Trajectories of Lives and Knowledge

The research area Trajectories of Lives and Knowledgefocuses on the intersection of life worlds and practices of knowledge production in different historical, regional, and political constellations. Biographical approaches not only open a window to understand broader social processes, but also reveal social tensions entangled in the production of knowledge. By exploring the translocal life trajectories of individuals and groups, mostly from colonial and postcolonial contexts in Africa and Asia, we look at the intersections of subjectivity, temporality, and social practices in processes of knowledge production. What resources do people mobilise to deal with institutional challenges and normative expectations of their social environment? How are different forms of knowledge (religious, professional, practical, everyday) interrelated and under which circumstances do their use and formation change? Based on the assumption that individuals are at the same time subjects and objects of socially contested forms of knowledge, we also aim to connect our studies of past and contemporary societies with reflections on our own positionality as (academic) observers.

Research Projects