Frictions is a blogjournal – a hybrid format of blog and e-journal – discussing Europe and the Americas in the context of global transformations. The project is run by the Leibniz ScienceCampus Europe and America in the Modern World, which is based at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) and the University of Regensburg.
We welcome contributions from scholars based in Regensburg and around the world addressing the blog’s core themes of social, cultural and economic relations within and between Europe and the America. Historical and present-focused discussions are equally welcomed.
The Essays section publishes fully-referenced, peer-reviewed articles of around 3000-4000 words.
The Research Notes section features contributions outlining ongoing and developing research projects, including methodological, conceptual and theoretical explorations as well as findings from empirical and field research. These are generally shorter pieces of around 1000 words.
The Current Debates section offers a platform for comment pieces on salient current events, as well as for interviews, conference reports, reviews of exhibitions, films and other cultural works, and discussions of upcoming and recent publications.
For Research Notes and Current Debates we are happy to work with more experimental formats including photo-reportages or video-reportages
We welcome contributions in English or German.
Frictions ist ein Blogjournal – ein Hybridformat aus Blog und E-Journal –, das Europa und die Amerikas im Kontext globaler Transformationen bespricht. Das Projekt wird vom Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Europa und Amerika in der modernen Welt betrieben, das am Leibniz-Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS) und an der Universität Regensburg angesiedelt ist.
Wir freuen uns über Beiträge von Wissenschaftler*innen aus Regensburg und der ganzen Welt, die sich mit den Kernthemen des Blogs – soziale, kulturelle und wirtschaftliche Beziehungen innerhalb und zwischen Europa und den Amerikas– auseinandersetzen. Historische und gegenwartsbezogene Texte sind gleichermaßen willkommen.
In der Essay-Rubrik werden begutachtete Artikel mit vollständigen Literaturangaben im Umfang von 3000-4000 Wörtern veröffentlicht.
Die Research Notes-Rubrik enthält Beiträge, die laufende und sich entwickelnde Forschungsprojekte vorstellen. Dazu gehören methodologische, konzeptuelle und theoretische Ansätze sowie Ergebnisse von empirischer Forschung und Feldforschung. Bei diesen Beiträgen handelt es sich generell um kürzere Texte im Umfang von etwa 1000 Wörtern.
Die Current Debates-Rubrik bietet eine Plattform für Kommentare zu aktuellen Ereignissen und Debatten sowie für Interviews, Konferenzberichte, Kritiken von Ausstellungen, Filmen und anderen kulturellen Werken sowie für Besprechungen von aktuellen Veröffentlichungen.
In den Research Notes– und Current Debates-Rubriken können auch experimentellere Formate wie Foto- oder Videoreportagen eingereicht werden.
Beiträge können sowohl auf Englisch als auch auf Deutsch eingereicht werden.
Frictions – The Blog of the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Europe and America in the Modern World”
“Friction”, writes social anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, “makes global connection powerful and effective.” At the same time, “friction gets in the way of the smooth operation of global power” (Tsing 2005, 6). Inspired by this insight, this blogjournal aims to explore the dual nature of globalization: it produces connections while dissolving other relations. Global capitalism and the international systems of politics and culture link some places together, but also cause de-linkages of others. These systems produce resistances, ambiguities and dissonances – thus: frictions. They keep things moving while transforming the vectors of intersecting global, regional and localized processes.
Europe and North America offer fertile ground for exploring frictions and the multiscalar transformations they produce. Through their economic and military power, these regions have shaped the emergence of globality in the modern period. The Global North through structures of colonization, empire, expansion and extraction sought to dominate much of the Global South, with these asymmetrical relations also transforming Europe and America. However, it seems that the tectonic plates of a bipolar world are shifting: China is global actor, other BRICS countries have emerged as regional powers, while Trump’s politics, Brexit and populism demonstrate that US and parts of Europe are capable of undermining their own leading roles in the world.
Frictions thus adopts a multipolar perspective to critically explore the political, economic and epistemological premises of the Global North as the paradigm of globality.
As the established international order of the modern age increasingly finds itself in flux, we consider how connections between Europe and North America, as well as those regions’ relations with the rest of the world, are being reconfigured. What can be learned from examining historical transformations of transatlantic entanglements? How do domestic frictions and regional differences relate to the way places are connected to different parts of the world? Which languages, cultural forms and systems of knowledge are pertinent to the articulation of frictions in the duality between globality and locality, between future and past, between expansion and retraction, between stasis and movement? Frictions is part of efforts to develop a multiscalar, interdisciplinary, comparative and transregional perspective on the place of Europe and America in world, historically, in the present and in future.
These questions and approaches lie at the heart of the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Europe and America in the Modern World”, a cooperation between the University of Regensburg and the Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies. This project, funded by the Leibniz Association and the two partners, aims at strengthening Area Studies in Regensburg.
Our particular focus is on Europe and North America, in terms of both their global connections and their intraregional diversity, which in itself is a productive friction that dehomogenizes the regions. The aim is to compare local manifestations of globality in these areas while exploring how diverse areas are linked. This multiscalar and multisited perspective gives rise to an approach that we call trans-comparative. At the ScienceCampus we employ it in pursuing research in three broadly defined thematic fields:
- transatlantic political transformations
- migration and sentiments of belonging
- trade and institutions
These are all fields of social action where the globalizing forces of capitalism (and historically state-socialism), technology and international politics intersect with localizing dynamics. Sensitivity towards historical contexts and temporalities, alongside a spatiality shaped by multi-polarity and multi-scalarity characterizes our methodology. It is also multidisciplinary, welcoming methods from across the humanities and social sciences, as well as creative inputs inspired by the arts and reportage.
As a platform for critical explorations of the European-American nexus and global transformations, Frictions welcomes a diversity of voices from Regensburg and around the world. While showcasing research and exchanges taking place in Regensburg, we equally welcome contributions from scholars, policymakers, journalists, artists and others who engage with the themes, concepts or approaches outlined here.
We invite contributions in a range of formats:
- Essays: fully-referenced, peer-reviewed articles of around 3000-4000 words.
- Research Notes: outlines of ongoing and developing research projects, including methodological, conceptual and theoretical explorations as well as findings from empirical and field research. Length: Around 1000 words.
- Current Debates: comment and opinion pieces on salient current events; interviews, conference reports, reviews of exhibitions, films and other cultural works, and discussions of recent publications.
For contributions in the form of Research Notes and Current Debates we also welcome more experimental formats including photo-reportages or video-reportages. Interviews can be transcribed, published as podcasts or as videos. Find out more about how to contribute here.
Frictions publishes material in English or German.
All contributions will be reviewed by the Editorial Board and, in the cae of Essays, by peers knowledgeable of the subject matter at hand. All published Blog posts will receive a doi number and will be stored on the IOS publication servers. The Editorial Board is guided by principles of open-mindedness, equality, creativity and a critical mind. We hope that our readers will find the Blogjournal posts reflect these principles. Thus we encourage contributions that go beyond the types of frictions, methodological premises and themes outlined above. The formats are deliberately open and multimedia to encourage experimental forms of cooperation and presentation.
Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt. 2005. Friction: An ethnography of global connection. Princeton: Princeton University Press.