Research Areas and Expertise

I am a social theorist with a strong empiricist commitment informed by social and cultural transformation. Combining qualitative research with theoretical exploration, I have taught and published extensively on social theory from the classics until today. During my international career, I have specialized on the French humanities, American pragmatism, international practice theories, science and technology studies, social sciences of nature and sociological experimentalism. Facing actual global socio-cultural frictions and increasing socio-material disparities, my claim is that social cohesion and progress cannot rely exclusively on shared experiential backgrounds any more. As a consequence, a social science of experience is needed, as experiental differences and breaks constitute, on the one hand, the basis for conflict and violence; however they can, on the other hand, give way for innovation and new types of heterogeneous cooperation. My query spans from the political field (social cohesion) to nature-society enactments within the planetary ecological crisis in the knowledge society. In our current FIELDS research project I combine conceptual research with the creation of “third knowledge spaces” linking the social with global marine sciences to promote better solutions for sustainable aquatic futures.

Selected Projects

2022-2025: DFG-funded Research Project “Experiencing Nature and Society

Principle Investigator, Research Project “FIELDS – Experiencing Nature and Society. A Multi-sited Inquiry into Marine and Ethnographic Field Sciences”, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). More info here.

2017-2020: “Ecologies of Social Cohesion

Interdisciplinary Graduate Programme “Ecologies of Social Cohesion. Heterogeneity and Hybridity in Synchronic and Diachronic Comparison”, Kassel University, with Prof. Dr Jörn Lamla, Dr Franziska Müller, Prof. Dr Anke Ortlepp, Prof. Dr Kai Ruffing, Prof. Dr Sabine Ruß-Sattar (AZ. P/979)

2012-2014: “Why Pragmatism? On the Importance of Pragmatism in the Social Sciences and the Humanities

German-Italian-French Research Conferences at the Villa Vigoni, Italy with Albert Ogien (CEMS/EHESS Paris) and Roberto Frega (Universitá di Bologna), funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Villa Vigoni (Italy) and the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (France), AZ. GZ: BO 3268/2-1 & AOBJ: 591480.

2011-12: Laboratory Study at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle Paris & Ethnography of a transnational marine biological Expedition in Papua New guinea

•       ​Symmetrical observations, Part I:

•       Symmetrical observations, Part II: