Diversity: Concepts, Paradigms, and History

The project aims at understanding how different traditions that have led to the current political conjuncture of the concept of diversity differ from one another but also correlate and converge at the same time. Based on our previous analyses, we may differentiate between four paradigms of diversity:

(1) a socio-legal paradigm of equality initiated by emancipation movements and aimed at equal treatment and equal opportunity of people regardless of their biological or cultural characteristics;

(2) a liberalistic-economic paradigm of market and management that considers ‘diversity’ to be the result and the goal of the free market, and aims at an efficiency in corporate management

(3) an ethical-ecological paradigm of nature protection and conservation in which (bio)diversity is seen as both an irreplaceable value in itself and as guaranteeing ecological stability, and finally

(4) a cultural-aesthetic paradigm of self-development to which diversity can be a central principle of self-identification and self-presentation, and that may serve as a basis for different identity politics.

The project is divided into three parts:

(1) A conceptual-historical examination addresses the historical semantics of ‘diversity’ and closely related terms (such as ‘pluralism’, ‘manifoldness’, ‘heterogeneity’) in the political-social language of the 20th century; it will ultimately result in a contribution to the ZfL’s dictionary The 20th Century in Basic Concepts.

(2) A small compendium will trace the evolution of the discourse on diversity on the basis of the history of central terms (such as ‘emancipation’, ‘racism’, or ‘intersectionality’) and organize it according to different time layers; this contribution also includes a website (www.diversity-glossar.de) and will be carried out on behalf of and in co-operation with the Berlin University Alliance’s (BUA) Diversity and Gender Equality Network (DiGENet).

(3) Finally, there is work in progress on a monograph on the forms of representation of biological diversity and how these interact with social models.

since 2021
Head researcher(s): Georg Toepfer

Publications

Georg Toepfer

Events

Lecture
28 Oct 2022 · 6.00 pm

Georg Toepfer: Das Historische Wörterbuch der Biologie – Motive und Konzept

FernUniversität in Hagen, Gebäude 2, Raum 1–3, Universitätsstraße 33, 58097 Hagen

read more
Lecture
21 Oct 2022 · 1.30 pm

Georg Toepfer: Bilder und Metaphern für die Räume des Naturschutzes: Vom ‘Naturdenkmal’, ‘Reservat’ und ‘Staatspark’ zu ‘ungestümen Gärten’, ‘Stadtnatur’ und ‘Konvivalität’

Kerschensteiner Kolleg at the Deutsches Museum, Museumsinsel 1, 80538 München

read more
Lecture
19 Oct 2022 – 20 Oct 2022

Georg Toepfer: Pronoun Trouble. Der Plural im Singular und das Weibliche im Männlichen der Personalpronomen in Tierenzyklopädien seit der Antike

Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung, Universität Bielefeld, Methoden 1, 33615 Bielefeld

read more
Workshop
06 Oct 2022 – 07 Oct 2022

Verlust und Vielfalt. Zur Parallele von Artenschutz und Denkmalschutz um 1900

Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL), Schützenstraße 18, 10117 Berlin, 3. Etage, Trajekte-Tagungsraum

read more
Lecture
20 Jul 2022 – 22 Jul 2022

Georg Toepfer: Four Goals of Nature Conservation and their Diverging Implications

Herrenhausen Palace, Herrenhäuser Str. 5, 30419 Hannover

read more
Lecture
12 Jul 2022 · 12.00 pm

Georg Toepfer: Verlust und Vielfalt als Zweifel an der Moderne

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

read more
Lecture
27 Jun 2022 · 2.15 pm

Georg Toepfer: Zur Verteidigung des Naturbegriffs

Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris, 8, Rue du Parc Royal, 75003 Paris

read more
Lecture
27 May 2022 · 3.10 pm

Georg Toepfer: Von der ästhetischen Einheit in der “Mannigfaltigkeit” zur komplexen “Diversität” ohne Ganzheit: ‘Landschaft’ vor dem und im Anthropozän

Universität Wien / Zoom

read more
Lecture
20 May 2022 · 9.00 am

Georg Toepfer: Diversity Discourse over Time

Aarhus Universitet, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, 8000 Aarhus, Danmark

read more
Lecture
05 Apr 2022 · 7.30 pm

Georg Toepfer: Unity or Diversity? Christian Origins of and Resistance to Valuing Diversity

Berlin

read more
Lecture
15 Mar 2022 · 9.15 am

Georg Toepfer: Philosophy of Biology in Neokantianism. A Comprehensive and Systematic Account Parallel to and Apart from the Formation of the Field

Beckmanns Hof, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum

read more
Lecture
15 Dec 2021 · 10.00 am

Georg Toepfer: Konvergenzen zur Vielfalt. Die verschlungenen Pfade zur Konstitution und Wertschätzung von Diversität

Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI), Raum 106, Goethestraße 31, 45128 Essen / online via Zoom

read more
Lecture
05 Oct 2021 · 11.15 am

Georg Toepfer: Wie die Menschen! Wann und warum die Tiere im 20. Jahrhundert zu “Sprache,” “Geist” und “Kultur” fanden

online

read more
Lecture
04 Oct 2021 · 2.30 pm

Georg Toepfer: Der Wert der Vergangenheit in der ökologischen Krise der Gegenwart

Senckenberg Museum Görlitz

read more
Lecture
01 Oct 2021 · 2.30 pm

Georg Toepfer: Der Landschaftswandel in der Energiewende. Fünf historische Stationen, vier paradigmatische Richtungen, drei Traditionen, zwei Alternativen und ein Einzelfall

Gorch-Fock-Wall 3, 20345 Hamburg, seminar room of the DFG-Centre for Advanced Studies

read more
Lecture
16 Sep 2021 · 10.30 am

Georg Toepfer: Vier Naturbegriffe des Naturschutzes: Landschaft, Vielfalt, Wildnis und Gefüge

Hans-Eisenmann-Haus, 94556 Neuschönau

read more