Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Lehrstuhl für Praktische Philosophie und Sozialphilosophie & Humanities and Social Change Center Berlin

Veranstaltungen 2021

Hier finden Sie die Veranstaltungen, Tagungen und Workshop für das Jahr 2021.

Veranstaltungen, Tagungen und Workshops 2021

9. Dezember 2021, Critical Theory at Work



Is there still a need for a comprehensive social theory today that clarifies the interrelation and interaction of the various social spheres? In her influential 1994 essay “Gender as Seriality,” Iris Marion Young is skeptical. Much effort, she argues, has gone into theories that serve no particular purpose other than “to understand, to reveal the way things are.” Now, however, she continues, it is time to proceed more pragmatically, that is: “driven by some problem that has ultimate practical importance and […] not concerned to give an account of a whole”. There is nothing wrong with addressing such practical problems—in Young’s case, it is a question of determining the commonality in the experiences of sexist discrimination under the condition of radically different social situations in which such experiences occur. However, the question Young poses, a question of eminent practical importance for feminism, seems to point back to the horizon of a social theory since it is a question about the coherence of social phenomena after all. For this is precisely what a social theory has to do: it has to show the connections that exist between social sub-fields and thus between the experiences made there.

Often enough, social theoretical designs have tried to accomplish this task by postulating clear hierarchies of social phenomena and derivations between them. This strategy made social theory unattractive to many of the new social movements. Today, however, the question is what connects the inheritors of these movements or at least allows us to deal with the conflicts between them on a theoretical level. If the multiple concrete experiences of exploitation, discrimination, exclusion and so on are not to be reduced to an abstract as well as politically ineffective denominator such as “suffering” or “injustice”, must not then the hour of theories, which promise to reconstruct the coherence of social relations, strike again?

The workshop approaches this question by discussing the candidates which attempts at social theory could take up today. We will discuss this with Lillian Cicerchia, Estelle Ferrarese, Kristina Lepold, Kolja Möller, Dirk Quadflieg, Martin Saar and Titus Stahl.


7. Juli 2021, Critical Theory Roundtable

Foundations of Solidarity

Mittwoch, 7. Juli, 18:00 Uhr

Online Diskussion mit Hauke Brunkhorst, Stefan Gosepath, Asad Haider, Sabine Hark, Serene Khader, Stephan Lessenich, Frederick Neuhouser, moderiert von Rahel Jaeggi und Robin Celikates.


In this round table event we will discuss with Hauke Brunkhorst, Stefan Gosepath, Asad Haider, Sabine Hark, Serene Khader, Stefan Lessenich, and Frederick Neuhouser. Organized by the Humanities and Social Change Center Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) in cooperation with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the New School for Social Research (Alice Crary). 

How can the materialist foundations of actual solidarity be rethought without falling back into tacit assumptions of social homogeneity? Class, gender, race, nation, and even humanity have all lost their status as matters of course. Given the effects of sexism and racism, theories of solidarity have to take into account the complex contradictions of capitalist societies which divide subaltern and exploited groups on the domestic level as well as globally. Appeals to solidarity hence run into an uncertainty concerning the foundations of solidarity. Is solidarity the result of a shared form of life or of collective practices? Does it stem from similar experiences or a common situation? Is it marked by adversity or a common enemy? Or is it the effect of a shared devotion to a common cause?

This event is part of our fourth International Critical Theory Summer School. While the Summer School is limited to admitted participants, the round table event is public. The zoom-link will be published in advance.


Roundtable participants:

Hauke Brunkhorst (Europa-Universität Flensburg)
Stefan Gosepath (Freie Universität Berlin)
Asad Haider (New School for Social Research)
Sabine Hark (Technische Universität Berlin)
Serene Khader (City University of New York)
Stephan Lessenich (Universität München)
Frederick Neuhouser (Barnard College, Columbia University)

Moderated by Robin Celikates (Freie Universität Berlin) and Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

1 Juli 2021, Critical Theory Rondtable Live:
A New Socialism for a New Century? Conversations on Socialism #4

Donnerstag, 1. Juli, 18:00 Uhr
Zoom link : 

(Meeting-ID: 654 8086 1952 Passwort: 754956)

mit Christine Berry (Kuratorin von Rethinking Economics), Axel Honneth (Jack C. Weinstein Professor for the Humanities an der Columbia Universität New York), Bhaskar Sunkara (Herausgeber des Jacobin Magazine) und moderiert von Rahel Jaeggi


