Wrapping up my one semester gig at the JFK-Institute at the Free University Berlin, I was offered the opportunity to present and discuss my ongoing research into contemporary cultures of dissent in the so-called Interdisciplinary Forum of the Institute’s graduate school.
The member’s of the forum are all postdoctoral fellows or advanced PhD-students from different areas of study (hence the name), and they really had some tough questions to ask. Yet, that also allowed me to better clarify some of my basic research tenets; something I still have to work on.
My presentation on representations of dissent in contemporary US literature expanded upon a seminar I gave at Konstanz University last year, and it really felt good to dive into that topic again. Although my teaching at the History Department was great, it nevertheless re-visited my PhD-research and I therefore had almost no time to actually proceed with my postdoctoral project during the semester.
The discussion in the Interdisciplinary Forum brought me back to my current interests, made me focus again on methodological questions (it seems I always aim at connecting too many dots) and allowed me to rummage my own convoluted thoughts with the help of other interested parties. Again I realised that these kinds of forums are some of the nicest and most productive aspects of university research I have encountered so far. Nothing better than to meet and talk…