Forschung der Professur für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte


Kunst, Spiel, Arbeit. Musikerleben in Deuschland, 1850 bis 1960

Das Buchprojekt untersucht die Lebens- und Arbeitswelten von Musikerinnen und Musikern in Deutschland und zeichnet deren Wandel zwischen etwa 1850 und 1960 unter dem Leitmotiv der Professionalisierung nach. Verlauf, Ausmaß und Grenzen der Professionalisierung werden mit Blick auf Ausbildung, Arbeitsbedingungen, Geschlechterverhältnisse und musikkulturelle Spezialisierungsprozesse ebenso erörtert wie anhand transnationaler und technologischer Einwirkungen auf die Arbeits- und Lebenswelten von Musikern. Konzipiert als empirisch dichte Längsschnittstudie, zielt das Projekt darauf ab, erstmals eine genreübergreifende Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte des Musikerberufs zu schreiben, die nicht vorab eine bestimmte Musikrichtung privilegiert, sondern die musikkulturelle wie soziale Ausdifferenzierung des Berufsfeldes historisiert. Die Studie nimmt dafür Anleihen bei der Kultur- und der Professionssoziologie und stützt sich methodisch auf kollektivbiographische und diskursanalytische Verfahren. Dieser Analyserahmen schließt das Vorhaben vor allem an zwei Forschungsfelder an: zum einen an die Sozialgeschichte der Musik; zum anderen an die „neue“ Geschichte der Arbeit und gegenwärtige Debatten über den Aufstieg und den gesellschaftlichen Stellenwert der so genannten Kreativarbeit. Das Projekt wirft so einen frischen Blick auf die Geschichte des Musiklebens in Deutschland und verspricht neue Einsichten über „gewöhnliches“ Musiker-Leben und individuelles Musik-Erleben zwischen Kunst, Spiel und Arbeit in der Moderne.

Sound Spaces: Towards a Global Urban History of Music Venues since the late 19th Century

(with Cornelia Escher)

The last years have seen spectacular openings of music venues, e.g. the Paris Philharmonic and the Shanghai Poly Grand Theater in 2015, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in 2017, and the Music Theatre and Exhibition Hall at Rhike Park in Tiblissi (forthcoming). They bespeak the fact that today music venues equal museums in shaping the image of cities with the help of spectacular landmarks. As such, music venues have become a crucial feature in the global competition among metropoles all over the world to foster their creative industries as well as to provide sound spaces where the social, spatial and aural spheres connect like nowhere else in the city.
This snap shot of the present has a long history. It dates back to at least the late 19th century and will be at the heart of the special issue project. It assembles contributions of scholars with specific knowledge of global history, theater and music history, architecture history and ethnomusicology. In looking at a variety of venues, whether newly built or rededicated, oriented to high culture or mass entertainment, publicly funded or privately run, the project seeks to dismantle the “secrets” of sound spaces and to understand why some music venues developed a distinct aura, became an urban issue and attracted international attention. Flows and exchanges as well as global trends and developments structure the field of our explorations, yet the point of departure is the materialized site on the urban level. Thus, by highlighting agency, the interplay between music and architecture including the human experience and use of sound spaces, as well as their historical trajectories, the contributions will take first steps towards a global urban history of music venues.

Workshopreihe Cultural Brokers and their Networks, 1700s to the Present

The term ‘Cultural Broker’ has nowadays become rather fashionable in the Humanities, yet remains a relatively ill-defined concept. Originally used by anthropologists to describe the role of mediators between indigenous and Western societies, the term is now used more broadly to refer to intermediaries between, as well as within, cultures. However, little has been done to clearly define the term, and more importantly the social position and wider impact of cultural brokers. This project aims to provide an innovative and challenging historical interpretation of what we mean by ‘cultural brokers’ by exploring and comparing their specific networks as engines of (or obstacles to) cross-cultural (ex)change; to locate the lives of brokers in place and space; consider processes of professionalization, social mobility, racial and gender issues as well as questions of their changing Selbst- and Fremdwahrnehmung. In short, we plan to take the analysis of cultural brokers out of the field of cultural encounters and into global social history in order to assess the long-term impacts of brokers on identity, society and economy more broadly. The project will be organised in cooperation between the University of Cambridge and the University of Konstanz through a series of yearly workshops to be held between Winter 2016 and Winter 2018. Principal organisers are Bianca Gaudenzi, Henning Grunwald, Martin Rempe and Moritz von Brescius.