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An Awkward Relationship

University of Freiburg researchers address the relationship between otiose leisure and academic work

Freiburg, Apr 23, 2020

Research and educational institutions are becoming increasingly complex and result-driven, which results in fast-track educational programs and continual evaluations. As a consequence, they are simultaneously losing the freedoms that allow members of academic communities to experience the otium – leisure – upon which research depends. Dr. Jochen Gimmel, Dr. Marion Mangelsdorf, and Andreas Kirchner, Ph.D. of the University of Freiburg’s Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1015, “Otium. Boundaries, Chronotopes, Practices” have published a special edition of the journal “Muße. Ein Magazin” that is dedicated to this issue.

The special edition looks at the relationship between leisure and research that can play a key role with respect to the future of education and research. The issue features scholarly articles, workshop reports, conversations, and a panel debate, where the CRC’s researchers and authors explore this topic from the perspective of a range of disciplines, including psychology, theology, philology, philosophy, historiography, ethnology, and Slavic studies.

Gimmel, a philosopher and researcher has been engaged with the CRC 1015 since 2013, examining the ethical and societal relevance of the concept of otium and its role in Marxist and socialist theory. Since 2017, the socio-cultural scholar Mangelsdorf is -- through accompanying research on questions of gender studies, embodiment theories and transdisciplinarity - involved in the CRC. She is also Managing Director of the Center for Anthropology and Gender Studies at the University of Freiburg, which she founded together with colleagues in 2001. A philosopher and theologian, Kirchner worked from 2013 to 2016 first as a doctoral candidate, and since 2017 as a postdoctoral candidate, at the CRC on the project “Otium – a Cultural Transfer between East and West. Transformations of Asceticism and Monasticism in the Middle East” („Muße – Ein ost-westlicher Kulturtransfer? Transformationen von Askese und Mönchtum im Nahen Osten“).


Special edition: “Muße und Wissenschaft” (“Otium and Research”)

CDC 1015 “Otium, Boundaries, Chronotopes, Practices”


Dr. Tilman Kasten
Collaborative Research Center 1015 “Otium. Boundaries, Chronotopes, Practices”
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-67707