Fellows & Projects

Dr. Bojan Baća

Bojan Baća is a political and cultural sociologist whose research primarily focuses on civil society, social movements, and contentious politics. After receiving his PhD from York University in 2018, he has held postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of Graz, Charles University, Heidelberg University, and most recently at the University of Gothenburg as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow. Bojan has also served as a junior research fellow at the University of Rijeka, New Europe College, and Akademie Schloss Solitude. He is currently a research associate at the University of Montenegro. Over the past few years, he has received several re-search awards recognizing his contributions to the study of civil society and social movements in Central and Eastern Europe, such as the 2022 Routledge Area Studies Interdisciplinarity Award, 2022 Zagorka Golubović Engaged Research Award, and 2020 Danubius Young Scientist Award.

His research has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed outlets, including Sociology, Antipode, International Political Sociology, Political Geography, Europe-Asia Studies, and Theory, Culture & Society (forthcoming), among several others. His professional background includes more than a decade of experience in the non-governmental sector, where he worked as a policy analyst and consultant. Presently, he is a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG).

As a KWI International Fellow, Bojan will concentrate on developing a research grant proposal centered around epistemic practices and evidentiary activism through which mistrust, skepticism, and denial are translated into conspiracist counter-knowledge. Additionally, by examining the meaning-making practices and knowledge-production processes within the anti-vaccination and flat-earth epistemic communities, he will draft a journal article addressing what he terms as “populist pseudoscience”.

Dr. Paul Buckermann

Dr. Paul Buckermann is a sociologist. His research and teaching focuses on the arts, politics and science. He studied political science and sociology at the University of Bielefeld and received his doctorate from the University of Lucerne. He has held teaching and research positions at universities and art/music universities in Basel, Lucerne, Bielefeld, Zurich, Vienna and Paderborn and has been at the University of Heidelberg since 2020. In the winter term 2023/2024 he served as a deputy chair for political sociology at the Max-Weber Institute of Sociology in Heidelberg. Recent publications focus on the history of the documenta, literary criticism, cultural policy and art rankings.

Dr. habil. Ferenc Hammer

Ferenc Hammer, habil. Ph.D., Associate Professor the Media and Communications Department at ELTE University in Budapest since 1997. His teaching areas, research fields and project topics comprise disinformation, media representations of inequalities and conflict, cultural history areas such as everyday life in Communism, or the sociology of consumption. He has worked as a scholar in the UK, in Germany and in the US. His works have been published in five languages. Active in international academic cooperations and media policy initiatives. His most recent work addresses certain dimensions of silencing, self-censorship, and intimidation in academia. This approach involves a plan for implementing a mentoring system designed for scholars at risk and to introduce an information technology-based communication system into the academic publication process ensures a reduced level of visibility for scholars facing risks in their academic pursuits.

Dr. Minwoo Jung

Minwoo Jung is an assistant professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at Loyola University Chicago. He is a sociologist whose work centers on gender, sexuality, race, and empire, with an emphasis on political activism and knowledge production. His research is situated at the intersection of the sociology of gender and sexualities, political sociology, and global and transnational sociology. His work has appeared in the British Journal of Sociology, The Sociological Review, and Social Movement Studies. He is visiting Essen as a KWI international fellow to work on his first book project, which examines the conditions and consequences of sexuality politics in Asia from a comparative perspective.

Dr. Anca Mandru

Anca Mandru is Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, where she taught modern European history and is part of the project “The Liminality of Failing Democracy: East Central Europe During the Interwar Slump.” She received her PhD in Eastern European History in 2019 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

At KWI she will work on her book project, provisionally entitled Fiction as History: Literature and the Making of a Leftist Culture in Romania (1880-1939). Her research explores the relationship between literature, history, and politics, examining the interplay between literary traditions and political cultures. In particular, the monograph will look at the role of leftist-inspired literary production in the visibility of the Left as a political movement and ideology, and the potential of literature to fulfil the function of social document.

Dr. Hannah Richter

Hannah is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sussex, UK, where she researches and teaches contemporary critical political thought. She received her PhD from the University of Kent, UK, in 2019 and held a teaching and research position at the University of Hertfordshire before joining Sussex.

Hannah’s research explores how postfoundational philosophy, usually associated with genealogies of knowledge and ontological critique, can help us understand and formulate responses to the practical challenges contemporary democracies face. Her current work is focused on two particular challenges: the rise of post-truth populism and the governance of human communities in the Anthropocene. Hannah is the author of The Politics of Orientation. Deleuze meets Luhmann (SUNY Press, 2023) as well as of the forthcoming Challenging Anthropocene Ontology: Modernity, Ecology, Indigenous Complexities (Bloomsbury, 2024; with E. Randazzo). Her work has been published in a number of international academic outlets, including International Political Sociology, the European Journal of Political Theory, the European Journal of Social Theory and Globalizations. Hannah also acts as Editor-in-Chief for the international social theory journal Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory.

At KWI, she will continue her research on post-truth populism. Her project comparatively explores the political ideologies of key conspiracies that shaped 20th and 21st century democratic politics to gain insight to the distinct logic of contemporary conspiratorial populism. She will also begin foundational work for a follow-up project that links her interest in contemporary populism with her research on ecology to understand how the narratives of the new right and of environmental movements respectively manage uncertainty.