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Bielefeld Graduate School

in History and Sociology

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Academic Liaison

The academic liaison acts as an ombudsperson for the members of the BGHS in all matters relating to the BGHS. He advises members and assists them in solving problems that arise in the everyday routine of the BGHS.

The current academic liaison of the BGHS is Apl. Prof. i.R. Dr. Hartmann Tyrell.

Contact Hartmann Tyrell

"Dear Doctoral researchers at the BGHS,

As you may have heard, since the beginning of the year I have agreed to act as your Academic Liaison prof, at least for the current year. Essentially this means that I will be available to talk with you about difficulties which may potentially arise - or indeed have already shown up - in your relationship with your doctoral advisor. This means that it is my task to follow in the footsteps of Jörg Bergmann, whose job this was up until last summer. In an interview from last October he succinctly elaborated on his views and his experiences about what an Academic Liaison professor's brief is. I have attached his interview to this letter. For my own part, I would like here to introduce myself briefly and to say a few words about the way in which I perceive my work as Academic Liaison. Let me say, to begin with, that I was somewhat surprised when the BGHS approached me with the request that I take on this function. After all, my connections with the BGHS have not been particularly close in the years since I left my active duties in 2008. Also I don't have any experience in the area of mediation and counseling, and there was, in addition, the one or the other point which caused me to hesitate before accepting. However, after consulting with a number of people, including above all a long and intensive discussion with your two spokespeople, Ms. Hoffmann and Mr. Youseff, who supplied me with numerous good reasons for saying yes, I agreed to take this challenge on. Hence, I have taken up the task with optimism and confidence and, above all, with the best of intentions to stand by you and to support you should you find yourself in a difficult situation.

Let me say a little about myself. I have been a part of the Department of Sociology since its beginnings in the 1970s. I was Studies Advisor for a considerable period of time, whereby, however, I was chiefly active in the introductory phase of studies. My own training was at the University of Münster, where my fields were sociology, history, and art history. My academic work in Bielefeld and my publications fall into four major areas. The first has to do with the history of sociology, concentrating above all on the sociological classics of the time around 1900, in particular the work of Max Weber (which the historians among you will also appreciate). The second area is what one might call societal or, more specifically, differentiation theory. The third area was, especially in the 1980s, the sociology of the family. In the following years I concentrated chiefly on the sociology of religion, to which, as a 'special sociology', I feel a great attachment. Between 1999 and 2008 I was editor-in-chief of the Zeitschrift für Soziologie. More recently I had to privilege of working together with Bettina Heintz in preparing and publishing a special issue, "Interaktion - Organisation - Gesellschaft revisited", which includes an historical section. I would like, finally, to point out that I have, over the years, accompanied and supported numerous dissertations as a doctoral advisor. In the years before the end of my active engagement in the Department I was relatively strongly involved in the Graduiertenkolleg 'Weltgesellschaft', and after retirement I continued to maintain my connections with it. The last dissertations in which I was involved as first or as second reader lie a few years back.

As far as my activities as Academic Liaison professor are concerned, I am well aware of the dimensions involved, most especially thanks to Jörg Bergmann's very informative report on his work, a report which has been sent to you. I will maintain my contact with Jörg and will nurture close contacts with the administration of the BGHS. For me availability is a top priority, and for this reason I will be offering office hours from February on (to be separately announced). During the semester breaks this will be once a month; during the semester, twice a month. Nevertheless, this does not rule out communication via telephone (which it would be best to arrange ahead of time by e-mail). My main commitment is to support you and your work actively in situations which you find difficult and, of course, in the case of a conflict. In doing this I hope very much that I will be able to fulfill the goals of the job as outlined by Jörg Bergmann. Certainly, I will try to do so to the best of my ability and possibilities.

With best regards,
Hartmann Tyrell

Former Academic Liaisons

Prof. Dr. Jörg Bergmann, academic liaison at the BGHS from 01 April 2012 through 30 June 2014


Report from Prof. i.R. Dr. Jörg Bergmann, academic liaison at the BGHS from 01 April 2012 through 30 June 2014

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