Wednesday lecture
13 Jun 2018 · 7.00 pm

Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger (Universität Münster): Kulturen und Bilder des Entscheidens

Venue: ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, 3. Et., Trajekte-Tagungsraum

One generally assumes that all action is predicated on the basis of decisions. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger argues, however, that deciding cannot be taken for granted. Indeed, her thesis is that it is not even probable. Whether and to what extent a specific situation is framed, modelled, presented, perceived, narrated and interpreted as a situation of decision-making, she contends, is culturally determined. Deciding has a history; it is formed differently in different historical circumstances and proceeds differently depending on contextually specific cultural techniques (Kulturtechniken). This lecture investigates the question of how the act of deciding has been pictorialized in different historical moments.

The lecture will be held in German.

Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger has held the Chair for Modern History at the Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster since 1997. Her research concentrates on, among other topics, the use and development of symbols and rituals since the Middle Ages. She is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and lead author/editor at the Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung. In 2005, she received the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize of the German Research Society. Her biography of Maria Theresia was awarded the Prize of the Leipzig Book fair in the category of Nonfiction/Essay in 2017 and she received the »Sigmund Freud prize for scholarly prose« from the German Academy of Language and Literature. Beginning in August 2018, she will act as rector for the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study. 

Publications (selection):

  • Maria Theresia. Die Kaiserin in ihrer Zeit. Eine Biographie (München 2017)
  • Cultures of Decision-Making (London 2016)
  • Rituale. Vom vormodernen Europa bis zur Gegenwart (Frankfurt am Main i.a. 2013)
  • Des Kaisers alte Kleider: Verfassungsgeschichte und Symbolsprache des alten Reiches (München 2008)
  • Das Heilige Römische Reich Deutscher Nation vom Spätmittelalter bis 1806 (München 2006)