Die Verunsicherung darüber, wie eine linke gesellschaftliche Alternative aussehen könnte, sitzt tief. Am Ende seiner diesjährigen Benjamin Lectures bekannte Axel Honneth: „Ich habe mich immer als Sozialist gesehen, auch wenn ich heute nicht mehr genau weiß, was ein voll entwickelter Sozialismus bedeutet.“ Gleichzeitig ist „Sozialismus“ vor allem im angelsächsischen Raum wieder verstärkt zu einer linken Chiffre geworden: junge Aktivist_innen versuchen, die traditionellen sozialdemokratischen Parteien mit Hilfe von Graswurzelbewegungen zu beeinflussen, nach links zu rücken und auf einen „Sozialismus“ zu verpflichten, der hier und jetzt anfängt. Wir wollen deshalb darüber diskutieren, was heute eine Demokratisierung der Ökonomie bedeuten kann, welche Rolle Markt und Staat dabei spielen sollten und wie sich der „neue Sozialismus“ zu jenen linken Emanzipationsbewegungen verhält, die sich dem Kampf gegen Diskriminierung verschrieben haben. Die Frage ist: Welche gesellschaftlichen Entwürfe werden in den nächsten Jahren an die Stelle der alten sozialdemokratischen Versprechen und Ansätze treten, die heute nicht mehr überzeugen?


Christine Berry, eine der prominentesten Vertreterinnen des sozialistischen Neuaufbruchs in Großbritannien und Co-Autorin von People Get Ready!

Axel Honneth, Autor von Die Idee des Sozialismus.

Bhaskar Sunkara, Gründer des Jacobin Magazine, das Sozialismus als intellektuell aufregende Strömung in den USA sichtbar macht, und Autor von The Socialist Manifesto.

16., 17. und 18. Juni 2021

Walter Benjamin Lectures 2021 mit Axel Honneth

"Der arbeitende Souverän. Eine demokratische Theorie der Arbeitsteilung“

Ort: Freiluftkino Hasenheide

Zeit: 18:00 - 20:00 Uhr


On June 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2021, Axel Honneth will give the Benjamin Lectures on “The Working Sovereign: A Democratic Theory of the Division of Labor”.

One of the greatest shortcomings of almost all theories of democracy is the tendency to repeatedly forget, with a certain stubbornness, that most members of the loudly invoked sovereign are also always working subjects. As much as one might like to imagine that citizens are primarily engaged in actively participating in political debate, this is wrong in social reality; almost all of those we are talking about do paid or unpaid work on a daily basis for many hours at a time, which, due to the effort and duration, makes it impossible for them to even put themselves in the role of a participant in democratic decision-making. 

This blind spot of democratic theory precedes its object and yet penetrates it down to its finest capillaries: a social division of labor that arose on the basis of modern capitalism and assigns each member of society a place in the structure of social reproduction, determining his or her scope of influence and options for participation in the process of democratic decision-making. The task of the Benjamin Lectures is to investigate the connection between democracy and the social division of labor. We will examine (I) which normative connection exists between the goal of civic participation in democratic decision-making and social labor, (II) what is the actual distribution of social labor today, and finally, (III) what possibilities seem feasible today for eliminating existing disadvantages.

The lectures are held in German.

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021
Lecture 1: Die Arbeit (in) der Demokratie
Commentary: Ruth Yeoman (University of Oxford)

Thursday, June 17th, 2021
Lecture 2, Die Wirklichkeit der gesellschaftlichen Arbeit
Commentary: Christine Wimbauer (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Friday, June 18th, 2021
Lecture 3: Der Kampf um die gesellschaftliche Arbeit
Commentary: Andrea Komlosy (Universität Wien)

The event will be simultaneously interpreted into English.

5. - 10. July 2021


Summerschool 2021


Despite a widespread diagnosis that solidarity is in crisis, appeals to solidarity are ubiquitous today. We encounter them on the level of personal and professional relations but also with regard to institutions and systems of social security and welfare. They gain a dramatic character when human lives are in danger, e.g. when refugees have to cross the Mediterranean in floating death traps or when climate change is devastating the livelihood of whole populations. In all these cases, appeals to solidarity are invoking a ‘we’: We, the family or friends; we, the co-workers or professionals of our branch; we, the members of a national community or a social collective; we, leftists or members of a political movement; we, human beings; …

How can the materialist foundations of actual solidarity be rethought without falling back into tacit assumptions of social homogeneity? Class, gender, race, nation, and even humanity have all lost their status as matters of course. Given the effects of sexism and racism, theories of solidarity have to take into account the complex contradictions of capitalist societies which divide subaltern and exploited groups on the domestic level as well as globally. Appeals to solidarity hence run into an uncertainty concerning the foundations of solidarity. Is solidarity the result of a shared form of life or of collective practices? Does it stem from similar experiences or a common situation? Is it marked by adversity or a common enemy? Or is it the effect of a shared devotion to a common cause?

