Always Topical

One of the KWI’s strengths is its ability to deal with topical issues more or less as they are happening. Populism and extremism, for example, were not just of special interest to the Institute’s researchers in the big election year of 2017. In a series of events titled “Großerzählungen des Extremen” (2016/17) (Grand narratives of the extreme), external experts described the rhetoric, symbolism and scenarios of radical grand narratives that can incite people to adopt a radical view of the world and defend it as their own. On four evenings, they reported on and discussed the New Right, populism, Islamic fundamentalism and the global war on terror, on each occasion to a full house. The lectures in the series were published in 2018 by transcript Verlag.

The KWI was also involved in 2016 in preparations for “Luther 2017” events commemorating the Reformation. “Reformations in the history of world religions: the Protestant Reformation by religious comparison” and “Luther Reloaded: do we need a new Reformation?” took a new perspective on the history of the Reformation and stood out among the many academic events for Luther 2017 and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Work in the areas of Interculturality and Culture of Communication remained dynamic, with new research projects initiated in both. Special mention here must be made of “Academy in Exile” in cooperation with the Institute of Turkish Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin. The Academy awards up to ten fellowships per year to Turkish academics who are at risk or living in exile.