Why connectivity matters

Connectivity MattersNew publication of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS presents the basic concept of social, environmental and cultural connectivity in past societies.

Tackling social inequality, climate change, or fighting infectious diseases and resolving identity conflicts—major challenges can only be mastered if a large number of actors work together. This is true at the individual level as well as at the level of societies and the global humankind. And it applies not just to the 21st century, but to every era back to the Stone Age.

Working together requires connection and interaction. And as we learn from challenges of our time, not only the connections between people, societies and global institutions are important, but also the connections between the natural and the cultural environment.

Such human-environmental ‘connectivities’ have always existed in many aspects of human life. The question of how they shaped fundamental processes in past societies from the Stone Age to historical epochs is the focus of research conducted within the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS. Now, a new book titled "Connectivity Matters!" has been published in ROOTS Studies, the Cluster of Excellence's scholarly publication series. This volume fundamentally addresses the new concept of connectivities in the human past, but also the importance of this concept for research on the human past.

On 210 pages, researchers of the Cluster of Excellence deal with the concept of connectivity and with various examples and case studies in which the concept is applied - among others, the hitherto rarely considered interdependencies between nomadic and urban lifestyles, water supply and disposal in ancient and medieval cities, as well as the role of connectivities in the development of social inequality, the use of fortifications, or even waste behavior and the emergence of linguistic features in written media. This allows readers to penetrate the perspectives that emerge from the novel interdisciplinary interplay. In keeping with the broad range of disciplines covered by ROOTS, the book includes contributions from the archaeological disciplines, history, linguistics, philosophy, as well as the natural sciences.

The book, "Connectivity Matters! Social, Environmental and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies," edited by Johannes Müller, is published by SidestonePress. Following the open-access principle, the e-paper version of the book is freely available on the publisher's website.

Link to Sidestone Press here

Imaginations of the Western European City from Antiquity to the Middle Ages - Third volume of the "ROOTS Studies" now available as an Open Access publication-

Imaginations of the Western European City from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

The city is one of the central factors that shaped human existence in the pre-modern era. It is a component of historical reality and at the same time an object of cultural knowledge. Accordingly, the city in pre-modern epochs is negotiated in various media formats that bear, above all, witness to the cultural and social imaginaries that were associated with the city. These imaginations of the pre-modern city are addressed in the recently published volume "Mentale Konzepte der Stadt in Bild und Textmedien der Vormoderne" edited by Margit Dahm and Timo Felber. It is the third volume of ROOTS Studies, the scholarly book series of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS.

This volume brings together contributions from different academic disciplines that are dedicated to mental concepts, i.e. notions, ideas or imaginings of the western European medieval city, which appear across epochs in different discursive and visual representations. The papers discuss the city not only as a component of the historical reality of pre-modernity but also as a part of the fixed inventory of cultural knowledge and memory. In an interdisciplinary exchange between specialists of German studies, theology, archaeology, history and art history, mental concepts of the city are examined in different media formats, including city chronicles, secular painting, biblical texts, medieval city plans and courtly novels.
Through the diversity of the examined formats and hermeneutical confrontations, it becomes apparent that the cultural ideas associated with the city and urbanity are not only shaped by historical specifics but also by supertemporal constants, which are frequently rooted in antiquity and Christian traditions.

Editor Margit Dahm is Junior Professor of German Literature of the High and Late Middle Ages at the Institute for German Studies at Kiel University. Editor Dr. Timo Felber is Full Professor of German Literature of the High and Late Middle Ages at the Institute of German Studies at Kiel University. Both are members of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS.

The volume is open access and freely available online.
Margit Dahm & Timo Felber (eds.): Mentale Konzepte der Stadt in Bild- und Textmedien der Vormoderne. Leiden 2023.

Paperback ISBN: 9789464270570 | Hardback ISBN: 9789464270587 | https://doi.org/10.59641/7xb7940z


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