Located at the centre of its research activities, the Knowledge Lab interlinks the cluster’s three main research structures: the African Cluster Centres, the Academy, and the Research Sections. It offers a variety of meeting formats—from the ad hoc to the regular and formal—for cluster members and guests to come together and propel academic debates. As the locus of these meetings, the Knowledge Lab assembles scholars and their research projects in various venues to exchange ideas and methods and to engage in debate and systematic reflection. Directed by the Vice Dean of Research, it generates a thriving intellectual and interdisciplinary research environment that also includes non-academics, such as artists and activists, and stimulates transdisciplinary synergies and research.
The Knowledge Lab indeed is crucial in connecting the cluster’s theoretical, epistemological, and methodological issues. Accordingly, it is subdivided into three interlinked spaces for debate and exchange: The Theory Forum, the Reflexive African Studies Forum, and the Methodology Forum.
The events of the Plenary Colloquium (Thu 2 to 6 p.m.) of the Knowledge Lab are dedicated to a general theme during one academic year and are coordinated by a group consisting of PIs, postdocs and other participants, as well as the team of the Vice-Dean of Research.
General themes and contact persons
1. Relationality (summer semester 2020, contact person: Erdmute Alber)
2. Modalities (October 2020 to July 2021, contact person: Clarissa Vierke)
3. Medialities (October 2021 to July 2022, contact person: Ivo Ritzer)
4. Spatialities (October 2022 to July 2023, contact person: Eberhard Rothfuß)
5. Temporalities (October 2023 to July 2024, contact person not yet determined)
Click here to access the current semester programme.
A registration and enrolment (both with BT-identification and password) might be necessary. Please contact us to obtain the enrolment key.
The general theme forms the topical frame of reference for the meetings in the plenary colloquium, for example through guest contributions, joint readings, discussion rounds, etc. In addition, the general theme may also play a role in the sub-forums, projects, in the work of the Research Sections, in the presentations of Fellows and young scholars, and in the contributions of the ACCs. An annual programme will culminate in an international conference dedicated to the general theme.
All cluster members are invited to participate in the organisation of an annual programme and to communicate their proposals and suggestions to the contact person.
Thanks to its technical equipment the Knowledge Lab allows for the virtual participation of researchers across the globe, facilitating transdisciplinary and transcontinental debate and exchange within and between research projects. It thus stimulates multidirectional flows of theoretical and reflexive debates, as well as empirical findings, that contribute to the refining of methodologies and driving of conceptual advances.