During the second half of the long 19th century „precarious nature“ moves to the center of a variety of popular discourses. The increasing visibility of and reflection on the human manipulation and destruction of nature is equally important for an understanding of precarious nature as is the publicly received progress of science and the social transformation caused by industrialization and accompanying processes. All these fields create versions of human-nature-relations and of ‘natural’ lifestyles and -forms under increasingly precarious conditions. Precarious nature provides a perspective which allows for the recognition of the dual conditioning of nature in literature, popular science and personal as well as travel narratives and the analysis of its part in the production of affective, discursive and material environments. Ecological story-telling is a vital force which produces a specific proto-ecological knowledge in representations of village-home and forest-wilderness. Liminal spaces between nature and culture thus can be recognized as privileged sites of the negotiation of human-nature-relationships.
Der Aufsatz beschreibt Situationen, in denen Phänomene, die keine Bilder sind, gleichwohl als bildhaft rezipiert werden. Solche paradoxen Verschränkungen von Realitätssphäre und Bildsphäre werden in zwei unterschiedlichen Konstellationen vorgestellt: zum einen in subjektiven literarischen Wahrnehmungsweisen („Medusenblicken“), die eine piktorale Textur in im großstädtischen Raum beobachtete Szenen hineinprojizieren, zum anderen an der Gestaltung gewisser Gebäude und Räume, die darauf abzielen, die immaterielle Sichtbarkeit, die ein Bildobjekt charakterisiert, in den real gegenwärtigen Groß-stadtraum zu integrieren.
I discuss current shifts in cultural understandings under postcolonial conditions with particular regard to the French-African-Antillean area. Through a short reconstruction of culture constitutive approaches, their continuation and criticism in the Antillean area and furthermore the Afropolitan interpretations by Mbembe, Enwezor and African artists, I come to the conclusion that we need an epistemological shift in the cultural studies discourse itself. Along the lines of the affirmative-critical aesthetic of the mentioned African theorists, curators and artists, I advocate that the cultural studies discourse distances itself from descriptions in terms of cultural contrast, of the same and the other, of white and black and so on. I argue that the discourse should abandon the idea of unified or oppositional cultures and instead emphasize the „composite-cultural“, i.e. the entanglements of respective personal or societal forms of articulation and existence as well as profile the types of symbolic interpenetration, the temporally and aesthetically conditioned „dividuation“. With examples from the African art context, I attempt to outline certain dividual procedures and to stress the fact that nowadays even western articulations are bound to endure forced cultural participation [Zwangsteilhabe]: Instead of discursive contrasts we are in need of analyses of the respective participation and (self-)dividuation processes.
Based on a dynamic, cultural-constructivist understanding of language and a multistage/multi-level methodological approach of discourse semantics, this contribution analyzes a section of selected texts concerning the migration discourse. In this context, the controversial term Leitkultur is given special emphasis. It turns out that within political discourse this term is closely linked to self-positioning and positioning others.