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Social Sciences & Humanities

Social Sciences & Cultural Translation Modernity - in its various phases and alternatives - increasingly and ever faster makes visible how technoscientific phenomena are inextricably intertwined and interdependent with social, cultural, political, and economic factors, artifacts, techniques, and institutions. Going beyond the fallacies of either techno- or sociodeterminisms, this working group will explore and discuss the complex relationship between technology, culture, and society.

Scholars in this workgroup come from a range of disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities where language and culture matters not only as a means of communication but also as an object of study. Our academic disciplines are history, literature, philosophy, law, religion, sociology, politics and economics, and last but not least Asian and Europeans Studies. Depending on the circumstances we conduct our interdisciplinary meetings in English, Japanese or German, sometimes in a multilingual fashion. We aim to overcome the national borders of our own academic traditions by using theories and methods of “Cultural Translation” and “Transcultural Studies.” The theme of our next meetings will be the study of education from a multicultural perspective.

We have been most successful in establishing networks for joint graduate school training and graduate student exchange between Japan and Germany.

  • Joint PhD degree programme between Tohoku University, Faculty of Law, and Heidelberg University, Faculty of Philosophy since 2012.
  • ISAP DAAD graduate student exchange programme between Osaka University and Heidelberg University, now ongoing for several years.
  • Graduate Student exchange between Kyoto University, Faculty of Letters and Faculty of Economics and Cluster of Excellence, Heidelberg University. 2013.
  • Internationales Graduiertenkolleg Initial funding by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Arts and Sciences, 2012, 2013. 



  • Prof. Harald Fuess, Heidelberg University (Chair)
  • Dr. Alexandra Hausstein, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Co-Chair)
  • Prof. Yukie Irie, Osaka University
  • Prof. Judit Arokay, Heidelberg University
  • Prof. Kimio Ito, Kyoto University
  • Prof. Emiko Ochiai, Kyoto University
  • Prof. Inken Prohl, Heidelberg University
  • Prof. Toshiya Ueki, Tohoku University
  • Prof. Hans-Martin Krämer, Heidelberg University
  • Prof. Toru Takenaka, Osaka University
  • Prof. Katja Triplett, University of Göttingen
  • Prof. Kaoru Iokibe, Tokyo University
  • Prof. Kiyotaka Naoe, Tohoku University
  • Prof. Armin Grunwald, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Prof. Christian Förster, Heidelberg University
  • Prof. Kurt Möser, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Prof. Saku Hara, Tohoku University
  • Prof. Mariko Nihei, Tohoku University
  • Prof. Akihiro Ozaki, Tohoku University
  • Prof. Eric Fongaro, Tohoku University
  • Prof. Judith Arokay, Heidelberg University


Conferences & Symposiums