The summer school will involve plenary lectures and discussions, reading sessions, smaller group discussions and panel debates. Only the latter will be open to the broader public. We will explore classical approaches such as Émile Durkheim’s analysis of the modern division of labour, Karl Marx’s claim the proletariat is a universal class that will found society on new relations of solidarity, and Iris Marion Young’s concept of seriality. Besides such classics, we will discuss with leading contemporary theorists of solidarity (several of which will be present as instructors) whether or not current approaches of solidarity open up new perspectives for universalism.


To apply for participation, graduate students and junior scholars are invited to submit a precis of their take on core issues in the debate on solidarity and a CV (each document 1 page max.). The precis should show which particular background knowledge and systematic positions the applicants would contribute to our joint discussions.


Deadline for (re-)applications: March 8th, 2021

The summer school will be conducted in a hybrid format. This means you can participate online if you are not able to travel to Berlin.


There is a fee of 300€ for the summer school. For participants who will not be able to take part in person due to travel restrictions, no fee will be charged. Participants have to fund their own travel, accommodation and food. There will be funds available for international students without access to institutional reimbursement; those who qualify can apply for travel and accommodation subsidies.

Call for Application:



Hauke Brunkhorst (Europa-Universität Flensburg)
Asad Haider (New School for Social Research)
Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Serene Khader (City University of New York)
Frederick Neuhouser (Banard College, Columbia University)


Robin Celikates (Freie Universität Berlin)
Regina Kreide (Universität Gießen)
Lea-Riccarda Prix (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Christian Schmidt (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Further Participants Round Table:

Stefan Gosepath (Freie Universität Berlin)
Sabine Hark (Technische Universität Berlin)
Stefan Lessenich (Universität München)

Organizers: Robin Celikates, Rahel Jaeggi, Susann Schmeißer,
Christian Schmidt (Center for Humanities and Social Change,
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), in cooperation with the
Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the New School for
Social Research (Alice Crary).


31 March 2021, Critical Theory in Context LIVE:

Whose City? Urban Struggles in the Age of Gentrification

LIVE on March 31st, 4 - 6 pm at
(Meeting ID: 632 4961 3919 Password: 937024)
with Lisa Vollmer, Mustafa Dikeç, Christian Volk and Robin Celikates

whose city

Gentrification and neoliberalization have shaped the cities we live in but also given rise to urban struggles, from uprisings to social movements advocating for rent control and tenants' rights. What are the dynamics shaping the city as both a field and object of social and political protests and movements? What possibilities and limitations  characterize the various forms of urban struggle, and to what extent are they able to create concrete alternatives and to transform urban politics? And how can urban struggles overcome the many cleavages that characterize the modern city and develop counterstrategies to neoliberal individualization and state repression?

Lisa Vollmer is a researcher and lecturer at the Institute for European Urban Studies at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and a member of the Berlin-based political initiative Stadt von unten/City from Below.  Her research interests include urban social movements, gentrification and housing. Among her recent publications is Strategien gegen
Gentrifizierung (Schmetterling, 2018).

Mustafa Dikeç is Professor of Urban Studies at the École d'urbanisme de Paris (EUP) and researcher at Malmö University. His work is located at the intersection of space and politics, urban uprisings, and temporal urban infrastructures. His most recent book is Urban Rage: The Revolt of the Excluded (Yale University Press, 2017).

18 March 2021, Critical theory Roundtable

Critical Theory Roundtable: Pandemic Politics - Contested Expertise and
Activist Perspectives

Online conversation with Gregg Gonsalves, Rahel Jaeggi and Robin Celikates.


In this roundtable, Gregg Gonsalves discusses with Rahel Jaeggi and Robin Celikates how to fight the denial of truth by right-wing movements and authoritarian governments without falling for the naïve belief in the objectivity of value free science. Drawing from his rich experience as an AIDS/HIV activist, Gregg Gonsalves describes the vital role of
social and political movements such as Black Lives Matter, both for establishing a democratic system of public health beyond technocracy and for the global distribution of vaccines without which the pandemic will not come to an end. As Rahel Jaeggi sums up at one point, the Gregg Gonsalves' position is best described as: "The medical is the

Gregg Gonsalves has been an AIDS activist for over 30 years. He is a global health activist, and assistant professor at Yale School of Public Health.

