Future Prospects

The historian Ute Schneider (UDE) took over as acting director of the KWI following the departure of Claus Leggewie. She is a long-serving member of the KWI board of directors and very well acquainted with the research environment at the Institute. She sees her interim mandate as a “scientific challenge and opportunity” to advance current research fields and issues of sociopolitical relevance. The emphasis for her is research on a living Europe before and after Brexit and on forms of compromise in past and present societies. It was on her invitation that the political scientist Gesine Schwan came in November 2017 to discuss her vision of a pan-European refugee policy that operates at municipal level. Ute Schneideris also keen to promote the KWI among the young researchers of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) as a think tank and shared platform for scientific exchange.

This is a theme the literature professor Julika Griem also wishes to pick up on when she takes over as the Institute’s director in April 2018: “I am honoured to have been appointed to this position. The KWI is an important institution that is influential far beyond the region. I am delighted to accept the challenge and the opportunity that come with the appointment.” She sees possible new priorities at the KWI in the fields of cultural science studies, sociology of culture and literature, science communication, and developing new teaching formats based on practical experience in the humanities. Griem is professor of English Literature and has been vice-president of the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2016. Ute Schneider welcomes her appointment: “Julika Griem has been a respected colleague for many years, and I am delighted that she will be taking over as director of the KWI from the summer semester 2018.”

With her interdisciplinary research interests, Julika Griem will open up new and interesting prospects for the KWI and uphold its profile as a hub for scientific debate on contemporary culture.