Researching, analyzing and evaluating the complex information are my key domain.The sociological thought process and the sociological way of looking at the world interests me.   As a sociologist relating sociological knowledge to social and public sphere is my key area and due to this I am able to take on the responsibility of being a researcher and have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that I make a success of it.

MemberTatiana Klepikova

Tatiana Klepikova is a visiting researcher at the School for Cultural Studies of the NRU Higher School of Economics in Moscow, where she is working on her postdoctoral project on contemporary Russian queer theater that she will continue at the University of Toronto in August 2019. She has defended her Ph.D. in Slavic Literary Studies at the University of Passau, Germany earlier this year, after obtaining degrees in Pedagogy of Foreign Languages and English and Hispanic Studies in Yaroslavl (Russia), and Russian and East Central European Studies in Passau. She is co-editor of several collections of interdisciplinary essays on privacy, including Outside the “Comfort Zone”: Private and Public Spheres in Late Socialist Europe (forthcoming in 2019 by De Gruyter). Her broader research interests include Soviet and contemporary Russian history and culture, political art, cultural privacy studies, queer studies, performance studies, and histories and cultures of LGBT communities in the post-Soviet space. 

MemberAngela Cassidy

I am a specialist in science and technology studies, with particular interests in science and policy; science communication, engagement and participation; environmental and agricultural politics; contemporary history; and interdisciplinarity. Much of my research explores how scientific knowledge is produced, communicated, interpreted and contested in the wider public sphere, particularly during public knowledge controversies. I have explored these dynamics through a series of case studies, including of popular evolutionary psychology and communication and participation in food chain risks. I also study cross-disciplinary interactions across health, agriculture and the environment, particularly in terms of agenda building and collaboration around the idea of ‘One Health‘. I have recently completed a Wellcome Trust Fellowship investigating the history of bovine TB in the UK since c. 1965 and debates over whether to cull wild badgers in order to control the disease in domestic cattle. The findings will be published in my forthcoming monograph, Vermin, Victims and Disease: British Debates over Bovine Tuberculosis and Badgers (Palgrave Macmillan). You can see further details of my publications here and on Google Scholar. As an extension of my interests in public engagement, I chair the Science in Public Research Network: a cross disciplinary meeting space for academics and professionals interested in science, technology and medicine in the public sphere.

MemberEliseo Jacob

Eliseo Jacob is a lecturer in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Howard University.  He as a Ph.D. from the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at The University of Texas at Austin.  His research and teaching interests include Latin American urban literature and culture, Latin American cultural studies, contemporary Brazilian literature and culture, with a concentration on Afro-Brazilian literary and cultural productions.  His research project focuses on the literary and cultural productions from the urban periphery of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.  Using the theories of the public sphere, race and urban space, he examines how these writers create counterpublics within the immaterial space of the literary text and in the physical space of the city through the circulation of their literary works at cultural events known as saraus.      

MemberBeverly Weber

Beverly Weber’s research and teaching interests include the intersections of race, gender, and migration in Germany and Europe; comparative studies of racialization; digital activism; contemporary visual cultures; contemporary German literature and culture; and Islam in Europe.  Her interdisciplinary work is informed by transnational feminist cultural studies frameworks, with a current focus on theories of precarity and intimacy; and incorporates analysis of popular media, literature, and film. Her first book, Violence and Gender in the “New” Europe: Islam in German Culture, examines how current thinking about Islam and gender violence prohibits the intellectual inquiry necessary to act against a range of forms of violence. It then analyzes ways in which Muslim women participate in the public sphere by thematizing violence in literature, art, and popular media. Her current book project explores the entanglements of racialized histories and European discourses of rights in contemporary discussions of refugees in Germany. She is also working on another project with Maria Stehle examining representations of intimacy and Europeanness in contemporary film.

MemberTorsten Christian Kathke

My current research project analyzes popular non-fiction books diagnosing the state of society in the United States and Germany from 1968 through 1989. I contextualize them as cultural and economic products of their era. My project is located at the juncture of the history of ideas and an analysis of the cultural and economic contexts that translated these ideas to a mass audience.   The two decades following the societal upheavals of the 1960s led to feelings of rootlessness and uncertainty about the future for many in the middle classes, both in Germany and the United States. Newly emergent as well as newly perceived threats to home, hearth, and country filled the headlines and the abundant newscasts. A generation that had grown up believing in constant progress was taken aback by the change of direction. Elites who had so far been personally unaffected by the abundance of problems in their respective societies began to take notice.   In this climate, a streamlined and consolidated publishing industry sold this multitude of crises to concerned consumers in the form of popular books that translated academic debates about the ills of the world into sensationalist, reductive – and sometimes wildly speculative – but convincing jeremiads that left little room for hope if people, societies, or even the world did not change its ways.    Both in Germany and the United States, concerns over environmental issues found fertile ground. American publishers especially also sold tracts on the psychological problems and erosion of family values that postindustrial society seemingly brought with it. Books like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock (1970), Christopher Lasch’s Haven in a Heartless World (1977), or the Club of Rome’s study on The Limits to Growth (1972) were both contributions to debates in the public sphere, as well as their originators; they were located at the intersection of academic debate and public outrage, and thus helped set the tone for an era that has been appropriately termed “The Age of Fracture”.

