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Gender-neutral restrooms, influencers, plastic waste

Students from the Universities of Freiburg and Würzburg explain everyday phenomena from a cultural studies perspective on YouTube

Freiburg, Jul 13, 2023

Gender-neutral restrooms or influencers on Instagram, plastic waste or veganism - these are all current phenomena in our everyday lives. But they are much more than that: they play a role in our social coexistence and are closely linked to culturally mediated attitudes and behaviours. Students at the Universities of Freiburg and Würzburg are producing elaborate YouTube videos in the two-semester project “KulturWissen vermitteln” (imparting cultural knowledge), in which they prepare such socially relevant everyday topics for students and explain them in terms of cultural studies. Every Thursday, a new, approximately ten-minute video appears on the YouTube channel "überalltag. kultur erklärt" (About the Everyday. Culture Explained), which was set up specifically for this purpose. The first season consists of eight videos; the second season will go online in October 2023.

What cultural scholars do

The Institute for Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at the University of Freiburg and the Chair of European Ethnology/Empirical Cultural Studies at the University of Würzburg are cooperating on the project. Outside the discipline, there is often little knowledge about what cultural scientists actually do and how they look at the world, says project leader Prof. Dr. Markus Tauschek, Professor of European Ethnology at the University of Freiburg. In doing so, they could contribute a great deal to understanding social processes. “The project has three goals: Students learn how to communicate complex topics in a comprehensible way, schoolchildren become aware of the subject, and students experience how the cultural studies discipline is involved in society,” says Tauschek.

Concepts for the target audience

In workshops, students learn how to develop a script and acquire knowledge in video basics and editing. An essential part of the course is to develop a cultural-scientific and target-group-oriented video concept that presents the respective topic in a technical, textual and visual way that appeals to high school students. The seminar thus combines the three areas of subject knowledge and identity, science communication and film production. It is funded by the Freiraum program of the Stiftung Innovation in der Hochschullehre.

The effort is worth it

The first videos that have already been published show that this works. The effort is high, but the results are worth it, says Inga Wilke, who is supervising the project as a research assistant in Freiburg. “The experience gained in the project so far shows that combining science communication and video production in one course is an ambitious, yet worthwhile undertaking. Students learn how to use the medium of film to communicate their subject knowledge and acquire important skills in the process, for example in project management and creative problem solving." Tauschek adds that this also brings a lot of professional benefits. "In order to explain a complex topic well in just a few minutes, you yourself have to really know your stuff.”


YouTube-Kanal „überalltag. kultur erklärt“ (About the Everyday. Culture Explained):


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