Prof. Dr. Michi Knecht

Prof. Dr. Michi Knecht

As part of the team of spokespersons of the new Research Training Group, I would like to welcome you together with Ingo H. Warnke to our new homepage (still under development). I am Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology here at U Bremen, co-editor of the blog “DCNtR – Decolonizing Collections – Networking towards Relationality” (boasblogs.org/) and co-founder of the “Bremen NatureCultures Labs (BNCL)”: naturenkulturen.de). Together with Ingo H. Warnke I am also spokesperson of the interdisciplinary research platform “Worlds of Contradiction” (www.woc.uni-bremen.de/).

Methodologically and theoretically, my work is situated in the context of practice theories and of STS (Social Studies of Sciences and Technologies). I am a passionate ethnographer. The RTF could be a special place for joint research: a kind of incubator that constantly generates new ideas and formats (even contradictory ones!). A kind of bridge between the humanities, social sciences, and law, as well as into different public spheres. And an instance of critical translation and questioning of ways of thinking and concepts. In order to adequately reflect the possibilities, limits and futures of very different people and societies in an increasingly interconnected world, the knowledge histories of our disciplines need to be re-examined and further developed. For me, Contradiction Studies therefore form a starting point for the cosmopolitization and decolonization of the humanities, the social sciences and law.

My own research aims at the connections between knowledge practices and social and political forms. I have investigated such connections in the field of reproductive technologies and new kinship, in religious-political movements, in the context of poverty, and in relation to the transformation of regimes of anonymity. Currently, I am concerned with unrequited reciprocity and object-extractivism in the confrontation of Pacific gift societies with German colonialism.  I am looking forward to project proposals that ethnographically explore diverse constellations of contradiction, non-contradiction, and worlds full of contradictions in any of the problem zones of the contemporary. These can be, but do not have to be, projects in the fields of an anthropology of sciences and knowledge, projects on (postcolonial) naturecultres, on current museum debates, or projects that propose new methodologidal ways – ethnographically, collaboratively and experimentally.

city

“The city is a laboratory not only of modernity, but also of contradiction.”

Julia Lossau
earthing

“Geography as a discipline stands for a certain worlding, if not earthing, of contradiction, in both theoretical and pracitcal respect.”

Julia Lossau
Afterlife of colonialism

“Contradiction comes in many different forms. None is so debilitating than when the coloniser transitions, textually not politically, to decoloniality without taking the responsibility for the afterlife of colonialism, which they continue to benefit from. Self-examination and self-interrogation of the relations of coloniality, a necessity, seem nearly impossible for the coloniser who continues to act as beneficiary, masked in the new-found language of White fragility, devoid of an ethical responsibility of the very system of White domination they claim to be against.” (Black Consciousness and the Politics of the Flesh)

Rozena Maart
interstice

“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
name contradiction

“Contradiction becomes real where someone names contradiction.”

Ingo H. Warnke