The work in the Topoi Lab Area B was a combination of detecting and experimenting. If theories, concepts and issues could be assembled like building blocks, this sort of work would be unnecessary. In fact, however, disciplines and research fields are so determined by their respective internal logic, by the motives of their quest for knowledge, by their own raison d’être that it often remains obscure how they could be brought together, to cooperate and debate with one another. What is important here is to detect issues, questions, problems which correspond to each other or resemble one another – or can at least be joined up together productively; we need to untie theoretical knots and generate experimental approaches in which new differentiated possibilities of links emerge. This has been done, for example, in experimental workshops such as “Use and abuse of constructivistic theoretical approaches” and “Academic cultures of empirical cultural studies”; by theoretical basic and general research on key issues such as “Transformation”, “Practical and theoretical knowledge”; “Natural language and terminology”; “The concept of monumentality”, finally – as groundwork – by the workshop discussions “Theories and methods of historical and cultural studies”.
Image above: Reconstruction of Stoa of Attalos | Photo: S. Mollerus | CC BY 2.0