Prof. Dr. Ingo H. Warnke

As professor of German and Interdisciplinary Linguistics at the U Bremen, I am interested in the fundamental question of what function language has in constellations of living together. Theoretically, I am located in sociolinguistics with a focus on the theory and analysis of discourse. My specific research interests include postcolonial language studies, including questions concerning the possibilities of making digitally available colonial-historical sources and research results on the German language in the colonial archive. I particularly enjoy working in research teams, not least as co-spokesperson of the joint research platform Worlds of Contradiction at the U Bremen. This is also where my particular interest in Contradiction Studies comes in.

Contradiction as a relation, as a principle of order, and also as a practice of opposition—these are topics that particularly call for interdisciplinary collaboration. And I consider such cooperation to be an important task of research in societies marked by diversity. A better knowledge of the demand for non-contradiction, violations of coherent orders of everyday life, practices of contradicting one another—among other aspects which can be thought of as part of Contradiction Studies—will help to understand language as a form of shaping relations in the contradictory.

As a linguist, I am particularly interested in three questions in Contradiction Studies that can be described by the terms constitution, relation, and declaration: How is contradiction expressed in language, that is, how is it constituted linguistically? What types of relationality of contradiction can be described empirically? What world-changing power does the ordering figure of contradiction have, how declarative is it?

As spokesperson of the Research Training Group, together with spokesperson Michi Knecht, I stand for the ideal of convivial and intellectually enriching scholarly collaboration. I am looking forward to empirically-oriented project proposals from doctoral students who, with a focus on linguistics, explore the social status of constellations of contradiction and who also like to pursue theoretical focal points. Possible projects include those in politolinguistics, corpus analyses with a discourse-linguistic orientation (also historically interested), or those within the framework of postcolonial language studies. Keywords could be: debates, linguistic patterns, discursive events, meta-pragmatics, positioning, and many more.


“The contradiction of law in Derrida lies in the interstice that separates the impossibility of deconstructing justice from the possibility of deconstructing law.”

Andreas Fischer-Lescano
ideal of a contradiction-free world

“Science has long been animated by the ideal of a contradiction-free world in which logical orders could merge with society, politics, culture and language. In the GRC Contradiction Studies we are working on ways of describing the multiplicity and complexity, the danger and beauty of our worlds that clearly go beyond concepts of freedom from contradiction.”

Michi Knecht
hierarchy of norms

“If social contradictions are reflected in law, law cannot form a hierarchy of norms free of contradictions.”

Andreas Fischer-Lescano

“According to Niklas Luhmann, space is a ‘special facility to negate contradictions’”.

Julia Lossau
Is contradiction eurocentric?

“Is contradiction a eurocentric concept, operational phenomenon, and instrument of power?”

Kerstin Knopf