Annual Seminar 2014

Annual Seminar 2013

6th Annual Seminar of the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS)
4-6 June, 2014

Every year the doctoral researchers of the BGHS convene a conference - the Annual Seminar - inviting researchers and graduate students in both disciplines from all over the world to come to Bielefeld and discuss their research projects in an interdisciplinary peer environment.

This year's Annual Seminar "A 'New Social Question' or 'Crisis as Usual?'" took place from 4 to 6 June, 2014, in Bielefeld. The conference focused on the analysis of the conditions and mechanisms that lead to normative evaluations of inequalities.
Social inequalities, injustices and crises have always been major topics of historical and sociological research, and they have been back on the agenda of public and scientific debates since the beginning of the latest financial crisis, if not longer.

However, a very important question remains unanswered and was focussed on the conference: under what conditions do social inequalities become an issue of scientific consideration, public attention, protest or political intervention? From a historical and sociological perspective the question was asked: Is there a new "social question" or can current developments be seen just as one of "the usual crises"? [see Call for Papers]

Keynote Speakers:

  • Hartmut Kaelble, Humboldt University
  • Angelika Poferl, Fulda University of Applied Sciences
  • Elmar Rieger, Bamberg University
  • Loïc Wacquant, University of California, Berkeley
  • Sylvia Walby, Lancaster University
  • Thomas Faist, Bielefeld University

Conference Report as PDf

Programme as PDf

The conference was organised by doctoral researchers from the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS)and located on a picturesque historic site - the mechanical spinning mill "Ravensberger Spinnerei" in the center of Bielefeld which was established in 1855 as by then only the second textile factory in the region.

The BGHS was founded in 2008 as an international graduate school and is currently in its second phase of funding through the Excellence Initiative of the German Government. At present, the BGHS supports 160 doctoral researchers in their academic training and dissertation research. The task of organizing events such as the Annual Seminar is part of the qualification program within the BGHS curriculum.



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