Spokesperson: Stefan Schreiber
One of the most formative challenges in the present and the past is the preservation and appropriate shaping of life. Life has always been risky and vulnerable. It is constantly exposed to hazards, restrictions, injuries and uncertainties. These range from the risks of birth, growing up, work, illness, violence and ageing to the risk of dying. At the same time, life is fragile not only in its biological, psychological and corporeal dimensions. Hazards also occur at a social, cultural, imagined and political level.
TA1 brings together archaeological, cultural studies, social science and medical approaches. The projects focus on solicitude for fragile lives. ‘Solicitude’ is understood as a broad term for the affirmative ways of dealing with life that are meant to protect, nurture and secure it. Solicitude can mean both concern for oneself and for others. Solicitous practices frames life, often begin before birth and do not necessarily end with death. It is precisely the concern for the deceased and the associated notions of afterlife, transcendence and transformation that represent coping and conceptualization practices. At the same time, solicitude not only confronts challenges of life’s fragility, but in turn creates challenges, be it through limited resources, ethical issues or practical constraints that can produce new precarious forms of living. The aim of the TA 1 is to examine the commonalities and differences between practices and strategies of worrying and caring. Can temporal and cultural particularities be identified and how are they characterized? Which of life’s risks are given special solicitude and how is care organized and carried out? Are there similarities in care practices for different risks of life?
After the scope of the approach was tested and its content further developed in the first funding phase based on a selection of a few aspects (resilience, illness, death), the second phase will focus on the bundling of existing and new projects. To this end, external projects have already been integrated or newly developed, which significantly expand the spectrum of challenges. In addition, a third-party funding application was submitted for a Leibniz Junior Research Group Becoming Old.