The conference—part of a larger research project dealing with the relation of literary studies to history and sociology (‘Text, Literature, History. Perspectives for the 21st century’)—focused on the differing concepts of modernism and modernity employed in sociology, history, cultural studies, and literary criticism. The participants concentrated on the relation of modernity to aesthetic modernism, on the concept of ‘multiple modernities’ as an alternative to theories of modernization, and on modernity as a highly contested and normative concept in the history of academic disciplines. While the participants agreed on the need to historicize the concept and on the rough periodization of modernity since the 18th century, there was less consensus regarding the nature of late modernity: e.g. some participants perceived modernity as an ongoing process of acceleration, while others contended that the initial, more homogenous phase of modernity/modernization has been superseded by a more heterogeneous and open post-modernity.
Norbert Bachleitner (Wien), Anna Sophie Brasch (Bonn), Björn Bühner (Saarbrücken), Matthias Buschmeier (Bielefeld), Holger Dainat (Bielefeld), Christof Dipper (Darmstadt), Jens Ewen (Jena), Peter Fritzsche (Urbana, IL), Mareike Gronich (Bielefeld), Gangolf Hübinger (München), André Kieserling (Bielefeld), Dorothee Kimmich (Tübingen), Wolfgang Knöbl (Göttingen), Matthias Löwe (Jena), Anke-Marie Lohmeier (Saarbrücken), Andreas Reckwitz (Frankfurt (Oder)), Hartmut Rosa (Jena), Ingo Stöckmann (Bonn), Dirk von Petersdorff (Jena), Torsten Voß (Bielefeld), Anne Warmuth (Bielefeld)