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New CRC for LMU

München, 05/27/2019

The DFG has approved a new LMU-based Collaborative Research Center devoted to ‘cultures of vigilance’ as a historical and cultural phenomenon. Funding for two existing CRCs has been extended.

The new Collaborative Research Center (CRC 1369), “Cultures of Vigilance: Transformations. Spaces. Practices”, explores the historical and cultural conditions that gave rise to concepts and practices of vigilance in different societies (and cultural contexts). The participating researchers will investigate what motivates individual citizens not only to be wary of their immediate cultural, political, social environment but also of each other; in addition, they will explore the impact of practices of vigilance on social life and the community at large. “Some forms and practices of vigilance are very old and can be traced back to antiquity. We know far too little about the ways in which citizens were actively encouraged to be attentive and observant, although we know that they often play a crucial role in efforts to increase public safety,” says Arndt Brendecke, the director of the new CRC and chair of Early Modern History at LMU.

A total of 18 projects will take an in-depth look at topics ranging from the role of denunciation and complaint in urban communities in the Middle Ages to strategies of self-authentication and identity politics among Mexican-Americans at the US-Mexican border. The new CRC will also consider topics such as current debates on whistleblowing, which Brendecke calls "a modern variety of vigilance“. In doing so, the CRC will provide a historical perspective on a phenomenon of obvious importance for contemporary social and political discourses. Given today’s concerns about privacy, social media and digital surveillance the CRC will add to these debates and provide crucial academic and intellectual insight into the mechanics of both surveillance and self-control.

Extension of funding

In addition to enabling the establishment of the new CRC, the DFG has also decided to extend the lifetime of two existing CRCs at LMU.

CRC 914 (Trafficking of Immune Cells in Inflammation, Development and Disease) is dedicated to defining the routes used by leukocytes of the immune system in the course of their surveillance and effector functions, and identifying the molecular and cellular determinants that control and orchestrate the migratory behavior of immune cells under steady-state conditions as well as during inflammation. The new round of funding will be the third for this CRC. Coordinator of CRC 914 is Professor Barbara Walzog (Walter Brendel Center for Experimental Medicine).

TRR 165 (Waves to Weather) investigates the physical processes that contribute to the development of meteorological phenomena such as hail- and thunderstorms, cyclones and heat waves, with the aim of improving the precision and reliability of weather forecasts. This transregional collaborative research center is pursuing an exceptionally broad interdisciplinary approach, which makes it “unique in Germany”, according to its Coordinator Professor George Craig, Chair of Theoretical Meteorology at LMU.

Other CRCs to which LMU researchers contribute:

LMU researchers are also involved in the following new CRCs, which are being coordinated by other universities:

TRR 266: Accounting Procedures, Taxes and Commercial Transparency (Professors Christian Hofmann, Deborah Schanz and Thorsten Sellhorn, Faculty of Economics; Coordinating Institution: University of Paderborn)

TRR 267: Noncoding RNA in Cardiovascular Systems (Professors Lesca Holdt, Daniel Teupser and Christian Weber, Faculty of Medicine; Coordinating Institution: Technical University of Munich)

CRC 1375: Nonlinear Optics Down to Atomic Scales (Professor Matthias Kling, Faculty of Physics; Coordinating Institution: Jena University)

LMU researchers are also involved in the following CRCs, for which further funding has been approved:

TRR 156: The Skin as a Sensor and Effector Organ Orchestrating Local and Systemic Immune Reactions (Professor Peter Jon Nelson, Faculty of Medicine; Coordinating Institution: Heidelberg University)

CRC 924: Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Yield and Yield Stability in Plants (Professor Martin Parniske, Dr. Silke Robatzek und Dr. Arne Weiberg, Faculty of Biology; Coordinating Institution: Technical University of Munich)

TRR 161: Quantitative Methods for Visual Computing (Professor Albrecht Schmidt and Dr. Lewis Chuang, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics; Coordinating Institution: Stuttgart University)