Issue 1/2023, 119. Volume Page 5–25
Exploring the Absent
An Experiment on the Gap and the Disappearance
Empirically working cultural studies naturally focus their attention on what is methodically accessible and thus on what is existing. But in the history of our discipline there is also a trace of interest in the suppressed, forgotten or abolished. The absent is also a cultural reality that deserves attention. The social crises of recent years have enforced extensive practices of omission and thus intensified anew the questioning of the growth paradigm. In the interplay of climate change, pandemic, energy scarcity and inflation, a thorough engagement with practices of reduction and relinquishment is needed. Using the thematic examples of energy saving, minimalist reduction of possessions and the question of climate-friendly mobility, practical everyday forms of reduction will be presented and discussed as objects of cultural studies research. Phenomena of disappearance turn out to be neither a passive blank space nor an accidental gap. Rather, they are significant objectivations of human action full of agency and creative power. They thus are particularly suitable for an analysis of the absent in the cultural studies of everyday life.
relinquishment, sustainability, reduction, minimalism, energy saving, post-growth, mobility
Heimerdinger T. (2023). Das Abwesende erforschen: Versuch über die Lücke und das Verschwinden. Zeitschrift für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, 119(1), 5-25. https://doi.org/10.31244/zekw/2023/01.02