Call for Posters: International Symposium of the Volkswagen Foundation (Hanover, 13-14th June 2019)

The International Symposium of the Volkswagen Foundation “Academia in the Age of Comparison: Methodological and Empirical Perspectives in an Interdisciplinary Dialogue” will take place at the Conference Center Herrenhausen Palace, Hannover, Germany, 13-14th June 2019 and is organized by Anna Kosmützky, Julian Hamann and Frerk Blome, Leibniz Center for Science and Society (LCSS), Hannover, Germany.

Academia is in an age of comparison. Momentous processes like globalization, marketization, and digitalization are not only of general societal relevance, but are also pushed by and simultaneously push comparisons in academia. In this climate, comparison ‘strikes back.’ Scholars not only conduct comparisons as a research method, but also turn into units of comparison themselves. Instead of conceiving comparisons as a mere intellectual operation with few social consequences, or as a social process that is not based on very specific methodological implications, we would like to emphasize the double role of comparisons as an intellectual operation in research practice, and as a social practice that contributes to creating an academic social order. The symposium will facilitate, first, an interdisciplinary dialogue among researchers who pursue methodological and empirical perspectives on comparisons, and, second, provide a more detailed understanding of comparisons in and of academia. We have invited internationally renowned scholars of the field of comparison to pursue these perspectives. The program of the symposium (see below) is structured alongside the following four topics:
1. The relations between comparator and the compared
2. Devices and instruments of comparison
3. Consequences of comparison
4. Histories and trajectories of comparison

Call for Posters:
We would like to invite six early career researchers to present their ongoing studies on relations, devices and instruments, consequences, and historical backgrounds of comparison(s) in academia. In a one-and-a-half-hour poster session, authors of posters will have the opportunity to present their work and discuss the posters with the audience. We welcome contributions from a variety of disciplines across science studies and higher education research and with a methodological, theoretical, or empirical focus on “Academia in the Age of Comparison.” To our delight, we are able to sponsor both travel and accommodation for all poster presenters. Please send your abstracts by email to They should contain a title and a maximum of 600 words. The deadline for submissions is 18.03.2019. We will send our responses to the applications on 25.03.2019.

Frerk Blome
Leibniz Center for Science and Society (LCSS), Leibniz Universität Hannover
(LUH) Lange Laube 32, 30159 Hannover, Germany
Email: Phone: +49 511 762 14585