International Symposium of the Volkswagen Foundation
The Symposium "Academia in the Age of Comparison. Methodological and Empirical Perspectives" will take place on 12.-14.June 2019 at the Conference Center Herrenhausen Palace in Hannover.
Academia is in an age of comparison. Momentous processes like globalization, marketization, and digitalization are not only of general societal relevance but alsopushed by and simultaneously pushing comparisons in academia. In this climate, comparison ‘strikes back’: Scholars are conducting comparisons as a research method and at the same time turn into units of comparison themselves. The symposium emphasizes the double role of comparisons as an intellectual operation in research practice, and a social practice that contributes to creating an academic social order. Instead of conceiving of comparisons as a mere intellectual operation with few social consequences, or as a social process that is not based on very specific methodological implications, the symposium is ought to facilitate a more detailed understanding of comparisons of and in academia through interdisciplinary dialogue. Contributions are distributed across four slots with talks and comments that address key aspects of comparison in academia: histories and trajectories of comparison, the relation between comparator and compared, devices and instruments of comparison, and consequences of comparison.In addition to these contributions, early career researchers present their ongoing research in an interactive poster and pitche(r)s session. Two keynotes by eminent scholars of comparison and a closing panel with observations made during the symposium by distinguished scholars complement these contributions