emigration of artists in the face of authoritarian regimes.

Her active collaboration and the development of new projects in the context of the Max-Weber-Kolleg led to new fellowships with new project plans, such as the project „Precarious Spaces – Precarious Times. Commercial Exhibition Cultures in Times of Conflict“ in 2015, in which she explored exhibition cultures.

As part of the „Meister Eckhart“ Research Centre, she then also organised a very practical exhibition in Erfurt and in Korea that contrasted modern art by Taery Kim and medieval manuscripts by Meister Eckhart. This project was also published (together with Christopher M. Wojtulewicz) under the title „Performing bodies. Time and space in Meister Eckhart and Taery Kim“.

In Erfurt, she has not only been involved in the various research groups at the Max -Weber-Kolleg, but has also collaborated with the „Erfurt RaumZeitForschung“ and co-organised a conference, the results of which were published in the volume „SpatioTemporalities on the Line“ edited by her and Sebastian Dorsch in 2018 by De Gruyter. This volume deals with the ‚world-image production‘ in everyday life and the sciences through lines and linearity from a multidisciplinary perspective. She then continued her research on the relationship between modern art, artistic self-relationships and space in her monograph „From Space in Modern Art to a Spatial Art History. Reassessing Constructivism through the Publication „Circle“ (1937)“ published by De Gruyter in 2020.

Inspired by her work with the research group „Dynamics of Ritual Practices in Judaism in Pluralistic Contexts from Antiquity to the Present“ at the Max-Weber-Kolleg, she has again accepted as a fellow in 2019 the project „Forced Urbanism. Jewish Internment in the British Empire“.

Last year, she was also involved in the successful application for the second funding phase of the International Graduate School (IGS) on the topic of „Resonant World Relations in Socio-Religious Practices in Antiquity and the Present“, funded by the DFG and FWF.

Jutta Vinzent not only had a wide range of interests and was always open to new interdisciplinary projects and questions, but was also particularly committed to promoting young researchers and equality, including by supervising many junior researchers and by temporarily taking on the task of deputy equal opportunities officer at the Max-Weber-Kolleg.

„We will greatly miss her always cheerful and hands-on manner, her incredible optimism and her drive. Our sympathy goes out to her husband, Professor Markus Vinzent, and her children,“ said the directors of the Max-Weber-Kolleg, Professor Hartmut Rosa and Professor Jörg Rüpke.

Fouad Gehad Marei presented a working paper on ‚From the Throes of Anguished Mourning: Shi‘i Ritual Lamentation and the Pious Publics of Lebanon‘

Drawing on an analysis of Shi‘i ritual lamentation in Lebanon, this article examines how religious actors and pious publics employ literary, recitational, theatrical and socio-technological methods to cultivate imaginal engagements with the other-worldly. These methods are analysed, demonstrating how they locate pious Shi‘is in religious metanarratives which transcend the linearity of time and take place in the Elsewhere and the here-and-now, simultaneously. I argue that this produces transposable and lasting dispositions which constitute the Shi‘i self, immerses subjects in this-worldly-oriented modes of religiosity and bestows upon Shi‘i politics and the imagined community a profound emotional legitimacy. I posit that cultivated engagements with the Elsewhere are constitutive experiences in modes of religiosity which emphasise the symbiosis between human action and metaphysical intervention, thus complicating the question of agency and intentional action.