Doris Bachmann-Medick


“Cultural Turns – A Matter of Management?”

In recent years a whole chain of cultural turns had considerable impact in the humanities and social sciences. How much potential do these turns unfold for inspiring (critical) management studies? Could they lead to a more concrete cultural framing of the field – by providing operative analytical categories and new spatial, performative, interpretive, iconic, translational, postcolonial etc. approaches?
But a reverse question can be asked: to what extent can we apply the managerial perspective on the cultural turns themselves? In what way could they, on the other hand, be considered as a matter of management?
By highlighting the role of cultural turns for management, the talk will try to explore possible impacts of the managerial perspective for research in the wake of the turns itself – in the end, however, questioning the limits of management: Are cultural turns manageable at all?

My Claim: “Economy and culture no longer function in regard to one another as system and environment (Lash/Urry 1994).”

My Expectation: “I expect to gain and discuss insights into new cultural definitions and forms of management. But, in turn, I also hope to carry away from the conference an increased critical awareness of managerial dimensions in the study of culture.”

Doris Bachmann-Medick is Permanent Senior Research Fellow at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) at the Justus-Liebig Universität Giessen. She held numerous appointments as a visiting professor, recently at the universities of Graz, Göttingen, Cincinnati and the UC Irvine.

Her main fields of research are cultural theory, Kulturwissenschaften, literary anthropology, and translation studies. Her publications include “Die ästhetische Ordnung des Handelns. Moralphilosophie und Ästhetik in der Popularphilosophie des 18. Jahrhunderts” (Metzler, 1989), the edited volumes Übersetzung als Repräsentation fremder Kulturen (Erich Schmidt, 1997), “Kultur als Text. Die anthropologische Wende in der Literaturwissenschaft” (Francke, 2004 [1996]), the special issue “The Translational Turn“ of the journal Translation Studies (2009), “The Trans/National Study of Culture: A Translational Perspective” (de Gruyter, 2014) and the monograph “Cultural Turns. Neuorientierungen in den Kulturwissenschaften” (5th ed. Rowohlt, 2014 [2006]) (English translation: Springer VS, 2015).

She serves on the editorial board of Translation Studies (since 2008).