Call for Applications for the Blankensee Colloquia: Cultural and Social Change

Application deadline 17 October 2018

This call for applications invites young scholars from Berlin and Brandenburg to submit proposals for a Blankensee Colloquium.  The Blankensee Colloquia are small-scale international conferences or workshops with about twenty participants discussing innovative approaches in the humanities and social sciences.  All proposals should take into account the program’s thematic framework, namely research into processes of social and cultural change in the present day.  In this regard we welcome the conjunction of various disciplinary and methodological approaches as well as a comparative perspective allowing for consideration of such transformative processes in light of experiences that are historically remote and culturally foreign.  The program’s thematic framework – cultural and social change – is admittedly a very ambitious one.  It is also to be understood as an invitation to incorporate approaches that are not necessarily central to one’s respective discipline or usual work and therefore might appear risky from the perspective of one’s own career development.  The idea behind the Blankensee Colloquia is to create a space where novel, experimental research questions can be the object of discussion while also promoting their wider acceptance.

This call for applications is directed at young scholars holding a position in a Berlin-Brandenburg research institution, i.e. postdocs, those who have completed their habilitation, junior professors, junior research group leaders, and newly appointed professors. Please note that you can only apply if at least one of the applicants has an affiliation with a Berlin research institution. Interested scholars should receive the opportunity of presenting themselves and their work to a circle of colleagues from within Germany and beyond its borders. They should tailor and carry out the conference in a way that conforms to their own ideas regarding its thematic thrust as well as its format and the choice of participants.  The colloquia give participants the chance to expand their own scholarly networks and establish or deepen contacts with relevant colleagues.  They are also afforded the opportunity to eventually publish certain select contributions to the colloquia, which aids in creating greater visibility for a scholar’s specific research agenda.

The Process

Interested scholars (individuals or small teams consisting of up to three persons)  should submit an application of four to five pages that introduces their field of research and explains how it would be presented thematically and further developed in a Blankensee Colloquium.  The application (in German or English) should describe the proposed field’s current research and elucidate just what developments would appear to be desirable.  The application should amply illustrate the potential (or lack thereof) for researching the proposed topic in Berlin and Brandenburg, and it should detail what other researchers – from Berlin, Germany or abroad – should be included as partners in the discourse.

The Blankensee Colloquia are financed by the Wissenschaftskolleg Cooperation Fund.  The selection committee consists of the presidents/rectors of the following institutions: the Free University of Berlin, the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Technical University of Berlin, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.  There is one Blankensee Colloquium allotted per year, and the Wissen¬schafts¬kolleg coordinates the program.

The selected scholars are expected to themselves plan and organize the conference in accord with their proposal.  They determine the program and those who will participate. If the organizing scholars so desire, the Wissenschaftskolleg can advise them or mediate contacts to former Fellows.  There is a maximum of €20,000 available for the conference inclusive funds for its preparation and follow-up.  These funds can be utilized for the usual costs of a conference, for example travel, food and lodging for the participants.  If necessary a portion can be used for preliminary activities (e.g. talks with out-of-town scholars, planning meetings) or in paying for an assistant directly before or during the event.

Please e-mail your proposal as a pdf file  to Martin Garstecki garstecki(at)wiko-berlin.de no later than 17 October 2018.  The proposal should consist of a four to five-page description of your idea as well as your cv including a list of publications (again up to five pages per person).  For further information please inquire with Martin Garstecki.


Martin Garstecki

Martin Garstecki

Organization and Cross-Sectional Tasks

Tel. +49 30 89001 212