MemberMichael Leong

My current book project, Contested Records: The Turn to Documents in Contemporary North American Poetry (University of Iowa Press, forthcoming), accounts for why so many contemporary poets have turned to source material, from newspapers to governmental records, as inspiration for their poetry. Synthesizing research in social ontology, cultural memory studies, art history, public sphere theory, and the history of the humanities, Contested Records argues that poems driven by the remixing and reframing of found texts powerfully engage with the collective ways we remember, forget, and remember again. Going well beyond Wordsworthian recollections in tranquility, authors of such research-driven and mnemotechnic work use previous inscriptions as a springboard into public intellectualism and social engagement. This is the first book-length study to examine conceptual writing and documentary poetry under the same cover, showing how diverse writers associated with different poetry communities have a common interest in documentation. Putting into provocative conversation writers such as Amiri Baraka, Kenneth Goldsmith, R.B. Kitaj, Mark Nowak, M. NourbeSe Philip, Vanessa Place, and Claudia Rankine, I analyze a range of twenty-first-century poems that have been reviled, celebrated, or in some cases met with equally telling indifference. In doing so, I offer nuanced and non-polemical treatments of some of the most controversial debates about race and ethnicity in twenty-first century literary culture.

MemberForrest Clingerman

I am in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Ohio Northern University, in Ada, Ohio, USA.  I completed my dissertation in Modern Religious Thought at the University of Iowa in 2005. My teaching and research are both grounded in the study of historical sources as well as contemporary critical voices. My theological, ethical and philosophical work draws deeply from philosophical hermeneutics–particularly Paul Ricoeur–and religious thought, including the work of Paul Tillich.  At the same time, my work resonates with earlier figures from Bonaventure and Anselm to Schleiermacher and Hegel. Currently I am working in two areas of research.  A large portion of my work centers on the issue of place in environmental thought. I have investigated how place (and even more, our emplacement, to echo Ricoeur’s view of emplotment) as a helpful point of orientation for theology, ethics, and philosophy.  To understand place in this way is to approach nature hermeneutically.  A “hermeneutics of place” seeks to understand how we interpret the built and natural surroundings, finding meaning in our location.  This does not simply allow us a framework for understanding natural and built environments, it also suggests a sense of self and community.  Because of the temporal dimensions of place, I have recently worked on the issue of memory, imagination, and place.  A hermeneutics of place has ethical and theological dimensions, especially when we attempt to uncover the depth dimension of our emplacement in the world. As I conceive it, a hermeneutical approach to the environment has implications for public policy and ethics.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the topic of climate change and religion.  I have become involved in exploring theological responses to climate change.  In particular, I have researched theological responses to climate engineering (otherwise known as geoengineering, or the large scale manipulation of the climate as an attempt to mitigate anthropogenic climate change—and the ongoing crisis of anthropogenic climate change).  The recent surge in interest in climate engineering is related to the question of whether the planet has entered the Anthropocene, which is not simply a scientific but also a hermeneutical concept for understanding the human relationship with the Earth. A second area of research is the interconnection of religion, hermeneutics, and culture. This includes not only the visual arts, literature, and classical music, but also popular culture–television, film, etc.  Works of art and literature provide us with dialogue partners for understanding the richness and depth of human experience.  Not only does this engage environmental aesthetics and ethics, but it allows us to contribute to theological discussions of the meaning of being human.  Theological thinking oftentimes is thinking alongside works of culture, even in the cases that are on the surface identified with the more-than-human world. While these two questions might appear separate, I am intrigued at the points of connection.  In both cases, the question is this: philosophically, what is our relationship with the world in which we live?  In the case of spiritual communities, we can further ask: how has religion exposed the depth of such a relationship?  Such questions are not simply intellectually interesting, but have real significance for the public sphere.  Thus I hope my scholarship and teaching clarifies these issues, and leads to deeper way of living in the world.