Marlis Arnhold presents a working paper on ‚Death and the Dead in the City – a case study on Roman and Late Antique Athens‘

Focusing on Roman and Late Antique Athens (1st c. BCE – 7th c. CE) this project analyses the mutual transformations of urban and burial space. It combines the analysis of archaeological, epigraphic and literary evidence in a wide-ranging investigation of urban social and religious dynamics and their effects. The period in question is particularly interesting as the city underwent various processes of urbanisation (2nd c. CE) and de-urbanisation (late 3rd c. CE). In Roman times, Athens was passed through by myriads of worshippers of Demeter and Kore on their way to nearby Eleusis in quest for a better fate after death. The Sacred Way hence formed a prominent burial location. However, many indicators of transformations that affected the cemeteries throughout time and space can be found: i.e. the creation of the Hadrianic ‚new town’, the construction of the Panathenaic Stadium, the emergence of villa complexes in the Imperial period to the east of the city, multiple changes to the city walls, but also the emergence of Christianity and new public spaces within the city in Late Antiquity. It is from the 4th-5th c. CE onwards that we find Christian burials sites in the very centre of the city in context of once grande monuments. All in all, a general connection between the preservation of monuments, their relevance for the collective memory of the city and the existence of the institutions associated with them can be observed.

Marcus Döller presents a working paper on ‚Action and Sociality: Model of Infortune‘

In chapter 20 of my PhD project I am going to conceptualize a processual understanding of subjectivity on the one side and social reproduction on the other side. In referring to Rosa I show that both accounts are interwoven with each other on a level of social constitution and reproduction. I take Rosa to radicalize how we can think of transformation in subjective and social conditions of modernity. My systematical starting point and end point as well is the concept of “practical capacities”. This is the theoretical framework in which I want to place what human action as capacity of the subject could be. My suggestion is to understand creative actions as actualization of what I call “incapacities internal to capacities”. The chapter articulates this dialectic on the level of subjective action and social structure. In developing three different models in subjectivity (i), social revolution (ii) and nature (iii) I show that transformation has to think about regressive moments as moments of standstill. The concept of standstill is crucial for my elaboration of transformative action as liberation because it helps me to think transformation as producing something that is as well a fundamental resistance against the social order and transformative potential within the social reproduction at the same time. In order to understand liberation – the overall topic of all of my chapters – we have to understand both moments.