Research Seminar VII - Infrastructures

Dirk van Laak & Marian Burchardt (both SFB 1199 & Leipzig U)

Lockdown, travel restrictions, mutation zones, quarantine. The last year has made it utterly clear that the spatial dimensions of social, cultural, economic and political encounters and entanglements has not lost its significance in our globalized present, and that “globalization” is not a homogeneous, universal force which erases spatial frameworks for human interaction. Some observers claim, that “space” (in the form if e.g. national borders, regional blocs, enclaves) is coming back, some even that “globalization” is at least challenged, if not its ending in sight. This tension is in the focus of ongoing research at the collaborative research centre (SFB) 1199 “Processes of spatialization under the global condition”: How can we conceptualize “globalization” beyond claims of its newsness and the alleged “dissolution of space”? How can we empirically make accessible the competing interests, imaginations and practices of actors dealing with the challenges of global entanglements?

This research seminar is designed for PhD candidates at the Collaborative Research Centre and beyond, who are addressing with their projects variable dimensions of globalization processes and their effects on the respatialization of the world, including studies on border regimes, regionalisms, commodity chains and economic regimes, international organizations, geopolitics, colonialism and decolonization, urbanization and urban-rural relations, infrastructures, cultural representation of world orders and spatial imaginations or the transregional circulation of knowledge.

In the respective sessions, the discussion will focus on specific approaches taken at the individual sub-projects of the SFB towards the problem of space-making and at the same time the collective outcome of the seminar will be a series of contributions to the Blog “Sociopolis” (, explaining how the ongoing research of the SFB combines these different disciplinary and place-specific approaches towards the general problem of respatialization under the global condition.

This week’s session has an input by Dirk van Laak and Marian Burchardt (both SFB 1199 and Leipzig University) on the topic infrastructures and space.

The event takes place online. You can join by clicking the button below.