18 Februar 2021, Critical Theory in Context:

Rassismuskritik nach Hanau

Online conversation with Vanessa E. Thompson und Serhat Karakayali, moderated by Robin Celikates


Rassismuskritik nach Hanau

Organized by the Center for Humanities and Social Change

Nach dem Terroranschlag von Hanau am 19. Februar 2020 haben vor allem die in der Initiative „19. Februar“ organisierten Opferfamilien dafür gekämpft, dass es kein Zurück zu einer vermeintlichen Normalität geben darf. Hanau muss zur Zäsur werden in der deutschen Auseinandersetzung mit Rassismus – einer Zäsur, die zugleich auf das Kontinuum rassistischer Gewalt, Diskurse, Strukturen und Subjektivierungen verweist. Wir fragen, wie sich dieses Kontinuum historisch und theoretisch fassen lässt, wie sich soziale und politische Diskurse über Rassismus verändert haben und wie sie sich verändern müssen, welche theoretischen und politischen Perspektiven der Rassismuskritik hierzu produktiv beitragen können, und wie diese sich zu aktuellen Kämpfen verhalten, von #BlackLivesMatter bis zu migrantischen Bewegungen.


Dr. Vanessa E. Thompson ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Lehrstuhl für Vergleichende Kultur und Sozialanthropologie an der Europa-Universität Viadrina (Frankfurt Oder). Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte sind kritische Rassismus- und Migrationsforschung, Black Studies, Gender Studies, postkolonial/dekolonial-feministische Theorien und Methodologien sowie transformative Gerechtigkeit. In ihrem Postdoc-Projekt untersucht sie Racial Profiling in Europa und alternative Formen der abolitionistischen und feministisch-transformativen Gerechtigkeit.


Dr. Serhat Karakayali ist Soziologe und Leiter der Abteilung Migration am Deutschen Zentrum für Integrations- und Migrationsforschung (DeZIM). Er forscht u.a. zu Migration, Geschichte und Gegenwart illegaler Einwanderung, Praktiken und Medien der Solidarität in der Migrationsgesellschaft und der Transformation von Integrationspolitiken. 


Spenden an die „Initiative 19. Februar“ unter: 

12. Januar 2021, Critical Theory in Context:

Enteignen und dann?

Online conversation with Sabine Nuss und Hans-Jürgen Urban, moderated by Christian Schmidt


12.Jaunar_Enteignen und dann?

Je größer die Verwerfungen auf dem Wohnungsmarkt, je größer überhaupt die ökologischen und sozialen Krisen werden, die die freie Marktwirtschaft produziert, umso lauter werden auch die Stimmen, die nach radikalen Lösungen rufen. Mit der Berliner Kampagne „Deutsche Wohnen & Co enteignen“, aber auch mit den Forderungen nach einer „Sozialisierung“ von BMW und ganz generell Unternehmen, deren Geschäftsmodell auf der Förderung und Verbrennung von fossilen Energieträgern beruht, ist die Enteignung von privatem Kapital wieder in die politische Diskussion zurückgekehrt. Doch was bedeutet „enteignen“ eigentlich genau? Verstaatlichung, Rekommunalisierung, Überführung in gemeinschaftliches oder genossenschaftliches Eigentum sind hier gängige Antworten. Und nach den Erfahrungen mit der Planwirtschaft des „realexistierenden“ Sozialismus wird regelmäßig hinzugefügt, dass es natürlich um die demokratische Bewertung von Bedürfnissen und kollektive Entscheidungsformen gehe. Wie diese genau aussehen und ob sie einen Sozialismus zur Voraussetzung haben oder sich auch im Kapitalismus verwirklichen lassen, ist das Thema des dritten Gesprächs in der Reihe Über Sozialismus reden, das zugleich an den Eigentums-Workshop im Dezember 2018 sowie das Barrikadengespräch zur Wohnungsfrage (mit Canan Bayram, Jenny Weyel und Daniel Loick) anknüpft.

Sabine Nuss ist die Geschäftsführerin des Karl Dietz Verlags in Berlin. In ihrem Buch Keine Enteignung ist auch keine Lösung (Dietz Berlin 2019) plädiert sie für kleine und große Wiederaneignungen der gesellschaftlichen Produktion.

Hans-Jürgen Urban ist geschäftsführendes Vorstandsmitglied der IG Metall und Permanent Fellow am Jenaer Kolleg Postwachstumsgesellschaften. Er plädiert dafür, wirtschaftliche Entscheidungen schrittweise zu demokratisieren und die Zivilgesellschaft in sie einzubeziehen.